Giants

Giants

SAN DIEGO -- This was Madison Bumgarner's fifth Opening Day start for the Giants. It was also possibly his last one. 

"I'd be lying to you if I said that stuff hasn't crossed my mind," Bumgarner said Thursday afternoon.

The ace entered the 2019 season without a new contract, and with the knowledge in the back of his head that the Giants very well could trade him before the July 31 deadline. A day like Thursday certainly made that more likely, in part because the Giants looked like the team of the past two years, but mostly because Bumgarner looked like the star of the years before that. 

He gave up two earned runs over seven innings, one on a solo shot by Wil Myers and the other on an RBI single by Myers. Bumgarner walked one and struck out nine, and he was equally effective with all four of his pitches.

The left-hander got four strikeouts on cutters, three on fastballs and two on curveballs. He mixed in 10 changeups, too. In all, Bumgarner got 16 swinging strikes. He maxed out at 92.6 mph, which certainly will play given the impeccable command he had Thursday. 

"It felt really good today," Bumgarner said. "The command was the biggest thing. The stuff was good but the command of the stuff was there the whole game. It didn't seem there were a whole lot of bad misses."

 

Even the Myers homer, a 456-foot missile to center, wasn't a big miss. Bumgarner thought Myers was looking in, so he tried to sneak a cutter past him on the outer edge. Myers won that battle. 

But Bumgarner won three with Manny Machado, who went 0-for-3 in his debut, striking out on a cutter and 92 mph fastball before bouncing into a double play. 

Here are some other notes from a disappointing opener ... 

--- Machado got the loudest ovation and heard "Manny! Manny!" chants as he took the plate for the first time, but Fernando Tatis Jr. was right behind in terms of noise. The fans were all-in on the super-prospect's debut, and he responded by singling off Evan Longoria's glove and reaching on a bunt single. He's going to be a problem.

--- Longoria looked good all spring and had the best at-bats of the day for the Giants. He singled twice and lined out to right in the ninth. 

--- The Giants can't carry 13 pitchers for long. With some of the limitations on their bench, they're going to need another way to counteract opposing managers. 

With a runner on in the seventh, Bochy brought Gerardo Parra in for Connor Joe to face a right-handed reliever. Parra hit just .202 against lefties last year, and Padres manager Andy Green countered with a lefty. Parra grounded out softly. 

Green then went back to a righty for Michael Reed, and Yangervis Solarte pinch-hit and grounded out. That sequence burned half of Bochy's bench, and by the end of a game that wasn't all that dramatic, he was left with just backup catcher Erik Kratz. 

--- Nick Vincent, a former Padre, made his Giants debut in the eighth and looked good. Vincent allowed a seeing-eye single but got out of a quick inning with a double play.

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--- The game certainly has changed in a hurry, and that extends to the way teams present information, too. The Padres have a scoreboard "fun fact" for every player and the one for Manny Margot was that his catch percentage last year was higher than his expected catch percentage.

We've come a long way from things like "Kelby Tomlinson wears glasses despite having excellent vision in both eyes."