Opening Day spinoffs boost Giants
MILWAUKEE — Some facets of the Giants’ sparkling 12-3 Opening Day victory Monday over the Brewers were overlooked — understandably so, but they still deserve recognition. Here goes:
* The defense was solid. That is, the Giants made the plays they should have made.
With the bases loaded, one out and a run in, Madison Bumgarner coaxed Aaron Hill’s inning-ending double-play grounder, which Brandon Crawford handled without fuss. The Brewers had a chance to break the game open at that juncture, but Bumgarner and the infield collaborated on a rally-killing play.
Some folks may have laughed at left fielder Angel Pagan’s four-hop throw that somehow reached home plate before Scooter Gennett, who was trying to score from second base on Domingo Santana’s single. This was another play that could have mushroomed into a big inning for Milwaukee had the Giants not apprehended Gennett at the plate. Give Pagan a break. He’s still adjusting to his new position, and at least he didn’t completely botch the throw.
* Amid the noise of the Giants’ four home runs, first baseman Brandon Belt quietly had an excellent day at the plate. He went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a walk. He also crossed up the defensive shift commonly used against him by drilling a third-inning RBI single to left field.
* Four relievers — George Kontos, Cory Gearrin, Hunter Strickland and Josh Osich — threw a scoreless inning apiece. None of them issued a single walk.
— Chris Haft