When our Ace, Madison Bumgarner pitches, I usually say I like our chances. And Saturday, even though we were facing the toughest team in baseball and the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, I still liked our chances.
Bumgarner did not disappoint. He’s had his struggles lately, but Saturday’s game wasn’t one of them. He went six innings and gave up two runs on five hits, ZERO walks and struck out ten. He was dealing.
The Giants scored in the first–Angel Pagan hit a double and scored when Hunter Pence reached first on a throwing error. They scored again in the fourth–Joe Panik singled and scored when Eduardo Nunez singled.
The Cubs scored in the fifth and sixth–their pitcher hit an RBI single in the fifth, and they scored by moving the line in the sixth.
My favorite run of the whole game, though, was Brandon Crawford’s in the seventh. He singled, stole second, stole third and scored on a wild pitch. He singled himself into scoring a run. Who does that?
Once our bullpen took over, it was pure Giants torture, old school style. In the seventh, with the bases loaded, the Cubs shortstop hit a line drive to right–you could hear the sharp intake of breath all the way from Chicago–but Hunter quickly moved in on it and made the catch. Kuip said exactly what I was thinking: “I think I’m gonna barf.” Torture.
My favorite defensive play was in the ninth. Will Smith walked the Cubs lead off hitter and Santiago Casilla took over. The next hitter attempted a sac bunt to third, Nunez threw to Panik who was covering first, got the out and Panik–in a really smooth heads up play–threw to Crawford who turned and tagged the runner trying to get back to second after the runner saw Buster coming to cover third. Unexpected double play. Two down, one to go.
The last Cub to the plate was their big home run slugger–36 home runs on the season–and Kuip jokingly said “the tying run is in scoring position” when he got to the plate. But he hit a soft line drive straight to short and Crawford got the third out to end the ball game. The collective sigh of relief was heard all over the bay. The final score was:
Giants 3, Cubs 2
Bumgarner pitched a great game. Personally I think he steps up when faced with the bigger challenges. I’m glad he does. Sunday’s game is another early one–they put in lights, why the heck don’t they use them? It starts at 11:20 am.Be sure to tune in to CSN-BA, TBS or KNBR 680. It’s a Johnny Cueto Sunday. Gigantes!
The Giants may be down a couple of games, but they aren’t out–there’s still plenty of baseball left and there’s still plenty of baseball in our guys. Don’t Stop Believing.
3 September 2016