Bumgarner 'thankful and blessed' for opener honor
Left-hander will make first Opening Day start March 31 in Arizona
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Receiving the Giants' Opening Day starting assignment left Madison Bumgarner feeling truly humbled and appreciative.
"I'm privileged, thankful and blessed for the opportunity," Bumgarner said Wednesday, one day after manager Bruce Bochy named him to face the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 31. Bumgarner wasn't available for comment after Bochy's announcement.
The quality of the Giants' other starters prompted Bumgarner to believe that he might never start a season opener.
"I think you could put anybody we have in that role and I don't think anybody would question it," said Bumgarner, who led the Giants last year in victories (13), innings (201 1/3), strikeouts (199), ERA (2.77) and opponents' batting average (.203). Being selected to start Opening Day, he said, is "something you can't really control."
But one always can dream about it.
"You think about it once you get into pro baseball," he said. "That's something you'd like to have the opportunity to do."
Morse laughs off getting robbed by Reddick
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Michael Morse displayed his hitting prowess and his sense of humor Wednesday. He could have used a little more of the former, and he needed plenty of the latter.
Morse crushed two opposite-field drives to right field during the Giants' 10-5 Cactus League loss to the Oakland A's that should have been home runs. Except Oakland's Josh Reddick retreated to the warning track, timed his leap perfectly and reached over the top of the 10-foot barrier to rob Morse both times.
Comparing Reddick to Spider-Man, the fictional superhero with otherworldly leaping skill, Morse said, "He's known for doing that, man." Prompting laughter from reporters, Morse added, "I'm happy to help him work on it in Spring Training, I guess."
After making his first catch in the second inning, Reddick victimized Morse again two innings later.
"I thought I hit it good, but then when I saw him going back I said, 'Oh, no, not again,'" Morse said, "I was like, 'There's no way he can catch it again.' But he did. That's baseball. You never know what you're going to see."
Following the second catch, Morse caught Reddick's attention, grinned and tapped his chest as if to say, "What did I do to you?" Morse joked later, "I thought we were friends."
Results aside, making solid contact encouraged Morse, San Francisco's projected starting left fielder.
"My approach is my approach. I believe in it," Morse said. "I don't try to hit it to right field. I try to hit it to the gaps. I try to hit the ball where it's pitched. Today I had two balls that were middle-away and I put good wood on them."
Bochy not concerned by pitchers' struggles
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy wasn't overly upset at the punishment Yusmeiro Petit and Sergio Romo endured in Wednesday's 10-5 loss to the Oakland A's in the Cactus League opener.
"They're command guys," Bochy said, referring to the finesse that Petit, who yielded four first-inning runs, and Romo, who coughed up six runs in the fourth, rely upon. "If they aren't on, they're probably going to get hit around here in the Cactus League."
Bochy said that Romo, the Giants' All-Star closer, was throwing strictly fastballs and changeups, with the objective of polishing the latter delivery. Romo refrained from throwing his slider, the pitch that has been responsible for his success.
The A's led 10-0 before the Giants could score. Ninth-inning home runs by Adam Duvall, who has 69 Minor League homers in the last three years, and Ehire Adrianza, who lashed a three-run drive off the top of the right-field fence, made the score less lopsided.
Bochy said left-hander David Huff was scheduled to start Friday's split-squad game against Oakland but had to be scratched due to shoulder tenderness. Edwin Escobar will replace Huff, who's competing with Petit for a long-relief role.