The Giants lost Saturday night’s game 5-0.
It’s almost like a one-man dinger machine offense and perfect pitching was not a long-term winning strategy.
Although we all expected the pitching to be the weakest link of this Giants team, it has been the offense that has failed to produce any results. This was fine when the starting pitchers had good command of the ball and the defense wasn’t bumbling around like juggling clowns at the worst possible moments.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers scored runs for the first time this season and that was too much for the Giants offense to contend with. Despite getting nine hits, the Giants scored zero runs. Meanwhile, the Dodgers got five runs on four hits. Because of the juggling clowns mentioned above.
The defense was bad at the worst times, but it didn’t matter because the Giants couldn’t score. The bullpen continued to be perfect, but it didn’t matter because the Giants couldn’t score runs. The Giants had plenty of opportunities to score, but it didn’t matter. Because they didn’t. They were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and failed to reach third base entirely.
Scott Alexander walked two in a row in the ninth, causing Kenley Jansen to warm up on the Dodgers pen, then the game ended with Joe Panik hitting into a double play. That really tells you almost everything you need to know about this game.
But that doesn’t mean there weren’t any bright spots. Let’s start there. The Giants bullpen continues to be perfect. Pierce Johnson and Reyes Moronta both had clean innings, while Sam Dyson gave up one hit before retiring the side. It’s a hopeful sign, and the only thing worth highlighting among this stinker of a loss.
That said, hoo boy, was this a rough game. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but the Giants, they couldn’t score runs. It was tough going at first because Kenta Maeda was dealing, with 10 strikeouts in five innings of work, five in the first two innings. He also gave up five hits, but, and say it with me, the Giants couldn’t score.
And they had opportunities! With two outs in the second inning, Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco both singled, and Derek Holland worked the count before ultimately striking out. In the third, Joe Panik singled to center field, before Andrew McCutchen hit into a fielder’s choice. Buster Posey then singled with two outs, but was stranded.
Blanco singled again in the fourth with two outs, and he even got to second on a balk, but Holland again worked the count before striking out. Posey hit a double (yes you are reading that correctly) to lead off the sixth, but was ultimately stranded. Deja vu all over again.
Panik singled in the seventh, followed by a single from Brandon Belt, but McCutchen hit into a double play. Which leads us back to the ninth inning discussed above. It was a true exercise in futility and fecklessness.
Speaking of fecklessness, that brings us to the defense. McCutchen’s lack of communication early in the game caused some real problems. It got better as the game went on, with McCutchen making some excellent plays in the sixth inning, but the damage was already done.
In the first inning, McCutchen missed catch at the wall that bounced off and allowed Enrique Hernandez to double, which set up Yasiel Puig for a sacrifice fly, and gave Matt Kemp the opportunity to drive in two on a single. So the game didn’t get off to a great start.
But where things really went wrong, and badly, was the bottom of the fourth inning. Holland struck out Kemp and Logan Forsythe, while walking Cody Bellinger and Austin Barnes (who, by rights, should have struck out, but such is the umpire’s domain). A pick-off attempt on Bellinger led to Belt making an error and letting the ball fly out into right field, advancing Bellinger and leaving the base open for Barnes.
And that’s where it hit the fan, so to speak. Kyle Farmer hit a ball into right center field, where Blanco and McCutchen both closed in on it. However, Blanco called for it and McCutchen didn’t back off and the miscommunication caused Blanco to drop the ball, which allowed both Bellinger and Barnes to score.
After that, both bullpens were perfect, the Giants defense got it together, but far too late. And that was all there was to this one. As I’m fond of saying when the Giants get shut out, at least they didn’t get no-hit.