Another Day at the Office
A San Francisco Giants split-squad defeated the Milwaukee Brewers today, 4-3, in Scottsdale, in a game that featured several bright spots for the Giants, and few telling negatives. Both Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong pitched two scoreless innings apiece, each facing one batter over the minimum, while Ehire Adrianza continued his bid to snare an infield spot on the opening day roster, by hitting a triple in the third and going on to score on Angel Pagan’s sacrifice fly.
Going into the bottom of the seventh, it was an uncharacteristically tight contest for a spring training game. With only one walk surrendered by each side, it was a veritable pitching duel, with the Brewers sending four pitchers through their outings, while the Giants paraded five through their paces. However, when Jose De La Torre started out the seventh, he walked Chris Dominguez, hit Mac Williamson with a pitch, and walked Mark Minicozzi, who got on base all three times he was up, including a solo home run to start the Giants’ scoring. With the bases now loaded, Adrianza reached first on a fielding error by second baseman Eugenio Velez, with Dominguez scoring. Gregor Blanco then flied out to center field, while Williamson scored the final Giants run.
The Brewers made it interesting in the ninth, when they scored two off of George Kontos, the big hit, a run-scoring triple off the bat of Hector Gomez, with Matt Pagnozzi adding an RBI single. Kevin Mattison popped out to end the threat, so ultimately, Kontos was able to dig himself out of his own predicament.
One of the highlights was the entry of Brett Bochy into the game in the fifth. I find the theatrics of having a father/son tandem in the yard to be one of the most interesting subplots to this spring training. Of course this is not Brett’s first big league camp, and that makes it even juicier. How will this dynamic play out over the next couple of seasons? How would Bochy Sr. handle his own kid? Brett did provide one electric moment, but it was only a delivery of his that Caleb Gindl launched over the wall, hitting the screen which prevented it from leaving the building and landing in the next time zone practice field.
Another stellar point for me was hearing Jon Miller describe Madison Bumgarner’s pitches. Unlike Sergio Romo on Wednesday, who stuck to fastballs and change-ups, avoiding his signature slider, Bumgarner was throwing cut fast balls, off-speed stuff, and breaking pitches, which tells me that he is ahead of his game. Along the same lines, Ryan Vogelsong gave up an opening triple to Jeff Bianchi, and then proceeded to get out of the inning without further damage.
In terms of position battles, Tony Abreu went 0 for 3, hitting into a double play, while Ehire Adranza went 1 for 3, with a triple and a run-producing grounder. Neither Tyler Colven, Gregor Blanco, nor Roger Kieschnick garnered a base hit among them.
It was actually an entertaining game with even a little tension at the end, especially when you consider it was a split-squad affair.