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It’s been a while for moresplashhits, but the Giants’
postseason run has compelled us to start posting again. Call it therapeutic.
GAME 3 VICTORY: Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Braves was the
first for the Giants in a Game 3 of a Division Series. The Giants entered the
game 0-4 in Game 3s – vs. Marlins 1997 (completing sweep); vs. Mets 2000 (Benny Agbayani); vs. Braves in
2002; and vs. Marlins in 2003 (Jose Cruz Jr. drops fly ball). In fact, in all
of the above series, the Giants also lost Game 2. Oh, and in Game 4? The Giants
BUM ON THE BUMP: Madison Bumgarner takes the mound Monday in
Game 4. While Sunday’s win was a big win, winning Monday also is important.
While Sunday’s win ensured that the Giants will at the very least return to San
Francisco on Wednesday, winning Game 4 is important to set up the rotation for
the NLCS. The Phillies have clinched and now can set up their NLCS rotation. If
Lincecum has to pitch in Game 5, it means he wouldn’t likely be available to
pitch in the NLCS until Game 3 if the Giants advance.
The Braves will counter with Derek Lowe in Game 4 on short
rest. Bumgarner pitched better on the road than at home this season, going 6-3
with a 1.91 ERA on the road.
WHAT’S UP WITH SERG? In the first three games In the series,
Giants starting pitchers have allowed 1 earned run (Sanchez was charged with
one of the runs that scored on Eric Hinske’s two-run homer Sunday). Sergio Romo
has made two appearances in the series and given up two singles and a home run
in 2/3 of inning. Romo has been a solid setup man for Brian Wilson all season,
but has faltered so far in this series.
It just goes to show how the difference between success and
failure is razor-thin. Romo got ahead of Hinske. Hinske was way out in front on
a couple of pitches, and it looked like Hinske might just ground weakly into
into inning-ending double play. Instead, Hinske kept fouling off pitches, which
enabled him to get a mistake from Romo and hit the home run.
Romo did get out of the rest inning with no trouble, so
there shouldn’t be any reason not to go to him again if the situation calls for
More Splash Hits spent the afternoon watching Giants pitching prospect Madison Bumgarner toss another solid outing in the Fresno Grizzlies’ 4-2 win over the Portland Beavers in Portland.
Also Sunday, we learned something new about Bumgarner: He’s got opposite-field power.
Bumgarner (1-1) gave up one run on four hits and three walks in five innings of work, earning the victory. He struck out three. Bumgarner also hit an opposite-field home run to right field off the Beavers’ Josh Geer in the third inning.
Bumgarner was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the sixth after throwing 99 pitches.
The first two batters to single off Bumgarner on Sunday were erased when the left-hander picked them both off first base — Luis Durango in the first and Craig Stansberry in the second.
The third hit Bumgarner allowed was debatable. In the third, Sean Kazmar hit a chopper over the bag at third. Fresno’s Brad Boyer made a nice play to field the ball, but his throw was low and first basemen Brett Pill could corral the ball. It was ruled a hit. I might have scored it otherwise, but no one asked.
The lone run came in the fifth, when Chris Stewart drew a leadoff walk, was sacrificed to second and scored on Durango’s single to center.
Bumgarner had some difficulty locating his off-speed pitches, leading to some deep counts. Also, the Beaver hitters did a good job of fouling off two-strike pitches to prolong some at-bats and make Bumgarner work harder. Still, his fastball was consistently in the low 90s all afternoon, topping out several times at 93 mph on the stadium radar.
The Grizzlies belted three home runs: Bumgarner, Pill and Mike McBryde.
Catcher Buster Posey was 1 for 4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
Amid the Giants offensive slump — three runs in three games — I thought it would be a good time to share some good news.
Madison Bumgarner had his first solid outing of 2010 on Monday night.
The left-hander gave up one earned run over six innings of work in a 3-2 win over the Portland Beavers. He struck out three and walked one. He also gave up an unearned run — unearned because he committed an error on a pickoff throw to first.
