Madison Bumgarner had his 24th birthday yesterday, August 1. Barely 24! Today he got his 11th win in a 4 - 1 Giants victory over Tampa Bay. He should have at least 15 wins by now, but, well you know the Giants. Long-time Giants' nemesis Joe West tried to give a tense pitchers' duel away with a bad call on "bunt single" in the third inning that allowed Jose Robaton to take third, and then score on a Ben Zobrist single. You know how usually you look at a replay and see that, even if the umpire blew the call, it was pretty close and you can see how it could have been ruled the way it was? This was not one of those times. Not sure if it would have made a difference in the run, it turned out to be Tampa Bay's only one. Madison's line: 7 innings, 112 pitches, 11 K!, 3 BB, 1 run.
The Giants were facing Chris Archer, a young pitcher in just his first full year with Tampa. He is actually older than Madison Bumgarner. He pretty much kept the Giants off balance, and did not give up a hit until the 3rd, when Brandon Belt singled. He did not give up another hit until the 5th, when Brandon Belt cleanly stroked a home run to right center. Chris Archer throws heat, and he was throwing some today, which confused me a bit. The rap on Brandon Belt was that he was not getting around on fastballs, and that it what it looked like a lot in the past couple weeks. I don't know how a batter can get into the major leagues without hitting fastballs. Today he looked like he was waiting on fastballs, and then hitting them hard. So, with the game-tying rbi under his belt, Belt belted a triple for what proved to be the game-winning rbi. In the 7th, Hunter Pence managed an infield single to get on base, and Belt tripled to bring him home. Brandon Crawford, wanting to get in on the act, homered right after for the Giants 3rd and 4th runs. Gregor Blanco probably saved a couple of runs and helped keep Madison in the game with a running catch in deep center in the 5th. Not sure Roger the K should be batting in the 5 hole. Tampa Bay may have a depressing looking, soulless stadium, but they are a very, very good team. 3 wins in a row! I'm feeling giddy.