Wednesday, July 06, 2016

The Closer (Also the Starter)

On Wednesday in San Francisco, it's all good.  Johnny Cueto pitches a complete game victory--his fourth so far this season, in an era where even one is rare--and his 13th win (highest on the Giants in the first half of the season in almost a quarter century) against one loss.  The victory over the Rockies gave the Giants the best record in MLB.  And with the Dodgers' loss, a 6 game division lead.

Pretty good day for Pittsburgh, too.  After falling behind the Cards 5-1, the Bucs roared back to win 7-5 for their seventh straight.  Bullpen again was key.  The victory secured second place in their division, 8.5 games back of the Cubs.  And the Cubs are next.

Not such a great night in San Francisco on Tuesday, though, as six strong innings by Madison Bumgarner were wasted by another bullpen implosion.  Corey Gearrin, who gave up the 3-run homer that blew the lead, was placed on the 15 day DL to rest an aching shoulder.  The rook had been the most reliable reliever on the staff until recently, and probably was overworked.  Let's hope not fatally.  The bullpen remains the Giants biggest weakness, as they are tied with the lowly Reds for the league lead in blown saves.

Meanwhile across the Bay, the past year's Golden State Warriors team continued to disassemble.  Barnes and Bogut leaving were expected consequences of Durant,  and Ezeli was probably gone in any event, but Leandro Barbosa was a fan favorite and personification of Strength in Numbers.  He declined to stay for the vet minimum and took a two-year deal from Phoenix. Free agent Brandon Rush also left.  That leaves Shaun Livingston and Iguodala, with Speights still to be determined.  The Warriors still have four roster spots to fill.

Surprisingly, veteran head coach Mike Brown has joined the Warriors' staff as an assistant, as Luke Walton takes the Lakers head coaching job that Brown once held.  Brown won Coach of the Year at, coincidentally I'm sure, Cleveland.

But all that will take a backseat on Thursday when Kevin Durant officially joins the Golden State Warriors.

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