It's a long series and Sunday's loss in Game 1 doesn't kill us. Far from it.
I have to say though, this first loss against the Cardinals lies squarely on Bruce Bochy's shoulders. Obviously Bumgarner gave up the six earnies and two back-breaking home runs, but he shouldn't have been in the position to let Carlos Beltran go yard.
Am I an armchair quarterback? Yes. Absolutely. I'm not on the team. I'm just like you. This is what I was saying during Bumgarner's disastrous inning chronologically (bottom to top):
Not trying to toot my own horn, but you know, I'm just saying. I couldn't have possibly been the only one thinking these things? Right?
So many times we second guess our managers and coaches during games. We don't have anywhere near the experience or knowledge as these leaders, but it's still easy to see when a guy just doesn't have it that night.
I think of all of Bochy's flaws as a manager-- as minor as many of them are in the grand scheme of things-- his loyalty to his starting pitchers is simultaneously the most positive and detrimental.
Hell, he's an old catcher and he fights for his starters the same way he did back when his knees allowed him to squat and catch nine innings. I think it's admirable, I really do. All season, he allowed Lincecum to hang himself with the extra leash-- same with Vogelsong and Bumgarner in the second half.
As admirable as that quality is in a manager, it seems like probably 6 or 7 times out of 10 letting a guy work out his problems on the mound ends in failure. There of course are times when a guy will have a lousy couple innings and then right his ship, but this is the playoffs. Time is of the essence.
That's all I'll say about Boch. I don't want to rag on the guy, because he's gotten it done before and he's gotten us to this point. He's a great manager, he really is. He doesn't trust youngsters and he likes his pitchers and catchers, and that goes hand in hand with being an old-school backstop.
- Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma are not going away. They were clutch against the Nats, they contributed down the stretch, and they are going to be pesky little weirdos the rest of this series
- I found out that the Peninsula's own Descalso grew up an A's fan. Not cool bro...
- I know a guy named Danny Descalso. No relation.
- Lance Lynn is probably better suited coming out of the 'pen and the Giants took advantage of him. No Jaime Garcia will do that to you. Too bad a certain someone was left in the game too long and gave up six runs.
- Chris Carpenter won't give up more than 3 runs. Bank it.
- If there's one weak spot in the Cards' pitching staff, it is poor situational pitching and mismanagement by Mike Matheny. At some point this series, Mike will put the wrong guy in at the wrong time and we will benefit.
- Is Jason Motte the best closer ever to only have one pitch at one speed? He's obviously better than Jose Valverde.
- Seriously, he has a 98 mph fastball, and that's IT.
- Beltran has now taken Zack Wheeler AND Game 1 of the NLCS from us. Time to give something back dude. How about a costly error?
- Tony Bennett is a beast.
- Can you remember a more disappointing sports day? Niners getting embarrassed by a new arch-enemy during the afternoon and the Giants losing a playoff game at night? BRUTAL.
- I blame Joe Buck, who called the 49ers debacle at Candlestick, then proceeded to ruin our day further by taking a "trolley" to AT&T and imposing his lousy announcing, stupid face, and Cardinals cheerleading on us.
- It was pretty obvious that a lot of people were coming from the Niner game based on the early inning empty seats. Lucky bastards.
- Bumgarner didn't get any better after his awful outing against Cincy. He now has a postseason ERA of 11.25. That is the ERA of a guy who just doesn't have it. AT ALL. He belongs in the bullpen until further notice. I love you Madison, I do, but we both know you're lost.