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Monday, April 04, 2016

Giants have big Opening Day, smash Brewers

Well, any minor concern there was over the rough spring training the Giants had pretty much got alleviated on Opening Day in Milwaukee on Monday. The Giants showed why they're one of the favorites to represent the NL in the World Series this year with an all-around team victory in MLB's biggest regular season game.

Things were a little up and down early in the game, as Madison Bumgarner (who was battling illness in the start) was tagged for 3 runs, including two big flies, over a trying first three innings. However, he settled down a bit and managed to make it through the required 5 innings to secure the victory. MadBum certainly wasn't as sharp as we're used to seeing the big left-hander, walking 5 hitters which is uncharacteristically high for the Giants' ace. He gets hit sometimes, but he usually doesn't beat himself and after watching him walk in that run in the first and give up two homers on 1-2 counts, I think we wall knew it was going to be a struggle. Despite the 5 free-passes, Bum did induce a big double play off the bat of Aaron Hill, which helped limit major damage, and also struck out 6 over his 5 frames and those two factors probably were the reason why he was able to hang in there and earn the victory in the end. I mean, just seeing how bad it was for Bum by the end of the third, I think we all would have gladly taken this line, which speaks volumes to his ability to buckle down as the game goes on, no matter what happens early on. Unfortunately pitch count and this being the first game of the season forced him out after just five, I'm sure had the count been 15-20 pitches lower and this been a game in June, he may have gone on to pitch 7 strong and turned this into a strong start.

Fortunately for Bumgarner though, the Giants offense came to play today, and I think that's going to be a theme we see a lot of all season long. I mean, this Giants lineup is so deep and so dynamic now with the 'two-leadoff hitter' look and all that power and strong contact throughout the middle. Although pretty much every hitter in the Giants lineup pitched in in some way, the day was really all about Denard Span and Matt Duffy. Span, making his Giants' debut after signing that 3-year deal this winter, ended up going 2-4 but drove in 5 and scored 2 runs, including the big 3-run jack that put the game out of reach in the 8th and was the first end of a back-to-back-to-back. Duffy also had a 2-hit game, while also homering and driving in 4 runs. Brandon Belt had 3 hits and Buster Posey and Joe Panik each left the yard as well. There was so much said about the depth of this Giants' lineup coming into this season and they lived up to all the hype, and some, on Opening Day.

I mean, there really isn't much more you could ask for as a Giants' fan on opening day. As it snowed in the frigid outdoors in Milwaukee, the Giants offense lit it up on the inside. But we can't forget about the awesome, four scoreless innings the bullpen combined to throw after taking over for Madison in the 6th inning. Sure, they had a comfortable lead, but a lot of times that's when bullpen's can get lazy and in an offensive yard like Miller Park, no game is ever quite out of reach, especially in the 6th/7th innings. It would have been nice to see MadBum make it a quality start and go another inning, but all else considered, I think it was a near perfect opener for the Giants, and hopefully a glimpse of whats to come in the Summer 2016! I can't wait to see Cueto and Samardzija's debuts the next two nights!
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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4 Comments:

  • At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, that was about as good as it can get for an opener. Especially with the expectations. Can't say how excited I am for Thursday. Hopefully we roll into that early season Dodger showdown at 3-0.....

     
  • At 9:43 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Well, that's two up two down so far, looking good for heading in to SF opener with 3-0 mark so long as Jeff Samardzija does his best Johnny Cueto imitation Wednesday morning. What a debut for Cueto, living right up to his MO. Easily inducing weak contact, showing uncanny control and finishing with about a k/inning which is always an indicator that his stuff is live.

    But yes, Thursday's going to be special, can't wait to be there. Peavy's gotta set the tone for his season in that one. I think it's huge for both he and Matt Cain to get some early momentum to avoid fans/media calling for changes at the back of the rotation. This Giants team has shown that, baring major injuries or unforseen collapses, they're pretty much a deep into October team or bust this year. RIght now, Peavy and Cain will be under microscopes so to speak, for their first few starts of the season. Peavy probably has some more leash than Cain, but these guys need to show more consistency than they did in 2015, or else the Giants rotaiton goes from a strength back into search mode for a more steady 4th and/or 5th guy.

     
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