The even year magic officially ended for the San Francisco Giants as they loss to the Chicago Cubs 6-5 in a way the Giants only know how.A blown save only seemed fitting to end the Giants’ season.
Entering the playoffs, they had a Major League high 30 blown saves. That’s the most by any team to make the playoffs since saves became an official stat in 1969 according to ESPN.
The bullpen was arguably the worst in baseball history. The Giants were 0-65 when trailing after 8 innings. They could never muster any sort of a comeback or maintain any leads thanks to the bullpen.
Like the regular season, It did not matter which pitcher Bruce Bochy decided to throw in to save the game, because the result typically ended in a blown save. That was proven once again in their elimination game.
Four separate relievers each allowed 1 run in the 9th inning to blow a 3 run lead.
In the previous game of the series, Sergio Romo blew another save by giving up a 2 run homerun in the 9th to Kris Bryant. The Giants squeezed out a victory in that game to stay alive after taking the game into extra innings.
That blown save by Romo tallied to 31 on the year and after their elimination loss, it was finalized to 32. Consecutive blown saves in a playoff series is unacceptable.
With how horrid the bullpen had been all season long, especially considering Romo’s blown save in the previous game, Bruce Bochy was better off leaving Matt Moore in to complete the game.
Although Moore was already up to 120 pitches after 8 innings he was performing lights out. He only gave up 2 runs and struck out 10 batters.
It is disappointing that the Giants might’ve been better off with a pitcher who has already thrown 120 pitches to finish out the game, rather than a fresh arm from the bullpen.
Calling Bumgarner to the mound would’ve been a better option to save the game and he had just pitched the day before.
Instead, the Giants were handed a heartbreaking loss to end their consecutive even year runs.
The Giants should be very fortunate that they even made the playoffs. They had the best record in baseball at the all-star break with 57 wins and 33 losses. Since the break, they were 30-42 as they fell out of the NL west lead and settled for a wild card spot.
They advanced from that spot after shutting out the New York Mets 3-0 thanks to Bumgarner pitching a gem and getting help from an unsung hero in Conor Gilllaspie’s 3 run homerun.
With the off season looming, the Giants will look to the market to bolster their bullpen.
Casilla, Romo, and Lopez are all free agents and are likely to leave according to Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News.
It is going to feel odd not seeing the Giants in the World Series in an even year, but the future is still bright for this team. All eyes will be on their off-season to see what they will do to keep that future bright.