The scene at AT&T Park was not pretty last night as the San Francisco Giants lost their 5th straight game. Home has most certainly not been sweet this month. After getting swept by the Dodgers over the weekend, the Giants were looking for something to change their luck. With their ace, Madison Bumgarner on the mound, they had as good a chance as they were going to get. Unfortunately, Bumgarner didn’t have his “stuff” and the Pirates Vance Worley pitched a complete game, shutting out the Giants out 5-0.
You probably don’t want to know more than that, but if you’re a glutton for punishment, I’ll continue.
I won’t sugar coat Bumgarner’s pitching. It was not good. He lasted 4 innings (and probably only that long so the bullpen didn’t get extra taxed). He gave up 6 hits and 5 earned runs. He was not sharp. He had no stuff. He looked tired. The announcers tried to make excuses like no break over the All-Star Game, and the rain delay in Philly. I’ll buy that to some degree, but let me remind you of this: Bumgarner has not pitched well at AT&T Park this season.
Home ERA: 5.60
Away ERA: 1.75
He’s like the exact opposite of Barry Zito last season. If you look at his career at AT&T Park however, it’s a big closer with 3.30 (Home) and 3.00 (Away). So, there may be hope still for this season. But he’s Bumgarner. He’s our ace, and I’ll allow him a bad game, especially when his teammates aren’t doing much to help him out.
As for his teammates, they managed just four hits during the entire game, and two of those hits were from Pablo Sandoval. Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco got a hit a piece. Granted, there were some hard hit balls, but the Pirates played good defense. But that’s still no excuse.
I can’t say much else about the hitting except its terrible right now, just plain and simple.
And defense? Well, the Giants had two errors in the game. A throwing error by Bumgarner on a pickoff and a catching error by Posey. But that’s not even the worst of it. Plays they were making early in the season, particularly Brandon Crawford, are just flying by them. They’re just not as sharp defensively as they should be.
The silver lining of the game was the bullpen. They had to pitch 6 innings, and they did it near flawlessly. In fact, they only allowed one baserunner on a hit allowed in the 9th inning. I began to wonder if the bullpen should have pitched the whole game.
But, it was a game to shake off. Vance Worley truly was the player of the game, and pitched wonderfully. He ended the game with exactly 100 pitches. How about that?