The bad news for Giants fans is Oakland capped off a sweep of San Francisco in this year’s Bay Bridge pre-season exhibition series Tuesday in a rain-shortened, six-inning 4-2 victory over the orange and black.
The good news is that it was technically still Spring Training.
This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at Oracle Park.
Other bits of good and bad news swirled through the Giants clubhouse after Tuesday’s exhibition, too, as manager Bruce Bochy had the duty to welcome some players to the Opening Day roster while offering condolences to others who didn’t make the cut.
“The tough part of this game is talking to an Alen Hanson who plays so hard, but it didn’t go great with him offensively and we just don’t have a spot for him, or some of the other guys that we’ve had to send down. But it’s that time of the year, we gotta get down to 25 and that’s what we just did.”
Bochy announced the Giants will carry 13 pitchers to open the season. Among the denizens of the bullpen will be Rule 5 lefty Travis Bergen and right-hander Trevor Gott, whom the Giants acquired from the Nats in exchange for cash last month.
The skipper slated the rotation as Madison Bumgarner, who will start Thursday in San Diego, followed by Derek Holland, Dereck Rodríguez, Jeff Samardzija and Drew Pomeranz.
As for Tuesday night’s performance, the faithful can read the glass as either half-full or half-empty. Samardzija allowed four runs on six hits — including a two-run dinger, a double and a triple — over 3-2/3 innings, which could be a sign of nothing more than the Shark ironing out the last few kinks of spring. One could also interpret the Giants being outscored 14-6 in the series as some kind of sick baseball version of the movie Groundhog Day.
Bochy offered an oft-repeated refrain after the loss:
“We gotta find a way to get on base that’s where it starts put pressure on ’em.”
The manager added some nuance to the assessment though, noting that the Giants need to lean into what he views as their strength, which is small-ball, over trying to hit home runs:
“We’re a team that has to play the game of baseball, we’re not gonna be the power-hitting club. We gotta get guys on and get the timely hitting. It’s pretty simple, and we have the guys to do it. Before this series I thought we were swinging the bats much better [than last season].”
However you view the 2019 Bay Bridge exhibition series, the outcome was the same: Spring Training came to a rainy close beside McCovey Cove Tuesday as A’s pitchers held the Giants to two runs. San Francisco now prepare to turn the page, as they fly to San Diego for Thursday’s hopefully sunny season opener.
Samardzija, for one, was excited to close the door on Spring Training. After he left the game in the fourth he said:
“The last start of spring’s always a tough one, you know you’re looking forward to getting the real thing going and you wanna go out there and get to working and just go from there, so in that sense I’m happy we got through camp and I’m ready to get this thing going.”
Madison Bumgarner takes on Padres southpaw Eric Lauer Thursday in San Diego for the 1:10 p.m. season opener. After a four-game series with the Friars, the Giants will fly to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers for a three-game set before returning for their home opener April 5 against Tampa Bay.
Bruce Bochy confirmed that Pablo Sandoval, Steven Duggar, Gerardo Parra, Michael Reed, Yangervis Solarte and Connor Joe made the Opening Day roster. … Mac Williamson was hit in the right hand by a pitch by A’s reliever Brian Schlitter in the bottom of the sixth shortly before the game was called. Bochy said x-rays were negative for any fracture, but they will continue to monitor him. Williamson is out of options and was on the bubble for a roster spot, so the Giants might actually benefit from being able to place him on the injured list to start the season.