PHOENIX Somewhere beyond the usual platitudes and justifications, the expected words that it was only one game and yes, baseball can be bewilderingly strange, is the unavoidable fact the Giants jerseys started the 2017 season exactly the way they ended the 2016 season: With a massive bullpen failure.
Say what you want, and what manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday was true to his character, that the Giants jerseys should have scored more, that the Arizona Diamondbacks jerseys had some good fortune “seeing eye hits,” is the phrase and that a couple of calls by the umpires could have, more specifically, should have gone the other way.
But in the end of this beginning, after one of the most remarkable opening day performances by any pitcher ever, cheap Madison Bumgarner jersey striking out 11 and hitting two home runs, it came down to the setup men and the $62 million man, the new closer, cheap Mark Melancon jersey.
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So the Giants jerseys, once in front 3 0, Mad Bum perfect against the first 16 batters he faced, squandered lead after lead, the ultimate time in the bottom of the ninth when Arizona scored twice off Melancon and won, 6 5.
Didn’t we see that routine from cheap Santiago Casilla jersey? Wasn’t that an encore of the Giants jerseys’ bullpen collapse against the Cubs jerseys in the playoffs, four relievers, each unable to record a single out?
So Bumgarner’s perfection didn’t last through the sixth? The man was remarkable. Seven innings, six hits, three runs, 11 strikeouts, no walks. Then there was his offense. No pitcher in history ever had hit two homers on opening day.
What he got from all that was no decision. What the Giants jerseys got was the painful reminder they still can’t hold a lead.
Melancon was supposed to be the solution. During the exhibition season, the Cactus League, he never gave up a run. Those games were played not far away, in places like Scottsdale and Mesa and Goodyear. But this one was in Phoenix, at Chase Field, where the roof was open, the stands were filled (49,015) and the results count.
“It’s been so long since we’ve been out there for a game that matters,” said Bumgarner.
Not long enough for Giants jerseys fans to forget. No, you can’t win them all, but the Giants jerseys lost far too many, 30, last season when they blew the lead. Now they’ve lost one in one chance.
“Of course you never want to start off this [way],” said Melancon, “especially after the performance by Madison. I didn’t execute as I wanted to.”
cheap Jeff Mathis jersey doubled, pinch hitter cheap Daniel Descalso jersey singled, scoring pinch runner cheap Jeremy Hazelbaker jersey to tie the game, 5 5. Pollock singled, Descalso sprinting to third, cheap Chris Owings jersey singled and as Descalso scored the winning run everybody in the D Back dugout leaped out and chased Owings at Chase for a victory dance.
“It happened quick,” agreed Melancon. When someone wondered if he would forget as is required of relievers when they blow games he confessed, “It’s never fun to try to process these. I’m sure I’ll get over it in time.”
As will the Giants jerseys. Their fans? Hmmm?
Bochy was asked if this jolt, on the first day, might have cheap authentic jerseys a lasting effect on the team’s psyche. “No,” he said, “those are men in there, resilient. They know how to handle things. This was one game. We have 161 left.”
“If we start thinking like that, we’re going to compound the problem. A lot of good things happened. What a game Bumgarner had. We did a good job. It just got away from us.”