Home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez is one of the worst umpires in baseball, among the likes of C.B. Bucknor and Joe West, and it is a shame that his umpiring clouded a great rivalry game. The best umpires aren’t noticed, and Hernandez’s calls were noticed all night long. It is a shame that he is still umpiring in the major leagues. His calls hurt both sides tonight. Here is one of his fine calls from the World Baseball Classic. His work behind the plate tonight wasn’t much better.
But that is besides the point. Angel Hernandez did not change the outcome of the game. Oakland dominated all night long. They, again, looked like they were playing a different sport than the Giants. Sonny Gray was masterful in seven innings of one-run baseball, striking out eight while only walking one. The Giants showed signs of snapping out of their offensive slump in the first, when Hunter Pence doubled to center with one out. Belt subsequently stuck out looking on a suspect Hernandez call, and Posey followed with another strikeout, this time swinging. The A’s started the scoring in the third with a big inning. Jed Lowrie led off the inning with a single off of Bumgarner. Nick Punto plated him with a one-out double, making the score 1-0. Coco Crisp came up clutch with a single to plate Lowrie, taking second on the throw home. The speedy Crisp subsequently stole third, and Yoenis Cespedes scored him with a single to center, making the score 3-0. Derek Norris came up in a tough, two-out spot and knocked in Cespedes, putting the score at 4-0. Both offenses went relatively quietly until the seventh, when Tyler Colvin went deep to right, making it 4-1. Despite a rough start, Bumgarner made it to the eighth inning, but walked Norris to start the inning, and gave up a double to Nate Freiman, making the score 5-1. Jean Machi then relieved him. Bumgarner went 7+ innings, giving up six earned, while only striking out three. Mad Bum has struggled of late, giving up at least four earned in three of his last four starts. Nate Freiman would later score on a Alberto Callaspo single to extend the A’s lead to 6-1. The A’s looked significantly better than the Giants all series long. San Francisco does not appear to be on the verge of a turnaround.
Cover Image: By NewJack984 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons