Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Game Wrap 9/19/2016: Dodgers 2 Giants 1

The Giants bullpen descended into the realm of black comedy with yet another 9'th inning meltdown to spoil what might have been Madison Bumgarner's finest start of the season.  Key Lines:

Eduardo Nunez- 1 for 4, SB(38).  BA= .289.  Nunez manufactured a run on his own in the 3'rd inning starting with a 2-out single.  He stole 2B and went to 3'rd on a throwing error by Yasmani Grandal then scored on a passed ball.  It was the only run of the game until the fateful 9'th inning.

Madison Bumgarner- 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K's.  ERA= 2.57.  Great game by Bumgarner. You have to wonder if the dustup between him and Puig in the 7'th might have distracted the bullpen, although they got through the 8'th inning just fine.  At any rate, Bummy, you've got to just look away, walk to the dugout and drill him in the ribs the next time you face him.

Bullpen- Will Smith got 2 outs in the 8'th.  Derek Law got the 3'rd.  Bochy left Law in to start the 9'th like a lot of fans wanted him to on Saturday.  Law promptly gave up a leadoff single to PH Andrew Toles.  Bochy went for the L-L matchup, bringing in Javier Lopez to face Corey Seager who also singled putting runners at 1'st and 3'rd with no outs.  Bochy brought in Strickland and you knew it was pretty much over at that point.  I mean, if he didn't have enough faith in Strickland to let him start the 9'th, what made him think he could salvage THAT situation?  Strickland gave up an opposite field single to Justin Turner to tie the score then a double to AGone for the game winner.  The only surprise there being it wasn't a walk off HR.

This has now gone way beyond manager decisions or a slumping closer.  The Giants entire bullpen appears to be emotionally intimidated by the 9'th inning.  Pitchers who have no problem in the 6'th, 7'th and 8'th innings can't get an out in the 9'th.  I'm not sure what they have to do to get out of it, but it might be already too late for this season.  I say forget the matchup thing.  It's clearly not working.  Pick a pitcher, Smith, Law, Gearrin, Cain, Nathan, Peavy.  Whoever you feel is the current best option left, give them the ball and tell them the inning is their's, for better or worse with nobody warming up behind them.  If it works, great.  If it doesn't, well, it's no worse than the current results and you have the offseason to work on a solution.


The loss dropped the Giants 6 games behind the Dodgers and effectively out of the NL West Division race.  The Mets lost and the Cardinals won so the Giants remain 1 game behind the Mets for first Wild Card playoff spot and are tied with the Cardinals for the second spot.


Johnny Cueto faces Rich Hill tomorrow evening in Game 2 of the series.


  1. John Miller mentioned on a NBC Bay Area telecast that Paul Goldschmdt questioned if Casilla was no longer closer, who else can they go to? That tells me that opposing hitters don't fear facing other Giants relievers in the 9th inning. I feel sorry for Bochy since his options appear to be limited to closing games. What a shame Madbum didn't win tonight.


  2. Unless the bats come alive and the bullpen shores up and pitches like we thought it would at the beginning of the season, then this is basically the end. Evans (and Sabs) are going to have to spend a lot of money, and I mean a lot, on one of the big three closers ( Or trade for a hidden gem or established closer on someone else's team which would further deplete its farm system.), because a lot of teams will be bidding for them. They might even look for another setup relief pitcher. Nunez needs to stay in the leadoff spot. That guy is a gamer and a spark plug. MadBum pitched great, but I agree with you, he needs to control his emotions better.

  3. At this point, I just want the Giants to put themselves and us fans out of our misery. This team can't go anywhere in the playoffs anyway if the bullpen can't close out games.

    It's just depressing when you think about all the wins the bullpen has turned into losses over the past month, not to mention the entire season.

  4. Not to minimize the pitching failures of late, inconsistent outbursts of scoring do not mask the abysmal offensive failure of most of the position players since July 10th in scoring.
    The team has gone from 11th (of 30) in runs scored to 29th from pre ASG to post. Only the Phillies have scored fewer runs since the break.
    The few and far between bright spots (Pagan has found a little power, Span is hitting a little better, Nunez is a spark, Hernandez in limited appearances has shone) are overshadowed by a day-to-day battle to score runs, to take pressure off the rotation, the relievers, and the closers. They all have no margin for failure.
    Is it possible that the momentum can change? Haven't we thought things would get better everyday since that ill fated roadtrip befinning July 15th? How can darn near everyone fail so consistently? I remember when things have "clicked" as the season has worn on, but not such a team wide funk developing under proven management.
    Is there an answer?

  5. While I do feel somewhat bad for Bochy in that his bullpen choices are limited right now, I also think he still has some accountability in using what he does have. He even said it himself but he tends to overthink. He's still trying to mix and match like the pitchers can execute as they have in the past and clearly they cannot. Just leave Law out there to finish the inning even if he gave up a hit. He is still a better option than what else he had down in the pen.

    Billy Baseball

  6. What's the record for blown saves in a season and how many games ago did we set it?

  7. As long as the 9th inning appears to me an emotional train-wreck that has bad juju, I would go with Nathan. I know he blew a save earlier in the month, but, while he may be more hittable with a decrease in movement and velocity, I think his track record indicates he isn't intimidated by the moment. Just my two cents - even if Nathan blows some saves, at least the younger guys don't go into 2017 feeling like complete and utter failures, we need them to bounce back for the future.