The error led to the unearned run. The earned run came on a home run. His fastball was clocked as high as 94 mph on the stadium gun.
“I felt like I pitched a lot better,” said Bumgarner, who came into the game with an ERA over 14.00. “Even last time out felt better, but this was my best start of the spring or the season so far.”
But Bumgarner didn’t get the win, because like the big-league counterparts, the Fresno hitters didn’t score enough runs for him.
So if he ever gets back to San Francisco, Bumgarner will fit right in with the rest of the Giant pitchers
Madison Bombgarner, er, we mean, Bumgarner, had another rough outing for the Fresno Grizzlies on Wednesday.
The Giants’ 2010 roster began to take better shape on Tuesday, when the team optioned pitchers Madison Baumgarner and Joe Martinez to Triple-A Fresno.
The Giants made the decision Tuesday to take pressure off their young left-hander after became clear that he was not ready to take over the No. 5 spot in the rotation. Now he can go to Fresno and focus on getting ready to pitch for the season.
Bumgarner lost control and some velocity this spring. And his struggles this spring were in part due to him trying to work on his mechanics.
The Giants, and Bumgarner, hope his velocity returns in Fresno.
Martinez also was sent down to Triple-A camp. Elbow inflammation had kept Martinez off the mound most of this month. And although he reported no problems in recent bullpen sessions, the time lost clearly put him behind others in his preparation for the season. And with other pitchers doing so well, it was an easy decision to send Martinez down
FRANDSEN, LEWIS OUT? Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday that the Giants have been shopping infielder Kevin Frandsen and outfielder Fred Lewis this spring.
The indication is that neither player fits in the Giants’ regular-season plans, as the Giants appear to prefer Matt Downs as their backup infielder and Andres Torres and Eugenio Velez in the outfield.
Frandsen still has a minor-league option. But the Giants might look for a fresh start for him.
Lewis, on the other hand, is out of options. And if they can’t find a trade partner, the Giants also may be out of options with Lewis.
It’s looking more and more like Madison Bumgarner will open the season at Triple-A Fresno, the 20-year-old left-hander said he was encouraged by his outing Saturday against the Angels’ Triple-A players.
Bumgarner said he regained some velocity in Saturday’s outing.
“I threw a lot of low strikes and felt like the ball was jumping a lot better,” Bumgarner told the San Jose Mercury News. “It was a big difference.”
Bumgarner had been causing some Giants faithful concern with his pitches clocking in the 88 mph range. Last spring, he had been hitting up around 94 mph. There were no radar gun readings from Saturday’s outing, but catcher Steve Holm claimed Bumgarner’s pitches were clearly in the 90s Saturday.
The results from Saturday’s game were not great. Bumgarner gave up five runs (four earned) on four hits and a walk in four innings. He also notched his first two strikeouts of the spring.
But Holm must of the hits Bumgarner allowed came on his change-up, a pitch the Giants coaches have been pushing Bumgarner to throw more of this spring.
KIM CUT: The Giants granted a release to relief pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim, a long, longshot of making the club.
PANDA CUT … IN A DIFFERENT WAY: Pablo Sandoval left Friday’s game after getting spiked by Indians catcher Lou Marson when Sandoval slid at home.
Sandoval received five stitches to close the cut. He should be back in the lineup Monday or Tuesday.
30 CLUBS IN 30 DAYS: The Giants edition of “30 Clubs in 30 Days” airs at 7 p.m. PDT Sunday on the MLB Network.
As players began to report to Arizona for spring training, Giants manager Bruce Bochy indicated Tuesday that non-roster invitee Todd Wellemeyer will be allowed with 20-year-old Madison Bumgarner and others for the team’s No. 5 rotation spot.
“It makes it more competitive when you sign a guy like Wellemeyer, I
think it’s fair to say. There are no givens here,” Bochy told the Associated Press. “We think
a lot of Madison, but you always want depth. It is always good to have
Hmmm, perhaps Bochy was reading posts on moresplashhits.