SF Giants for the love of the game

San Francisco Giants v Milwaukee Brewers

MILWAUKEE, WI – APRIL 04: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants pitches in during the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day at Miller Park on April 04, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

It’s a good thing this one counts–it wasn’t just for practice and it showed. And then some.

I love baseball. I’ve loved baseball all my life. It’s games like the one the Giants played today that make people fall in love with the sport–either for the first time or all over again. And for old softies like me, it’s another reminder of why I loved the game in the first place.

BFF Vickie came over to watch the game with me and she told me a joke. It went something like this: “you know how we know baseball is America’s past time? because kissing a girl is called getting to first base, not getting the first down.”

Today’s game had a little of everything tossed in–from Madison Bumgarner issuing multiple walks and walking in a run, to back-to-back-to-back home runs by our table setters. It was a great game.

I’m not gonna lie to you, Bumgarner’s performance in the first inning gave me pause and scared me just a little. He gave up a base hit to Milwaukee’s lead-off man, walked the next guy, got a guy out on a fly ball to center, then walked the next two hitters, walking in a run. I don’t remember the last time I saw Bumgarner walk in a run. The sixth man in the line up  hit a ground ball and the defense turned a double play to end the inning. Crisis averted.

In the second inning Bumgarner gave up a home run to the lead-off hitter, then retired the side. The third inning he gave up another lead-off home run followed by a base hit before getting the next three out. He hit his stride in the fifth with three up–three down on three consecutive strike outs. He was starting to look more like the Bumgarner we all know and love.

Let’s face it, all through spring Bumgarner hasn’t been his usual unhittable self–add to that he has been battling a flu bug–I think that’s the main reason for his tough start today. I get the feeling we’ll be seeing a return to his usual form fairly soon. He needs to work through a couple of kinks and he’ll be good as new. When his day came to an end, Bumgarner had given up three runs–two were home runs–all earned, on five hits and five walks. He struck out six.

MJS BREWERS- 01003 DeSisti Sisti De Sisti.JPG

BREWERS05 – Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett (2) is tagged out at home by San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28)during the 4th inning as the Milwaukee Brewers faced the San Francisco Giants for the home opener at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wis. on Monday, April 4, 2016. – Photo by Mike De Sisti / MDESISTI@JOURNALSENTINEL.COM

The Giants held their own on defense, like turning a double play to get Bumgarner out of that jam in the first, and Pagan’s laser shot to Buster, saving a run from scoring, but it was their offense that gave Bumgarner and the Giants relievers everything they needed to guarantee a win: run support. The Giants scored early and often–putting up runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth.

But it was in the eighth inning that they brought out the really cool stuff. With one out, Brandon Crawford drew a walk and Gregor Blanco hit a single. By the time Denard Span got to the plate, there were two out, and Span quickly went down in the count. He worked the count from 0-2 to 3-2 and smacked the ball hard enough to leave the yard for a three-run home run. Joe Panik liked the idea so much he did it too–left the yard, second deck style. Buster Posey had this look on his face that I swear, looked like he was thinking “I want one of those” and he went right out to the plate and got one, sending the first pitch outta there.

thQLZCMWHZ spanBTW–Duane Kuiper’s “IT IS OUTTAHERE” was like music to my ears. I love hearing that home run call.

Until the eighth, Matt Duffy was running away with the RBI title of the game–he had four, but Span did him one better with five. Every Giant had a hand in scoring a run or batting one in. The final score was:
Giants 12, Brewers 3

How can you help but love a game that takes you from the depths of despair to three strike outs in a row (of the opponents top of the line up no less) to a franchise first–the three consecutive home runs in the eighth were a first in franchise history–all in the span of an afternoon?

It doesn’t get any better than this folks. Anybody who says different don’t know baseball.

#weareSF             #weareGIANT                #letsgetEVEN

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