I'm posting about Madison Bumgarner, and I have to admit to a serious man-crush on the young Mr. Bumgarner. I developed this during the 2010 World Series. I was fortunate enough to watch every pitch (albeit from a hospital bed) and one of the endearing memories was watching that long, smooth delivery and his cool composure. I love seeing the man pitch, I love seeing him hit home runs, and I love hearing that gooey-thick southern accent on the radio.
Maddy did a dandy of a job today in Atlanta but it was not enough to get a Giant victory. Maddy gave up only three hits and walked no one, but those three hits were hit hard. He gave up a solo home run to Freddie Freeman in the bottom of the second after Pablo scored on an Emmanuel Burriss single, he gave up a triple to Michael Bourn after a Panda throwing error (another error!) put Paul Janish on base in the third, and he gave up another solo home run to Atlanta catcher David Ross in the fourth. That gave Atlanta a 3-2 victory after Buster hit a sacrifice fly to score Melky after his lead-off triple in the eighth. Madison struck out eight in his seven inning stint.
The Giants had other chances: they out-hit the Braves 9-3, and put two men on base via the walk, but they couldn't push them across the plate. Tim Hudson picked up the W, his eighth of the year, and that weird-looking guy Kimbrel got a save. At the top of the order, Gregor Blanco walked once, but neither he nor Brandon Crawford got a hit. Notably, Angel Pagan went 0-4 with three K's. He twice whiffed with a runner at second. Not to make too much out of that - but Angel hasn't been real productive since the break, he seems to waver between a game with a couple hits and a game with no hits.
I blame the loss on Austin Chang. He is a writer for Yahoo Sports who speculated, too soon, that the Giants might sweep the Braves at Turner Field, and, by so doing, jinxed it. He is also incorrect. He states what might have been would have been the first sweep at Turner Field since 1988. This is like stating that it would have been the first sweep at Turner Field since the Great London Fire of 1666. Turner Field did not exist in 1666, nor did it exist in 1988. It opened in 1996, and the Giants have not fared well since then. They have a 22-45 record in Turner Field, having gone 55-71 against the Braves in that stretch. I am predicting a reversion to the predominant trend, however, as the Giants have an overall winning record against the Braves in the Braves home park since 1901. Unfortunately, not recently. Before the Braves occupied Turner Field, they played in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, where the Giants had a 121-130 record, although they had a 262-243 record against the Braves overall during that period. That was from the time the Braves moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee in 1966 through 1995. Prior to that, the Giants also had a losing record in Milwaukee County Stadium from 1953 through 1965. They were 52-83 in Milwaukee, 113-157 overall, perhaps due in large part to gentlemen named Aaron, Mathews and Spahn. Going back to 1901, the Giants were pretty dominant against the Braves, running up a 479-339 record against the Boston franchise, known as the Beaneaters, Doves (this might be appropriate for the current Boston team), Braves, Bees and Braves again. The Giants (New York Giants, that is) were 216-184 in Braves Field, also known as "The Bee Hive" from 1915 to 1952, when they moved to Milwaukee. From 1901 to 1914, the Giants were 94-57 against the Braves at SouthEnd Grounds.