Coming into this series, the Seattle Mariners were an MLB worst at home, so Giant fans had to be feeling pretty good about their chances in the Greater Northwest. But hey, that’s why you play the game. The orange and black were stifled by Felix Hernandez all game, blowing the few opportunities they were given before the Mariners ‘pen did their best to implode, only to wiggle their way out of the jams. Sergio Romo wasn’t his effective self as the normally lights out set-up man gave up two hits, resulting in his first loss of the season after Javier Lopez couldn’t get out of the fire. The Giants had a shot to keep the game tied in the bottom half of the 9th as Melky Cabrera fielded a grounder into left, but the seemingly accurate throw home to get the game winning run bounced off of the runner before Hector Sanchez had the opportunity to grab it, allowing the run to score.
Filthy Bumgarner – What’s new? Madison Bumgarner was once again lights out. Trying to get his fourth consecutive victory, the North Carolina native baffled the Seattle sticks all afternoon, giving up only three hits and a lone run in his 8 innings of work. But as we’ve seen so many times before, it wasn’t enough as the Giants couldn’t muster enough support to get Bumgarner his 9th victory of the season. Despite the loss, Bumgarner dropped his season ERA below 3, down to 2.92 along with his WHIP, which is now 1.07.
Bochy Blunders – Bruce Bochy yet again found himself at the pinnacle of controversy as he pinch ran for his DH, Buster Posey, late in the game which was in a 1-1 tie. Posey, who singled to right was removed with two outs for pinch runner Justin Christian who never made an attempt to steal. A single by Brandon Belt followed Posey’s AB, which moved Christian to second where both runners were stranded. The move, as so many expected, haunted the Giants just innings later as with two outs and the bases loaded, Posey’s spot was again up but with the much weaker hitting Christian in his spot. Bochy elected to pinch hit for Christian with Nate Schierholtz who grounded out to second base, stranding the bases loaded. Considering the lack of a steal by Christian, you can’t help but second guess the move.
So, What’s The Count? – MLB umpires have taken quite the amount of grief this season and rightfully so as it seems as if there is a absurdly poor call or game changing (wrong) decision almost daily, but today might have been the most embarrassing we’ve seen as it wasn’t a split second decision as in so many other cases. With Gregor Blanco at bat and the count 3-1, the short handed umpiring crew (due to injury earlier in the game) became unaware of the count. Gregor Blanco was awarded first base on a walk, but moments later homeplate umpire Joe West gathered the remaining crew to discuss the count. None of them knew. West made his way to the Seattle dugout, called the press box and was informed the count was only 3-1, bringing Blanco back to the plate. Blanco walked on the next pitch. It’s one thing for a lone umpire to lose track, but for all to appear in a haze? It’s no wonder they’re under the scrutiny they are.
The Giants head to Southern California tonight for a three game set with the Angels, their first return to the Halo since the ’02 World Series.