To call the Giants’ last two losses tough would be an understatement.
San Francisco gave up late-game 1-0 leads in Monday’s and Tuesday’s games against the Houston Astros, spoiling excellent seven inning starts by both Dereck Rodriguez and Madison Bumgarner.
Despite giving up just five hits, Bumgarner was pulled after 100 pitches on Tuesday, with Bruce Bochy electing to go with Ray Black to start the eighth inning. The decision backfired, when Black’s streak of 10 innings without a hit was broken by a Marwin Gonzalez leadoff double, followed by a Tyler White two-run homer.
Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow was asked by Murph & Mac on Wednesday morning if he thinks Bruce Bochy is second guessing his decision to pull Bumgarner after the seventh. Krukow said he probably is, before railing against the trend of not letting starting pitchers throw deep into ballgames.
“He’s probably second-guessing himself, but we don’t know,” Kruk said.
“I think that the pitch count has changed this game in some negative ways and it really bothers me especially if you see guys that are built for innings, like Rodriguez, like (Jake) Arrieta. I mean it’s insulting to think you’re going to take a guy like Bumgarner out after 100 pitches. Insulting.”
Krukow said that more pressure than ever is being put on bullpens now that they never get a day off, and that he wouldn’t be surprised if MLB eventually expands the rosters to 26 players.
“I think it has overloaded bullpens. These last two games there were nine man bullpens for both teams. You never saw that before September. The game has changed in that regard and I don’t think it’s necessarily for the good. I think certain guys — (Justin) Verlanders, Arrietas, Bumgarners — those guys they should be able to pitch more.
“Let’s go back to the health of a bullpen, 15-20 years ago. As you started to see the complete game stats wane down, still you had 15-20 complete games a year with your staff. Those are 15-20 off days for your bullpen. Well they don’t get that anymore. Most teams don’t even have one complete game, so your bullpen is in there every day. Sooner or later that’s going to take it’s toll and that’s been how the game’s evolved.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Krukow on Bumgarner, start from the beginning.