The Giants were swept by the Astros in a two-game homestand Monday and Tuesday. Do not blame their starting pitchers.
Derek Rodriguez and Madison Bumgarner combined to throw 14 scoreless innings against the defending champions. Both pitchers received no-decisions. Both games ended with a Giants loss.
"He's probably second-guessing himself, but we don't know," Mike Krukow said Wednesday on KNBR about Giants manager Bruce Bochy's decisions to take Rodriguez and Bumgarner out after seven innings.
In Monday's loss, Rodriguez came out after 94 pitches in seven innings, and Bumgarner totaled 100 pitches when his day also came to an end after seven scoreless Tuesday. Pitch counts are nothing new at this point. And it's safe to say Krukow is no fan of them.
"I believe that the pitch count has changed the game in some negative ways, and it really bothers me, especially when you see guys that are built for innings," he said.
After Alen Hanson tripled to lead off the bottom of the seventh Tuesday, Bochy used Hunter Pence as a pinch-hitter two batters later for Bumgarner. That decision didn't pan out as Pence went down swinging, and Hanson was stranded at third base with McCutchen striking out as well.
"I mean, it's insulting to think you're gonna take a guy like Bumgarner out of the game after 100 pitches," Krukow continued.
Krukow tossed 41 complete games in 355 career starts. So far, Bumgarner -- considered a workhorse on the mound by many -- has just 15 complete games in 243 started. To Krukow, a part of the game is being taken away from starting pitchers because of pitch counts.
"Those last outs, to get the 27th out and stand on the infield with your teammates as they're shaking your hand, that's the best feeling that a starting pitcher can ever have," Krukow said.