Game 1 of 162: Fireworks on Opening Night

Holy smokes!

If last night was any indication, we could be in for one heck of a ride this week in Arizona. If you missed the game (I’m sure you didn’t), it was a doozy of an opener. Fortunately, the Giants have Buster Posey, who looks ready to have another monster season at the plate. Buster’s 2-run shot with two outs in the 9th capped a big comeback from the Giants, who squeaked out a 9-8 dogfight.

Is it me or was last night’s game eerily similar to the games the Giants played in April and May of 2013? Less than stellar starting pitching and sloppy defense, bailed out by late-game offensive heroics. I’ll take an exciting win like that on Opening Day, but make no mistake, last night was not a formula for long-term success.

Positives from Game 1: The “big-picture” positives for me last night were the bats of Posey and Brandon Belt. If there’s one knock on Posey at all, it’s that it usually takes his bat a while to heat up this time of year… especially when it comes to extra base power. The same can be said for Belt, who obviously hasn’t seen the same success in his short career as Posey. But for two usually somewhat slow starters to hit absolute moonshots like that on day one, that’s a very good sign. I’m still in awe of Posey’s homer!

Another positive: I think we saw last night just how flexible Bruce Bochy can be with this roster. While some people outside (and maybe even inside) the organization will scoff at the Giants bench, I see a group that can do a lot of different things. In fact, after the abysmal defense we saw early on, I was very excited when Bochy brought Ehire Adrianza and Juan Perez into the game late. Between those two, Gregor Blanco, Brandon Hicks and Hector Sanchez, the Giants have some weapons they can employ off the bench.

Honorable mentions: Jean Machi… holy splitter! The dude takes a lot of heat from fans on the Internet, but he was nails last night. Good thing those fans don’t set the 25-man roster, or Machi wouldn’t have been able to shut the door last night!

Adrianza: Pinch-hit double and a rally starter. Watch out Joaquin Arias.

Angel Pagan: If Pagan can set the table like he did last night, the Giants will have some good times on offense this year.

Negatives: Infield defense. Wow. When Mike Krukow is putting you down, you screwed up. Grounders through the legs, errant throws all over the diamond, misplayed rundowns. Those are plays I would have been upset with my 7th grade Little League team for making. Tighten that stuff up, fellas!

Madison Bumgarner: Victim of some bad defense, but not the shutdown start we were hoping for from MadBum on Opening Day. It’s a long season though, and the kid will bounce back just fine. I’d be surprised if that’s his last Opening Day start… and he’s only 24!

Cainer takes the hill for game 2 of 162 tonight. More fireworks to come? I’d be just fine with a 3-1 win and some good fundamentals, to be honest!

6 thoughts on “Game 1 of 162: Fireworks on Opening Night”

  1. Yep, watch out Joaquin Arias. Besides Adrianza’s HUGE 2-out pinch-hit RBI double–which kept the four-run rally going–he made a great tag on that throw from Posey to end the eighth. You’d think he plays 2B all the time.

    Arias is a fine utility infielder, but 2B doesn’t appear to be his best position. And he’s not such a great hitter that they can afford bad defense from him there. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Adrianza get a start at 2B before they leave Phoenix. With Scutaro out for who knows who long, it definitely could be a carpe diem moment for young Ehire.

    1. I just wasn’t impressed with Arias’ play last night. It is only one game, but the Giants are looking to put the best team possible on the field. I think we’ll certainly see Adrianza and likely Hicks at 2B during this road trip. Bochy is pretty good about spreading the playing time out early, and as OGC noted, it would behoove him to figure out what he’s got in his trio of 2B before (IF) he has to make some roster decisions… But I’m not expecting Scutaro back any time soon, so this group seems like it’s here to stay for a while.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Eh, I wasn’t expecting a great one out of Bumgarner, he’s only human too, the rush from getting to be the opening day starter is a lot to take, both Lincecum and Cain had issues with stepping up in that spotlight, and as Bochy said pre-season when he announced it, that’s something else off his check list of things to do and experience.

    Plus, I read somewhere that the ground is hard as heck there, so sometimes the balls just bounce into hits and causes errors for those not expecting it (I think it was Belt who said this) . The odd thing is that they were just playing there, in spring training, so one would think they would not be that surprised. Maybe playing in AT&T spoiled them that fast?

    Arias isn’t good defensively at 2B, all the advanced metrics only show him being good at 3B, not SS, not 2B. So I’ve been expecting that Arias will play himself out of starting at 2B at some point, with either Hicks or Adrianza picking up that playing time. And frankly, I was surprised that they would platoon that oddly with Crawford, I would have hoped that Adrianza would get the SS odd starts against LHP. But I guess they wanted to see what Hicks could do, while they got him (somebody has to go when Scutaro returns…)

    1. Well I was certainly thinking Bummy would at least go 5 or 6, so I’d call 4 innings on Opening Day a bit of a disappointment. Definitely not something to dwell on though. I don’t know why, but I wasn’t expecting Arias to play THAT poorly at 2B… but he really did not look good. Give him a little time, I think he’ll be ok… problem is, I think Ehire would give the Giants a better chance to win out there.

  3. You’ve got it about Machi. He was a lock to make the roster. All you had to do was look at the stats and the stuff (especially the splitter) to know he is a big league reliever. For some reason, one or two bad outings can override the larger body of work for Joe/Jane Q Fan. Big picture, people.

    As for Arias, it was the throws man. Maybe it was the jitters. Big picture.

    1. Gosh, that splitter was dirty! Goldschmidt couldn’t handle it, and that dude hits EVERYTHING.
      Yep, Arias didn’t look very good. Almost botched that throw to Posey at home as well. There’s another run if Buster doesn’t scoop it out. Hopefully it was just Opening Day jitters and somewhat of a new position, because there’s a couple of other lads on this team with their eyes on Joaquin’s job. Crazy win!

I'd love your feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s