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by Dr Lefty

This was my first full week as department chair, and it was a rough week, ending with a difficult Friday 3 p.m. meeting. Mr. Lefty, being the perceptive and caring husband that he is, suggested we meet for happy hour at our favorite Mexican place after I was done rather than me trudging home and cooking dinner. It was just what the doctor ordered (Dr Lefty, that is)–chips and salsa, street tacos and hombria (Sangria with a shot of tequila), arriving home just in time to watch Bumgarner and the Giants do their thing.

That Orange Friday game was also just what the doctor ordered. Shall I count the ways? Bum was crisp and masterful for six innings, other than a solo shot yielded to some A’s guy–Pinder, same guy who made a good running catch on Bum’s well-hit drive to deep left field. (This wasn’t the most important point, but I thought Bum looked great at the plate last night, much better than he has all year.)

The early part of the game was annoying, with the Ultimate Journeyman, Edwin Jackson (on his 14th different team now) setting the Giants down in order in the first three innings. Here we go again, I thought. Bum’s getting Cained, and some guy the Giants should knock around is Cy Younging them.

And then MyGuy™ Steven Duggar happened. He opened the bottom of the fourth with a lead-off double and ended up scoring on a Jackson balk, bringing back memories of…well, a guy we’d see just a few innings later.  After Pinder’s fifth-inning homer promptly tied it back up, the Giants re-took the lead in the bottom of the sixth on a clutch two-out RBI hit by Buster Posey (and oh, look, there’s Duggar scoring again)–and all of a sudden this week, as Buster counts down to cortisone, we’re getting clutch hits from him again. It feels like all is good and right when that’s happening. Bum gave up a lead-off single in the top of the seventh, walked the two Matts to load the bases, and out came Bruce Bochy…

And then MyFormerGuy™ Reyes Moronta happened. Before we get to that, we should remember some recent history. Two Bumgarner starts ago, in Coors Field, the same thing happened: he loaded the bases with none out in the seventh in a close game, Bochy hooked him, and Moronta came in to face Nolan Arenado. Moronta walked Arenado to force in a run, a second run scored on a double play, and Brandon Crawford made an error on what would have been the third out, allowing all three of Bum’s runners to score on Moronta’s watch.

But Bochy and Bum interpreted that Coors Field sequence properly. Even though Bum got a loss and some runs tacked onto his ERA, Moronta didn’t fail. Even walking Arenado there wasn’t the worst of all possible outcomes, and after that, he should have been out of the inning with minimal damage. So when Bum saw Moronta warming up in a very similar situation, he felt good, not bad, about it.

From Pavlovic’s article:

Bumgarner later told reporters that he knew he didn’t have to give in to Matt Olson or Matt Chapman, two powerful young hitters. He could keep working the corners instead of potentially leaving a game-changing pitch across the plate as his energy started to fade.

Moronta was up to the task this time, with a huge assist at third base. He struck out Pinder for the first out. Then Sandoval made a great diving grab to his right on Lucroy’s liner, nearly completing a double play to end the inning–but not quite. Moronta got pinch-hitter Nick Martini to ground harmlessly to Crawford (it was a dry Martini, you could say), and it was time for a dugout #BumHug for Moronta.


And speaking of Bumgarner’s trust, another rookie he’s been keeping an eye on, Duggar, came up huge in this game. Besides getting the first hit and scoring the first two runs, he hit the big two-run double in the bottom of the seventh that broke the game open. He ended the night with two doubles, a walk, two RBIs, and three runs scored. A few weeks ago, Alex Pavlovic dropped that a “veteran starter” had inquired about Duggar’s progress in AAA. I’d thought it might have been Jeff Samardzija, one of the unluckiest pitchers in the majors last year who was repeatedly victimized by wretched outfield defense, and who’d been bailed out of an inning in spring training by a great Duggar catch. But now it’s clear that it was Bumgarner keeping tabs on Duggar.

After the Giants broke the game open with a four-run bottom of the seventh, Sam Dyson came in and threw a four-pitch eighth, followed by a twelve-pitch ninth. If the Giants are shopping him (like they were Gearrin last week), he’s helping the cause.

All in all, it was an entertaining and very satisfying Bay Bridge rivalry win. Franchise heroes Bumgarner and Posey came up big, and so did two rookies. What’s not to like?


Can’t forget this guy

Photo credit: Bay Area News Group


It’s been just about two years since the epic Casilla balk-off loss that marked the beginning of the 2016 Giants’ second-half collapse. So it was funny/odd to see Edwin Jackson balk in the first Giants run in very similar fashion, and it got odder when Casilla himself entered the very messy bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and two runs already in. He proceeded to unload them, allowing a sac fly, a wild pitch, and an RBI double to Posey. Casilla was a great Giant for seven years, was the closer for the 2014 champions, has three rings, and made a lot of money. But last night’s game made me breathe a(nother) sigh of relief that the Casilla Era is over.


Tonight’s Game

A’s at Giants, 7:05 p.m., AT & T Park
Brett Anderson (1-2, 5.75 ERA) vs. Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 6.42 ERA)


Some of us regulars will be in the house for this one. It will be interesting to see if there’s any retribution for the hit-by-pitches received by Sandoval (who must have done something to annoy Jackson in a previous life) and Belt. We could use a nice outing by the Shark. I know the Giants have struggled against lefties, but surely they can hit this one. Let’s go ahead and get the home half of this series tonight!  Lefty out.