San Francisco Giants

Missed Chances, Bullpen Struggles Amid Bumgarner’s Solid Home Start In Giants’ 5-3 Loss

Madison Bumgarner threw seven innings of excellent baseball at home, but it wasn’t enough as the bullpen allowed a late offensive attack from the Phillies and the Giants fell 5-3 in extras on Friday night.

One solo shot off the bat of Marlon Byrd was all that Bumgarner would allow at Third and King, as he shut down the Phillies through seven innings of work. Today marked Bumgarners first quality start at home since June 10, and his 5.60 home ERA was the third highest in the National League before tonight’s game. We’ve seen the skill of Bumgarner on the road this season, but tonight was a positive spin for the lefty at home.

The Phillies took advantage of Bumgarner’s replacement in the eighth inning, when Cody Asche hit a two-run home run off of Jeremy Affeldt, tying the game and erasing Bumgarner’s chance at his fifth home win of the season. Asche’s shot was just the first home run this season allowed by Affeldt, who was then replaced by Santiago Casilla. He was able to get out of the inning, but allowed a lead-off double to Asche in the tenth. Javier Lopez then came in and loaded the bases, and while it wasn’t a massive Phillie offensive attack, it was enough to push across two more runs. Lopez hit Chase Utley to allow the go-ahead run, then Ryan Howard hit a sacrifice fly out to the left field warning track to score one more.

“We had our chances,” said Bochy. “When you keep the game close, anything can happen. It just got away from us.”

The Giants offense struck in just one inning, which wasn’t enough to overcome Philadelphia’s late lead.

Michael Morse knocked his 16th home run of the season into the bleachers in the fourth inning. The three-run home run was just the third blast in ten games for the Giants, and the ninth in their last 21 games. Morse had been on an eleven-game home run drought, with his last extra-base hit – a solo shot – coming on July 29.

Morse’s home run was a nice source of motivation for the left fielder, who had just five hits in his last 33 at-bats with runners in scoring position. While Morse has struggled recently, he’s come around, hitting .364 (8-for-22) with three RBI over his last seven games.

“We haven’t seen a lot of that,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “We just couldn’t get that last run to put the game away.”

The rest of the offense continued to struggle, as seven runners left on base plus questionable base running combined to keep any more runs from scoring once again for San Francisco. Gregor Blanco has been on the curious baserunning side, heading home on a squeeze attempt that may have gone better by holding up at third.

“I talked to him tonight. There’s a fine line between being aggressive and being smart,” said Bochy.

Tomorrow the Giants will welcome the Phillies back to AT&T Park for Game 2 of this weekend series. San Francisco has not won a series at home since before the All Star Break, when they took the series against the Arizona Diamondbacks from July 11-13. Tim Hudson will face Kyle Kendrick, who strugglied in his last start, a five-inning outing with ten hits, six runs (five earned), and two home runs while he walked three and struck out just two.

Hudson had a solid outing against the Kansas City Royals last Saturday, until he hit a bump in the seventh inning, where he allowed three hits and two runs before recording an out. He’ll try to snap a three-game losing streak, as well as hope for more than the just four runs of support over his last four starts.

First pitch at 1:05pm.

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