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Sunday, April 02, 2017

2016 problems carry over in SF '17 opener

Well guys, that was a big letdown to say the least. Opening day 2017 came and went for the Giants Sunday afternoon, and they let one getaway, much like they did to end the 2016 season in the playoffs.

The Giants cruised through the first 5 innings, as it was the Madison Bumgarner show. He was striking out D-Back hitters with regularity and inducing weak contact to the tune of 5 perfect frames. Not to mention, he helped himself bit time at the plate by hitting 2 jacks in the game. However, with a 3-0 lead and perfect game in-tact heading to the bottom of the sixth, it was all downhill for the Giants. Madbum had a rough 6th inning as he got put into the stretch for the first time and left the ball up to a few hitters who did not miss. The D-Backs ended up tying the game in the 6th but MadBum gave the Giants the lead back in the 7th with his second home run and finished off his night with a strong 7th inning. Take away that rough sixth, and you couldn't have asked for a better outing from MadBum.

However, the Giants bullpen, as I predicted over the winter, throughout spring and in our season previews, didn't do much to improve their mid-relief and set-up corps from last years squad. Yes they did get themselves what they hope will be an ace closer but it didn't even happen for Melancon on Sunday afternoon either. Derek Law surrendered the lead in the 8th, only for the Giants to reclaim it in the 9th, only for Melancon to cough it right back up in the bottom of the inning and ultimately blow the save. It was uncharacteristic to say the least for Melancon and certainly not what you hoped for out of the Giants bullpen as a whole to start the 2017 season. It was an eerily similar feel to the way things were going at the end of 2016 and all we can hope is that it was just opening day jitters. Yes, this pen is better than last year's bunch, just because they have that clear-cut ace closer, but nobodies invincible and Melancon is human (as Krukow eluded to in the postgame show). Still, it's the bunch between the starters and Melancon that still has me worried.

There's not much else to say about the game, it was a disappointment. Besides Bumgarner being his typical awesome self, the Giants got nice outputs from Eduardo Nunez, Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford that helped them put together their runs aside from MadBum's jacks. They played good defense and scored enough runs to win most nights (5), so this one falls on the pen, which allowed 7 hits and 2 runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Anyway, I don't wanna beat a dead horse, and I'm staying optimistic that things will improve as guys settle in. Melancon probably had the juices flowing at an extra-high level being it his first regular season appearance after signing the biggest contract of his life and joining a new team. Also, it was Derek Law's first opening day in the bigs so I'm sure his adrenaline was in overdrive as well and that should mellow out in the coming days. Hopefully things get better in the coming days as the adrenaline wears down but it also wouldn't completely surprise me to see inconsistency continue to haunt the middle relief and set-up corps in this bullpen.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 1:21 AM, Anonymous TimmyTurner said…

    Heartbreaker... Exactly like last game of NLDS. Melancon is like 32 so maybe his best days are behind him? Jeeze I hope not after they paid him all that money.


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