Getting all 27 outs has proven to be historically tough. Sometimes, you need even more than that to get a win, to advance in a series, or to win it all.
All season long, the San Francisco Giants have had bullpen issues and last night, it reared it’s ugly head at the worst possible time.
San Francisco was three outs away from winning two-straight games against the best team in baseball. They were three outs away from going back to Wrigley Field and, as a result, would have put a massive amount of pressure on the Cubs. Chicago was starting to believe in this even year thing. Madison Bumgarner said that his team “was tough to kill.” He is right, unless of course they do it to themselves.
That is what happened last night in the Bay.
The results were sad, yet predictable. Could Bruce Bochy have left Matt Moore in? Sure. Should he have gone one closer to get the three outs? Maybe. Who is that guy? Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Hunter Strickland? There are questions all over the place in this scenario and San Francisco needs to get some answers for the 2017 season because they really do have a good roster going forward.
So, they either have to groom Derek Law or Strickland to take over that closer role or find a free agent arm that they can trust to do it. Law and Strickland have the stuff to do it, but maybe not the makeup or experience just yet. This year there was too much of a shuffle in that final spot also the results were far too uneven.
The irony of all that happened last night was the Cubs bullpen featured the game’s strongest arm. An arm that the Giants tried to get, but Chicago landed instead.
Aroldis Chapman came in with a one-run cushion and teased the radar gun with his 100+ mph heat in a quick 1, 2, 3 inning. The Giants could have used that. Any team could use that. The closer position is a difficult one and it isn’t for the timid.
The Giants need to find one and settle on him. Closers do blow saves, but they also regroup and run off 10-straight saves or so.
San Francisco should be good again in 2017. The starting four of Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, and Moore will take them a long way. The core everyday players need just a little tinkering as well as the role players.
The focus should be the bullpen and if done right, the Giants might start believing odd years work too.