How simulation predicts Giants-Dodgers Opening Day would have played out

How simulation predicts Giants-Dodgers Opening Day would have played out

Clayton Kershaw versus Johnny Cueto.

That was the pitching matchup Giants fans were expecting to see Thursday from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, which would have been Opening Day of the 2020 season.

But with coronavirus putting an indefinite pause on professional sports in the United States, it remains to be seen when Opening Day actually will take place.

Those hoping for a result and a box score to scour through fear not, as the famous sports simulation game Strat-O-Matic simulated the anticipated matchup.

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t go very well for Gabe Kapler in his Giants managerial debut, as the Giants lost 10-3.

Cueto struck out seven, but was knocked around for four runs in the fifth inning before he was pulled from the game.

San Francisco did strike first, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in this hypothetical contest. But Kershaw still managed to pick up the win, striking out six Giants in five innings.

Hopefully for the Giants, Kapler’s bullpen has a stronger command when the real thing finally comes around, as the team walked 10 Dodgers in the loss.

Mauricio Dubon’s much-anticipated center field debut for the Giants also didn’t work out ideally, as the 25-year-old committed one of two errors for San Francisco on the day.

[RELATED: Bochy shares best Opening Day memory as Giants manager]

Just to throw salt in the wound, Hunter Pence suffered an injury in the simulation that will sideline him for the next six games.

But by far the most shocking thing from this simulation would be that Buster Posey hits a two-RBI triple, which gave the Giants that short-lived early lead.

Yes, you’re reading that right. A triple.

While we are yet to know when the real Opening Day will be played, it probably can't go much worse for the Giants than this simulation.

Bruce Bochy reveals favorite Madison Bumgarner memory as Giants manager


Bruce Bochy reveals favorite Madison Bumgarner memory as Giants manager

Bruce Bochy spent a lot of time with Madison Bumgarner over the last decade. San Francisco's former manager was there in the dugout for Bumgarner's MLB debut and his last game as a Giant. 

Despite all of Bumgarner's World Series heroics, it's fitting that Bochy's favorite memory of the former Giants ace comes off the field. And it's about bear hunting of all things.

"Well my favorite -- I'm pausing for a second because I can't tell my favorite," Bochy recently said to ESPN's Buster Olney on the "Baseball Tonight Podcast." "It's a bear hunting trip and I swore to secrecy on that. Hopefully he'll let me tell it one day." 

Bochy's favorite Bumgarner story certainly fits, too. It's more about the left-hander's unmatched mentality than anything else. 

"On the baseball side, my favorite of course is 2014," Bochy said. "The incredible run that he had between the wild-card game and of course what he did in Game 7 [of the World Series]. It was after Game 5, he had just shut out the Royals and I had switched it a little bit, because I felt like we just had to go into Kansas City up a game instead of down a game.

"I was taking some heat for not pitching him in Game 4 and then starting him in Game 7, but [Ryan] Vogelsong started Game 4 against their fifth starter and I wanted Bumgarner to pitch against [James] Shields." 

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It clearly was the right decision to start Bumgarner in Game 5. He threw a complete game shutout in San Francisco while striking out eight in a 4-1 Giants win. What he did in Bochy's office before traveling to Kansas City, was even more vintage MadBum. 

"He shuts out the Royals and now we're going to Kansas City. We're up 3-2, we're a game away from being the World Series champions and guys are starting to pack because we've got to go to KC and he comes into my office," Bochy said. "He goes, 'You know I just wanna tell you, if you wanna win this thing, you're gonna put me out there. You're gonna start me.' I says, 'Start you when?' And he goes, 'After [my] day off.' He meant Game 6.

"I said, 'No, I'm not starting you with one day's rest!' He goes, 'I'm telling you, if you wanna win this thing.' And I said, 'Well, we haven't set the pitcher for Game 7. Right now it's [Tim] Hudson.' He looked at me and said, 'No, no. You gotta start Huddy. I want him to start this game. But you have me ready if you wanna win this thing.' " 

The rest is history. Hudson lasted just 1 2/3 innings before Jeremy Affeldt relieved him for 2 1/3 innings. And then, Bumgarner opened the bullpen gates and gave us all one of the greatest performances in baseball history. 

Bumgarner threw the final five innings and didn't allow an earned run as the Giants outlasted the Royals, 3-2, to win their third World Series title in five years. His masterpiece on the mound forever will be remembered in the history of the Giants and baseball as a whole. 

To put it in context, Bumgarner had a 0.43 ERA in the 2014 World Series. Here's how the rest of the starting staff fared: Tim Hudson (6.14 ERA), Ryan Vogelsong (9.82) and Jake Peavy (12.79).

[RELATED: Giants, fans got Oracle Park's design right, and here's why]

"It's just this guy who had this maniacal focus on winning that World Series, and he wasn't gonna hold back on his feelings," Bochy said on Bumgarner.

Bochy's two favorite Bumgarner stories, both on and off the field, truly couldn't be any better.

Giants' Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper tell hilarious Will Clark sushi story

Giants' Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper tell hilarious Will Clark sushi story

Not everyone has a taste for sushi, especially Will Clark.

The Giants legend is the guy who simply orders a steak at dinner -- he’s simple and to the point.

Giants broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper told a funny story in a recent interview with Giants reporter Amy Gutierrez from a night out at dinner with "The Thrill."

Clark glanced at the menu at the sushi restaurant and was nice about it of course, but it wasn’t his cup of tea. Where Clark is from in Louisiana, they refer to that type of food as “bait.”

That's fair. 

The Giants announced they will retire Clark’s No. 22 jersey this season -- and rightfully so.

His sweet swing and swagger made him one of the organization’s most well-known players to ever wear orange and black.

[RELATED: PlayStation, Zoom helping Giants work in hiatus]

Clark is a six-time All-Star selection, a Gold Glove Award winner and two-time Silver Slugger Award recipient across his 15-year career, eight of them with the Giants.

A great career, just perhaps no salmon for him in the future? 

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