All the zany antics the Giants fans were treated to in Saturday’s game were missing from Sunday’s game, but Sunday’s game was no less exciting. The reason for the excitement was our All∗Star, World Series Champion Ace-Madison Bumgarner. He came within a nose of pitching the perfect game.
Of course, I always remind you what our great former leader Frank Robinson said in 1973: “Close don’t count in baseball. Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades.” He’s right. The whole idea still made me nervous. Through the third inning, Bumgarner faced nine batters and sent them all packing with five strike outs and four ground outs. In the fourth inning, though, I got kind of a tingling feeling when Bumgarner fanned the side in order. I thought maybe, just maybe…
In the fifth inning, a ball was hit out to right field and Gregor Blanco tracked it down. You remember the amazing catch Blanco made for Cain’s perfect game? This wasn’t anything like that. Blanco dropped the ball and got charged with an error. Perfect game gone, but no-hitter still intact.
Bumgarner kept the no-hitter until the top of the eighth, when he allowed a one-out single. He induced a grounder from the next hitter and the defense turned a double play. The no-hitter was gone, but he still had a shut out going. In the ninth, he walked the lead off man, but got the next guy out with a pop up and the third guy with a grounder for another nicely turned double play.
Bumgarner shut out the Snakes. He struck out 14. He allowed just one hit and walked one hitter. He pitched a complete game. No bullpen required.
Even though he lost his bid for the perfect game, Bumgarner will always be the perfect Giants pitcher in my book.
The Giants offense got busy right away. In the first, Denard Span hit a single, Angel Pagan followed with a double and Buster Posey got a base hit, scoring Span. Pagan scored on Brandon Crawford’s sac fly, earning Crawford his 59th RBI.
The Giants struck again in the seventh with a single by Belt, a single by Posey and a double from Crawford. He gets two more RBI’s for scoring Belt and Posey. Make that RBI total 61. That’s ok, Terry Collins apparently doesn’t need the best defensive shortstop-who’s not bad at the plate either-in the NL when he takes on the AL Tuesday. Good for him.
We ended the half on a high note. We swept the DBacks with this win and we take the best record in baseball into the half. The final score was:
Giants 4, Arizona 0
We’re off until Friday when we open a three game series in San Diego. Our All∗Stars won’t have to travel far. Neither will Bochy.
I’m taking the week off. I’m gonna work on world peace. I’ll let you know how I do.