Madison Bumgarner pitched five innings of two-hit ball and Hunter Pence smacked two home runs to lead the San Francisco Giants over the Colorado Rockies, 4-0, today, under warm, cloudy skies in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Christian Friedrich started for the Rockies and gave up three earned runs on six hits and one walk. Scott Oberg came on in relief, with two outs in the fourth, and induced a ground ball off the bat of Joaquin Arias, to get a force out at second base, stranding two runners, but not before Bumgarner knocked in a run with a sharp single to left.
Four Giants’ pitchers, Brett Bochy, Jeremy Affeldt, Heath Hembree and Jean Machi, (9th inning) combined to retire the final twelve batters they faced. Overall, Giants’ pitching faced three batters over the minimum, with two base hits and a walk from Bumgarner, while the pen retired their twelve in order. Neither hit allowed left the infield. Matt McBride hit a ball that deflected off of the glove of Bumgarner and went to Ehire Adrianza at short, while Paul Janish bunted to Pablo Sandoval at third. At least for today, it would seem that Giants’ pitchers are ahead of Rockies’ hitters.
Eddie Butler pitched the fifth through seventh for the Rockies, allowing the fourth Giants’ run in the seventh when he walked a batter, allowed a Brandon Hicks single and then hit Tyler Graham with a pitch. Butler got out of it, allowing only one run when Kelby Tomlinson grounded into a force out, shortstop Rosell Herrera to second baseman Juan Ciraco, Nick Noonan scoring on the play.
Featuring a line-up mainly of players fighting for back-up spots, the Giants scattered ten hits, including Pence’s two homers, his first of the Cactus League games. Joaquin Arias, Brandon Hicks, Juan Perez and Ehire Adrianza each had a hit, making it a successful day for them in their efforts to compete for a spot on the roster. Of the four, only Arias has a spot locked up.
Typifying a spring training game by being anything but what you would expect, the Giants looked to be in great shape, for the shape they’re in. I would not necessarily have thought that a Rockies-Giants contest could be played in such an efficient two hours and eighteen minutes, but that’s what transpired. Just don’t expect to see a repeat once the season begins.
Meanwhile, Madison Bumgarner versus Clayton Kershaw looms closer and closer. Bumgarner stands poised at the edge of what very well could be a statement year, as in, “I have arrived.” I’d say the Rockies would agree; they’re still checking the rear-view mirror, to see what it was that him ‘em today.
Of course, it’s only spring training the haters would say. No one cares about the spring, at which point I would politely disagree. I’ll take Bumgarner’s 0.00 ERA right now, over anything else available, because if he can be this dominant this early, imagine what he could be like in September, not to mention the playoffs. Hey, I know it’s early but that’s what we do in March, besides wait for the brackets to go up for the Madness. We take what’s available and we make a big deal out of it.
Madison Bumgarner just makes the job easy.