I was all set to write a glowing review of Madison Bumgarner's opening day start, but there was little glowing about it. In fact, I was rather depressed part way through the game, asking myself - how can these guys be so unready to play?
Madison did not look sharp. He walked batters in the first and second innings, and threw 40 pitches between the two. The Giants, meanwhile, were letting Brandon McCarthy set them down with ease. In the third, Brandon Crawford broke the drought with the Giants' first hit, and then scored the first run on Angel Pagan's rbi double. Madison looked a little better in the third, but the Giants conspired to lose this thing in the fourth. Belt error, Sandoval error and a single to load the bases. Another single scored two. Then a couple of outs before Aaron Hill doubled home two more runs to make it 4 - 1 Arizona. In all of that, no earned runs were charged to Madison Bumgarner although he was now up to 78 pitches.
In the fifth, the Giants were able to chip away. Michael Morse walked and Brandon Crawford's second hit of the game, a good looking double, sent him to third. Morse scored on a Gregor Blanco ground out, batting for Madison at the bottom of the order. Arizona tacked on two more in the bottom of the fifth, to make it 6 - 2, again on Giants lack of defense, this time off of Yusiermo Petit. Then in the sixth, Brandon Belt, up to now useless in two at bats, crushed one into the right field stands with no runners on to make it 6 - 3, but of course the snakes' Goldschmidt and Trumbo combined for a run to make it 7 - 4. The snakes appear to have some pretty good hitters with those two and Montero. This was the point at which I was not having fun. Mike Krukow later remarked that the Giants should have been charged with six errors, and that didn't include the mental ones.
But they must believe in themselves, or something like that. They got really a whole bunch of hits, mostly with two outs, and including some flukey ones in the seventh to score 4 and tie the game at 7. Hits from Morse, Adrianza in an impressive at bat, Pagan, Belt, Sandoval and a walk issued by Brad Ziegler to Hunter Pence.
How about some late drama? In the ninth, the snakes' new closer, Addison Reed, induced Pagan to fly out. Belt singled, but Sandoval K'ed on a slider inside. Buster the man was having no losses today, however and hit a very big fly into the left field bleachers (actually, it looked to hit the scoreboard hanging from the upper deck in left in that oddly-configured park. The Giants up 9 - 7, even though Sergio Romo gave up a home run to start the season with a save and a horrendous 9.00 era. Machi got the win, and he looked great with a fork ball or split or both. Sometimes, I guess you get lucky. Sloppy, but a win is a win, and I have to say that the offense seems like they have confidence, or savvy or something. They kept scrapping and it paid off. Go get 'em, Matt.