Madison Bumgarner went six innings, allowed three runs on six hits and struck out nine in a performance that failed to earn him his first win of the season. While the outing did qualify Bum for his third quality start of the season, it was an outing far below his usual dominant standards.
Bumgarner worked out of a first inning jam then looked excellent until the fourth inning. With one out, Carlos Gonzalez singled to center and set the table for Trevor Story, who jumped on the first pitch he saw and launched a two run bomb over the left field fence.
“I’d certainly like to have it back,” Bumgarner said of the pitch he threw to Story. “I didn’t make a whole lot of good pitches tonight.”
Despite his less than dominant stuff, the Rocks would score just once more off of Bumgarner (which probably say’s more about Bum’s stuff than a great day on the mound would). Thanks to base hits from LaMahieu and Arenado in the sixth, Colorado had runners at first and second with nobody out. Bumgarner got Gonzalez to fly out center, but LaMahieu moved over to third on the play. Mark Reynolds then singled to center, scoring LaMahieu. Bumgarner was able to work out of the inning without any more scoring, but the damage was done.
On the other side, San Francisco had trouble generating any offense at all. Though Colorado starter Jon Gray left the game in the fourth due to a foot injury, the Giants were almost hitless for most of the game. They had just one base knock until they rallied in the seventh off of reliever Chris Rusin who had come on in relief for Gray in the fourth. Belt led off the inning with a single up the middle that broke up an 0-18 he’d been working on for several games (LeMahieu dove and got some leather on it, nearly robbing Belt of the hit… Lord knows what Belt would have done). A fielder’s choice put Hunter Pence on first, before Conor Gillaspie singled to right, which brought Eduardo Nunez to the plate with runners at first and third. The Rockies would summon Adam Ottavino from the ‘pen to face the Giants shortstop. Nunez managed to lift a sac fly into left and score Pence. But Ottavino would strike out Jarrett Parker to end the inning, and the San Francisco rally before San Francisco could get anything else.
“That’s where a good long man can save you,” Bochy said of Rusin’s three innings. “They all pitched well and we just couldn’t get the bats going.”
Both bullpens were, indeed, excellent — most especially the Colorado ‘pen. Coming into the game they had a collective 1.00 WHIP (fourth in the bigs) and they continued to dominate against the Giants. Rusin and Ottavino allowed just two hits and one run in four innings of combined work. The Giants, on the other hand, gave up just one base hit in three innings of work split up between Neil Ramirez and Ty Blach.
In the ninth, Colorado brought in closer Greg Holland for what would be his sixth save of the season. The Giants threatened when Joe Panik led the inning off with a grounder up the middle that kicked off Holland’s leg, allowing Panik to reach safely. Belt then grounded into a fielder’s choice, bringing Pence to the plate. Pence, eyeballs wide, limbs flailing, tapped a slow roller to short and beat the throw, putting runners on first and second with one out. Gillaspie walked, loading the bases for Nunez. But Holland got Nunez to ground into a game ending 4-6-3 double play.
“All you can do is take a good swing,” Bochy said. “And Nunez did that… We just needed a break there and we didn’t get it… We owe ourselves two or three comebacks.”
Replay review also bit the Giants in the behind and possibly led to a busted inning when Nunez appeared to reach after Reynolds’ foot slipped off first base while he dug out a low throw from Arenado. Nunez was called out on the play, and the umpires in New York found no compelling evidence to overturn the call. After the game, Reynolds confessed he felt he was off the bag. I’m not sure if that makes fans feel any better about the call, but hey, that’s baseball.