The worst thing about Opening Day is that everything is exaggerated.
A good game makes people think that the entire season is going to be wonderful. And bad game makes people fear the worst.
Friday’s season opener in Arizona was a mixed bag for the Giants, and in particular, Tim Lincecum.
The Diamondbacks jumped on Lincecum for two homers and three runs in the first inning. But then the Freak settled in to strike out five over the next four scoreless innings.
But a leadoff double by Justin Upton set the stage for the decisive sixth inning, which turned on an error by Buster Posey.
After Miguel Montero’s loud fly out to right sent Upton to third and Paul Goldschmidt walked, Jason Kubel had a swinging bunt in front of the plate. Posey went to pounce the bouncer but failed to field it cleanly, and Kubel was able to beat the throw to first.
Ryan Roberts followed a two-run double into the left-field corner that proved to be the game-winner.
If Posey fields Kubel’s nubber, it could have changed how Lincecum approaches Roberts with two outs and first base open.
Instead, the Giants were two down heading into the ninth and could only manage one run off closer JJ Putz on Pablo Sandoval’s two-out double.
- Trying to put a good spin on a loss, the Giants did manage 11 hits and 4 runs. In the game, they hit .297 as a team. But a few hits were good-luck knocks. Aubrey Huff was off-balance when he reached across the plate and pulled a soft looper into right field for a single. Pablo Sandoval turned an emergency hack into an infield single to third. And Ryan Theriot got an infield single off the glove of pitcher Ian Kennedy.
- Still there were good efforts. Melky Cabrera was 2 for 5 with a two-run laser home run in the sixth. Buster Posey was 2 for 4 with a walk.
- Ah yes, the walk. The Giants only managed two in the game. Posey’s first-inning walk when Kennedy clearly decided to go after Huff with Cabrera on second and two out. Huff acquiesced by flying out to center. The other walk was to Lincecum in the second, and Angel Pagan responded by swinging at THE FIRST PITCH from Kennedy and popping to short.
- The bullpen was solid. Guillermo Mota, Jeremy Affledt and Clay Hensley gave up just one hit and one walk in 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
Madison Bumgarner takes the mound against Daniel Hudson in a 1 p.m. game Saturday that will be televised live on Fox.