Originally written on SF Giants Nirvana  |  Last updated 11/17/14

In the first inning of this game, Buster Posey unloaded a monster of a three-run homer into the left field bleachers. It was only the third three-run homer of the season for the Giants (along with zero grand slams), and it was the first in about a month.

So Madison Bumgarner took the mound with a three-run lead; and that was supposed to be enough. Because he’s Madison Bumgarner. He’s been great all season long (3.10 ERA across his first eight starts), but we had yet to see the overpowering Bumgarner — the one that would rack up double-digit strikeouts toward the end of last season. And for the first time in 2012, that Bumgarner made his appearance.

He was phenomenal. In the first inning, he retired the side in order. In the third, he struck out the side in order (all three of them swinging strikeouts). In the fourth, he set down the heart of the Brewers’ order (admittedly not as intimidating with Prince Fielder now in Detroit) on nine pitches. Through five innings, he had recorded seven strikeouts (already a new season-high), with just two hits and one walk allowed.

Then the Brewers managed to score a run off of Bumgarner in the sixth, but that wasn’t all his fault. Ryan Braun had reached on a single to second base that wasn’t played very well by Charlie Culberson, and Nate Schierholtz — uncharacteristically — failed to keep Braun from scoring on a double to right field. He had run into the wall, and couldn’t fire off a good throw.

In any event, Bumgarner got out of the inning without much damage done, and continued to cruise along. The seventh inning was an eight-pitch 1-2-3. In the eighth, Bumgarner struck out the first two batters he faced — bringing him to a total of ten K’s on the day. Then Brandon Crawford — who would later strike out with runners on first and second to end the ninth inning — committed his ninth error of the season on a routine groundball to short, which allowed Norichika Aoki to reach base.

Two outs in the eighth inning, a two-run game, a runner on first, the lefty Bumgarner at 106 pitches, and the reigning NL MVP — right-handed slugger Ryan Braun at the plate. At that point, I tweeted the following: “Gotta be honest, I think I’d go to Romo at this point.” Bumgarner had looked phenomenal, but the safe decision was obviously to bring Sergio Romo into the game. And of course, Braun proceeded to launch the ball into the left field bleachers, tying the game at three. Bringing in Romo wasn’t an obvious decision (at least, not as obvious it’s been made out to be) — Bumgarner is an excellent pitcher, after all. But it was a risky one, and — in retrospect — the wrong decision. I don’t think this was nearly as bad as some of Bruce Bochy’s other recent failures with pitching management. But it also wasn’t an isolated incident. It seems like time and again, Bochy leaves a pitcher in just too long. And it’s been costly.

I’m not sure that was even his worst decision, though. How about leaving Brett Pill in the game to bat in an important situation (runners on the corners, less than two outs) against right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez, only to bring Brandon Belt into the game the next half-inning?

…then another five innings happened. And Hector Sanchez was double-switched into the game (a prudent measure, given that Buster Posey had just ended the previous inning, and had already caught 13 innings). And, leading off the fourteenth inning, crushed a ball into the Brewers’ bullpen to give the Giants the lead. The homer brought his line up to .297/.299/.438 for the season (no, that OBP isn’t a typo). But hey, that’s good for a 99 wRC+. Which is great for a catcher. It’s amazing what a homer can do to player’s numbers, even this late in the season (Sanchez entered the game with his wRC+ at 80).

Anyway, after going scoreless for 12 consecutive innings, they actually won. With some sloppy defense, fruitless offense, and questionable decisions, they made it longer than it needed to be. But they won.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James lists his top three friends in the NBA

Reds to have in-stadium nursery

Izzo: MSU could win football, basketball titles in same year

Durant ‘would love to’ spend entire career with Thunder

Elementary school sportswriter has hot take on Cam Newton

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Romo was willing to take pay cut to keep DeMarco Murray

Marcus Mariota reportedly not planning to attend NFL draft

Alabama RB dismissed from team after marijuana arrest

Golden Tate: Departure of Suh won't pressure Lion's offense

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Team USA improves before meltdown in Swiss draw

'Zo on MJ: He would average almost 50 in today's NBA

Report: Las Vegas season ticket drive passes goal of 10,000

WATCH: Steph Curry drops Chris Paul with crossover

WATCH: Spoelstra gives nice shoutout to Craig Sager

WATCH: Drew Miller takes skate to the face

WATCH: Gronk describes his perfect wife

Reigning National Champions to boycott Final Four in Indiana

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

New development clears path for Rams relocation

WATCH: J.J. Watt sings about stadium food on 'New Girl'

Kings ready to shut down DeMarcus Cousins

Jameis Winston may skip NFL draft to be with grandmother

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Curry drops CP3 with crossover

Durant wants to spend career in OKC

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Top 20 players in the Final Four

Top 10 players in baseball

Report: Tiger's plane spotted in Augusta

Moss shares story on meeting Deion

Five coaches already on the hot seat

Can we envision the Hawks in the Finals?

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Namath parties with 100 yr-old women

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.