Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bumgarner is the man

What a guy. I remember when I was 23 -- I sure didn't have this level of maturity. Carl Steward's game story for the Merc-News does a nice job of pointing out how big Madison Bumgarner was in stopping the alarming 3-game loss streak tonight  --

Pagan's clutch hit concluded a weird night in which the Giants had numerous opportunities to break open the game, none better than in the bottom of the sixth when Brandon Belt and Blanco opened with singles and starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner pulled back a sacrifice bunt attempt and slapped the ball past hard-charging Padres third baseman Chase Headley.
But in what manager Bruce Bochy believed to be a bad bit of luck, the Padres were running the wheel play for a possible bunt, and Bumgarner's grounder went straight to shortstop Everth Cabrera as he was moving over to cover third. Cabrera tagged Belt and threw to second to force Blanco. If not for an errant throw to first by second baseman Jedd Gyorko, Bumgarner might have been out, as well, for a triple play.
"Actually, Bum did a great job there," Bochy said. "With the play they're running, there's probably a good chance he bunts into a double play. He did what you're supposed to do, he smoked the ball, but he just happened to hit right at (Cabrera). That's just bad luck."
Bumgarner agreed.
"That's what we practice and that's where you want to hit it, usually," he said. "Every time I've ever seen it hit there, it's been a hit."
The strategic misfortune could have been a deflating turn of events, particularly after Bumgarner didn't come back to pitch the seventh. He'd protected a 2-1 lead until two outs in the top of the sixth when Headley hit a solo homer.
"Looking back, it probably wasn't the best pitch to throw to him, and I shook to it, too," said Bumgarner, who allowed four hits and struck out 10. "Buster (Posey) didn't want to call it, so that's on me there."


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