Most fans and players of the San Francisco Giants knew that the team had a deeper lineup than they have in a long time. And playing in Milwaukee at Miller Park was going to be a great place to open the season. But the SF Giants exceeded all expectations on opening day by cranking out 15 hits (four of them leaving the park) and twelve runs in a 12-3 drubbing of the Milwaukee Brewers.
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It was a rather slow start to the day by starter Madison Bumgarner. Both Bumgarner and Buster Posey were hit by the flu bug, and the hurler was a little out of whack with his control. But he battled through a first inning that saw him give up a lead off single to Domingo Santana, and walk three of the next four batters the last one to Chris Carter drove in a run. But after getting Aaron Hill to ground into an inning-ending double-play, he got out of it giving up only that one run.
After Matt Duffy hit a two-run single in the top of the second, Scooter Gennett connected for a solo shot in the bottom half of the inning.
Angel Pagan got things started in the third with a walk and a steal of second. Denard Span (2-4), who drove in 5 runs on the day, singled to plate Pagan and the Giants were back up 3-2. After Posey (2-4) sungled, Brandon Belt (3-4) scored him on a line drive to left.
The Brewers were able to manage just one more run when Jonathan Villar opened the third with a solo home run. And then it was all Giants.
Span drove in his second run in the fourth by hitting a sacrifice fly to bring in Bumgarner, who had walked.
In the fifth, after Belt walked, Duffy took an inside pitch that was questionably called a strike. He then crushed a mistake up in the zone to left for a two-run bomb.
Then in the top of the eighth inning, the Giants decided that a four-run lead wasn’t enough. After a one-out walk to Brandon Crawford (1-3), and a single by pinch hitter Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan (1-4) flied out to center. Then Span turned on a 3-2 pitch and deposited it over the right field wall making it 10-3.
As his teammates were congratulating Span in the dugout, Joe Panik (1-5) joined the party by also turning on a pitch by Ariel Pena and repeated what Span had just done. And while fans were still thinking about how many times the Giants have gone back to back on opening day, Posey hit the first pitch he saw out to dead center field to make it three in a row.
At that point it was 12-3, and the team was able to do what the Golden State Warriors do in blowouts and empty their bench. Ehire Adrianza singled in his only at bat, and Trevor Brown was able to get some time behind the dish on opening day.
Hunter Strickland and Josh Osich finished things off in the eighth and ninth and the Giants got their first win of the season. The 12 runs were the most scored by the team on opening day since 1983 (when they lost to the San Diego Padres 16-13).
Span ended to the day with 5 RBI’s and Duffy had 4.
It was an offensive explosion that this lineup is geared for. As has been said most of spring; if healthy, this team has the potential to put up numbers not seen in San Francisco for many years. All eight position players handle the bat with a contact-first approach. And if you put the ball in play, it puts the defense at a disadvantage.