You might as well change the San Francisco Giants’ nickname to “The Janitors.” They’re doing an awful lot of sweeping lately—this time, it was against the Brewers, and it marked their third in the month of May.
After spending the weekend drowning in Denver and walking away with a series split, the G-Men washed ashore in Milwaukee—the city that made beer famous. Two things Miller Park has going for it: sausage races and a roof. No more rain, and better yet, no more rain delays.
Monday was Memorial Day, so both teams played with military camouflage accents on their uniforms to honor the nation’s fallen soldiers. It made me proud to see America’s game honor America’s heroes.
The Brewers got on the board right away with a home run in the first and the Giants countered when Nori Aoki fired a solo shot in the third to even the score. The Brew Crew struck again with another bomb in the fifth with a man on base, widening their lead.
I have to be honest…I was getting a little nervous. Tim Lincecum pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs, all of them earned (and three on homers) with three walks. To tell you the truth, I was getting tired of seeing Bernie Brewer going up and down that silly slide.
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I don’t know why I was worried—after all, it was only five innings, and we’re talking about the Giants. They staged a rally in the sixth that would have had Bernie Brewer’s head spinning if he had to slide for the other side. But he didn’t. Still, there were runs. Lots of them. They scored insurance runs on insurance runs.
After the inning was through, the Giants had tacked on seven with a total of six hits, two walks and two errors.
San Francisco also welcomed Hunter Strickland back to the bigs after DFA’ing Casey McGehee to clear a spot, and he was lights out for 2 1/3—seven up, seven down.
Final score: Giants 8, Brewers 4
I wasn’t worried about Tuesday’s game—I never am when Bumgarner is on the bump.
His outing wasn’t as crisp as his usual stuff, but he got the job done. And if it were any other pitcher we’d all be singing his praises at the top of our lungs.
I think, as fans, most of us hold Bumgarner to superhuman standards. He pitched six innings and gave up three runs on four hits while striking out three. And because he’s Bumgarner, he pitched in on offense. He drew a walk and ended up scoring a run on Joe Panik’s RBI double in the third, in addition to getting a base hit on a ground ball to left in the fourth.
Bumgarner and Panik weren’t the only Giants working the offense. Hunter Pence kicked off the scoring with a solo homer in the first, Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco hit back-to-back doubles followed by Matt Duffy’s two-run bomb in the fourth and Brandon Belt finished it off with a jack in the seventh.
When it comes to defense, you have to give it to Crawford. There aren’t many better. Actually, I’m going to go out on a limb and say there aren’t any better when it comes to defensive shortstops. He’s pretty good on offense this year too, and that’s putting it mildly. But I digress.
On Tuesday he made a diving catch and—I kid you not—he was perpendicular to the field. Crawford snatched the ball clean out of the air—stealing a hit, saving a run and ending the inning. It was spectacular.
The bullpen pitched three scoreless to finish the game.
Sergio Romo’s at-bat was priceless—his job was to stand in the box and let pitches fly by. He was a huge success, getting called out on strikes. It’s OK—you can be sarcastic when you’re ahead.
Final score: Giants 6, Brewers 3
Wednesday was get-away day, and Ryan Vogelsong took the bump for the Giants, pitching very well of late. In fact, I think he’s made a good argument for reclaiming his spot in the rotation after Jake Peavy or Matt Cain comes back. This game was no exception, starting out as an old-fashioned pitchers duel, with Vogey gritting through six innings of one-run ball.
Both teams were scoreless through three before the Brewers put tallied a run in the fourth. The Giants responded in the fifth with Aoki reaching on a ground ball single to left and Panik bringing him home with a two-run rocket to the right-field bleachers. Angel Pagan added on with a double in the ninth, ultimately scoring on a sac fly off the bat of Blanco.
The bullpen finished it out with three perfect innings, fanning five in the process.
The best part about Wednesday’s game? The Giants never—not once—allowed Bernie to ride the slide.
Final score: Giants 3, Brewers 1
The Giants sweep again! I’m afraid we’re going to get spoiled with all of this sweeping. But a good spoiled, right?
San Francisco heads home now to take on the Atlanta Braves. I hear they just picked up a former Giant infielder too.
No, not McGehee. OO-REE-BAY! I think we’ll be alright.