It’s a team sport. You know it. I know it. The Giants know it. But every once in awhile Madison Bumgarner loads the whole team on his back and takes care of the job.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. Without the Giants defense yesterday, Bumgarner would have given up some runs. Stellar defense and Bumgarner’s arm kept the Cubs from scoring–at all. Bumgarner’s bat is what won the game. The thing is, Bumgarner also drove in the only run. Gregor Blanco drew a walk to lead off the fifth inning and Bumgarner’s double gave Blanco enough time to get from first to home.
It’s funny, Giants fans are not surprised when Bumgarner wins. I don’t want to say we expect it–this is baseball after all and anything can happen–but when Bumgarner takes the hill, good things usually happen.
That’s the reason I love baseball–because you never know what can happen. Friday night I was hoping Jake Peavy would surprise us with a return to his 2007 version when he was lights out. It could have happened, but it didn’t. I thought maybe Saturday would be a pitching duel, with Matt Cain and Jon Lester putting up scoreless inning after scoreless inning. Not even close. The Giants got to the Cubs bullpen early and held a four-run lead for much of the game. Surprise! that’s baseball.
I thought yesterday’s game could be the runaway game, with Giants scoring early and often. Didn’t happen. In fact that first inning, Bumgarner threw to first to get the first out of the inning and he made a lousy throw that Belt dug-out of the dirt and still kept his foot on the bag. Then with two outs Bumgarner loaded the bases with a hit by a pitch, a single and a walk. It was a scary moment. Bumgarner got out of the jam with a strikeout to end the inning.
Bumgarner settled down after the almost-disastrous first and pitched seven and two-thirds. Cory Gearrin entered in the eighth and threw one pitch to get the third out. Santiago Casilla pitched the ninth for the save. The final score was:
Giants 1, Cubs O
Of course you know what that means, right? We may have lost the first game, but we won the series, beating the best team in baseball right now. Or so they say.
Tonight’s game is on at 7:15 pm. Johnny Cueto will face the Padres again–this time at home. The game will be on CSN-BA–thank God, that means we get our announcers back–and KNBR 680. Join other Giants fans on the Facebook Game Time thread using the link below: