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Cohn: Giant fibs all around

  • Umpires hold back Madison Bumgarner after the Padres' Jesus Guzman charged the mound when the Giants pitcher threw behind Guzman in the second inning on Wednesday, June 19, 2013.
    (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

SAN FRANCISCO — Madison Bumgarner is an excellent pitcher but a substandard liar. No one is good at everything.

First, Bumgarner the pitcher.

He threw seven innings on Wednesday and beat the Padres and got his seventh win. These are the games the Giants must win — the games when a good pitcher starts, and that means Bumgarner or Matt Cain. Bruce Bochy admits the National League West is a world of its own, evenly-matched teams with deficiencies. It will be a close race among four or even five teams — if the Dodgers get it together — that will continue into September.

San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres

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Now on to the subject of lying. In the interest of politeness, let's call it fibbing.

When Padres first baseman Jesus Guzman came to the plate in the top of the second, the score 0-0, Bumgarner threw his first pitch behind Guzman's tush. Guzman looked morally outraged. He started walking toward Bumgarner.

And Bumgarner started walking toward Guzman. It's unusual for a pitcher to look for trouble, but there's something of the buckaroo about MadBum. The plate umpire immediately leaped in front of Guzman and so did Buster Posey. Everything would have been hunky dory except, of course, both benches cleared and the players got ready for one of those baseball fights.

Baseball fights usually aren't fights. You'd have to call them non-fights. They are so cute. Guys mill about and look tough but you get the impression they ask each other about their stock portfolios.

Then peace got restored, not that peace was ever in danger, and the Giants got over on the Padres.

Now for the background. On Tuesday night, Guzman had hit a two-run, go-ahead homer off Jeremy Affeldt in the top of the eighth. He whooped it up running around first base, pointing his fist at the heavens.

Whooping it up is against the unwritten code of baseball, an arcane code if there ever was one. The Giants drew the conclusion Guzman showed up Affeldt and showed them up.


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