Giants go with 'the simplest solution,' name Ty Blach 2018 Opening Day starter

Giants go with 'the simplest solution,' name Ty Blach 2018 Opening Day starter

OAKLAND — Ty Blach started a Double-A season opener in New Britain, Connecticut and a Triple-A season-opener in Salt Lake City. The next stop opportunity is just a tiny bit different. 

Dodger Stadium.

Against the reigning National League champions. 

With Clayton Kershaw on the other side. 

“It’s just a game,” Blach said Sunday morning, smiling. “I’ve pitched against him twice in my career and it’s been a good game both times. It’ll be good to take on that challenge.”

The Giants believe he’s up for it, but truthfully, that’s not why Blach is starting game one. This is no knock on Blach, who has a 2.23 ERA in seven career appearances against the Dodgers, but the Giants were low on options after Jeff Samardzija and Madison Bumgarner went down on back to back days this week. 

Johnny Cueto was already lined up to start Sunday’s game in Oakland, giving him only three days rest before opening day, and the Giants decided not to move Cueto up to Saturday’s game because management feared cold and wet conditions in Sacramento. With Cueto, Derek Holland and Chris Stratton lined up for the Bay Bridge Series already, that left Blach. 

“It’s the simplest (solution),” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Instead of disrupting three guys, Ty falls into that slot. It just keeps it easier for everybody.”

Bochy challenged Blach and other young pitchers this spring, saying it was time for the next generation to take over. He sort of did the same Sunday. 

“It’s unfortunate what happened (to Bumgarner and Samardzija), but you look at and the only good side is guys are getting an opportunity,” he said. “Somehow, someway, we have to pitch our tails off to soften the loss of Bum and Samardzija.”

Blach said he won’t feel added pressure, pointing out that he pitched in postseason games as a rookie. Still, there is added significance. After Blach was given the news Saturday, he called his parents and wife. They’re all flying out to Los Angeles to be at Dodger Stadium.

“Obviously the circumstances are tough losing Bum, but it’s an honor to be able to get that nod and go out there and give everything I’ve got and go get them,” Blach said. 

The Giants hoped Bumgarner could go into Los Angeles and get the season off to a roaring start by beating the best pitcher in the game. Maybe Blach can put a twist on that. Bochy has had more success against Kershaw over the years by going with his “bomb squad” lineups of random right-handed hitters. Perhaps Blach, then, is just the man to waltz into Dodger Stadium and open the season with a statement win.

Giants rookies dress up as ‘Reno 911’ cops for flight to Atlanta

Giants rookies dress up as ‘Reno 911’ cops for flight to Atlanta

The Giants' Triple-A affiliate is located in Sacramento, but their rookie dress-up day had a Reno theme.

For the team's flight from Boston to Atlanta on Thursday evening, the veterans made the youngsters don "Reno 911" cop uniforms, complete with the short shorts.

Luckily for us, most of the players embraced the outfit and posted photos on their Instagram Stories.

We'll let the images speak for themselves:

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Based on the image, 12 Giants rookies got in on the fun, and they even used a real cop car as a prop at the airport in Boston.

With 12 "cops" on the flight to Atlanta, you know no shenanigans will happen.

Giants' Madison Bumgarner's road struggles continue ahead of free agency

Giants' Madison Bumgarner's road struggles continue ahead of free agency

The Giants' three-game series at Fenway Park was filled with so much history. 

Between a Yastrzemski reunion and San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy's 2,000th career managerial win, there was much to be celebrated. That was until Thursday, when Madison Bumgarner took the mound.

Across five frames in the Boston Red Sox' 5-4 win over the Giants, MadBum gave up five runs and nine hits with two walks. He struck out seven, but struggled in the second frame as he approached 200 innings on the season. 

The balls that were hit off of Bumgarner's in his ninth loss of the season weren't hit all that hard. Boston beat him by putting the bat on the ball with singles from Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts, to name a few.

"This has probably been his worst year as far as luck," Bochy told reporters after the game. "I thought he threw better than what the numbers are going to show."

A pattern developed this year for Bumgarner on the road, and it wasn't a pretty one.

Away from Oracle Park this season, the four-time All-Star has a career-high 5.06 ERA with an opposing batting average of .280.

Call it tough luck, but as much as this sounds like a broken record, Bumgarner will be one of the top names in free agency this offseason, and it's no secret home/road splits are taken into account. 

[RELATED: Bochy's speech after 2,000th career win]

Bum talked about his outing after the loss, and couldn't explain some of the hits Boston got off him.

"Things don't always go your way," he said. "It's frustrating, you know. I feel really good about the way I threw."