Just when you thought you’ve seen every possible way the Giants could shoot themselves in the foot, they managed to come up with something new on Saturday.
After Madison Bumgarner set the Dodgers down in order in the top of the first, Gregor Blanco opened the bottom of the frame with a double down the left-field line.
After Marco Scutaro bunted Blanco to third (we could have another blog post on WHY Scutaro feels he needs to bunt Blanco to third), Buster Posey spanked another double to score Blanco.
Then Dodgers manager Don Mattingly came out of the dugout with his lineup card in hand. Mattingly pointed out that Posey was not slotted to bat third; Pablo Sandoval was. Posey was slotted to bat fourth.
The umpires conferred and agreed. The Giants batted out of order. Posey’s double was negated, Blanco went back to third, Sandoval was ruled out, and Posey returned to bat again as the No. 4 batter. Posey then flied to right to end inning. The score was 0-0, instead of 1-0 Giants.
“I just at that point said “What else? What ELSE?” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, expressing a sentiment most Giants fans would echo.
Bochy said the mix-up was a product of a “perfect storm” of circumstances.
Circumstance No. 1
Ever since Sandoval came off the disabled list June 24, Posey had batted in the No. 3 hole in every game — nine games — until Friday’s game, when Bochy put Sandoval at No. 3 and Posey at No. 4. We can only guess he did this in an effort to get Sandoval going. If Posey is batting behind Sandoval, perhaps Sandoval gets better pitches to hit.
Circumstance No. 2
When the Giants returned home from the road trip, the team had installed an electronic display where the lineup was posted in the clubhouse. On that electronic display, it listed Posey No. 3 and Sandoval No. 4.
Bochy said the lineup he wrote up on the actual lineup card that were exchanged at home plate said Sandoval No. 3, Posey No. 4.
Circumstance No. 3
Bochy was so busy trying to finalize the All-Star selections during the day that when Posey went up to bat in the first inning, he had a brain-lock. He said he began doubting which lineup he had submitted.
“When Buster was up, actually I was telling (coach Ron Wotus), ‘Actually, I wanted Buster hitting fourth.’ I didn’t think to look at my lineup card, I thought I wrote it down wrong, because I got a little tied up with the All-Star stuff.
“And when he was getting up there to hit, I realized, I looked, I said, ‘We just hit out of order, hoping they don’t notice it.’ But they picked it up.”
Bochy later said: “I looked up there and I thought I was losing it (when Posey went up to hit). I wanted to flip-flop those guys. At that point I should’ve looked at my card just to verify it, but I thought, well, inadvertently I went back to (Posey) in the 3-hole.”
Luckily, the lost run didn’t come back to haunt the Giants largely because of gifts they got from from the Dodgers in the second inning.
- Brandon Belt was hit by a pitch
- Andres Torres reached on an infield single when Hanley Ramirez took too much time to throw to first.
- Brandon Crawford reached on an error when Nick Punto’s throw to force Torres at second drew Ramirez off the bag.
- Madison Bumgarner walked to score the first run.
- Blanco got another infield single when Punto got to the ball, but tried to flip the ball to Ramirez at second toss the ball behind his back, and it went wrong. That scored the second run.
- Marco Scutaro’s sacrifice fly scored the third run.
That would be enough for Madison Bumgarner and the bullpen.
And now the Giants will try to steal Game 3 on Sunday against Clayton Kershaw. Let’s just hope they get the lineup right.