The Giants could only muster two runs in an 11-inning, 4:48 long game. I’m sure this doesn’t surprise you — when you’re 3-4-5 hitters combine for no hits and only two walks (both from Buster Posey) and the entire lineup only manages five hits, the chances of winning are pretty slim. San Francisco’s woes continued, this time in the form of a 3-2 Reds’ win on a Shin-Soo Choo walkoff in the bottom of the 11th.
At least they scored, right? It was Tony Abreu who finally broke the Giants’ 14-inning scoreless streak, and he didn’t disappoint. Gregor Blanco drew one of his two walks with two outs in the fifth before the second baseman (who must bat second) crushed a high fastball into the left field upper deck.
Not just one … TWO runs! It was the first time the Giants had scored since the home run Brandon Belt hit in that mercifully rain-shortened thumping on Monday. Still, the Giants only managed four hits off of Tony Cingrani, the Reds’ young lefty. Two of those came from Abreu — and only the home run plated any baserunners on the game.
On to Barry Zito and the bullpen
Although he only made it four innings, this was Zito’s best road start of 2013 by a long shot. A tough fifth inning ended a start early in which, although he scattered seven hits, Zito surrendered only one earned run on a second inning sacrifice fly by Chris Heisey. Still, his 88-pitch outing put some serious pressure on the Giants’ bullpen.
Whether Zito liked it or not, Bruce Bochy turned to the bullpen in the fifth to clean up. The starter left runners on the corners with no outs, but Jose Mijares struck out Joey Votto before George Kontos struck out Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce. Bruce’s at-bat felt like it lasted two and a half hours … pretty reminiscent of the final out in the 2012 NLDS.
We were all a little quick to pat Kontos on the back, whose margin of error was already incredibly thin before giving up a majestic home run to Heisey in the bottom of the sixth. The game was tied, and the bullpen proved to be the most important bright spot in yet another disappointing loss:
- Jeremy Affeldt — 1.0 IP and zeros across the board
- Jake Dunning — One batter up, one batter down
- Sandy Rosario — Only one hit in 2.0 IP with 3 strikeouts
- Javier Lopez — 1.2 IP, two walks and the game-winning hit allowed
— Pablo Sandoval is playing absolutely horrid baseball right now. Five at bats with nothing to show for it but three strikeouts. He did reach base once, but it wasn’t by any of his own efforts. Sandoval took the worst swing I’ve ever seen on a ball that bounced in front of the plate, rolled through his legs and to the backstop. Sandoval only made it to first because Devin Mesoraco’s throw hit him in the backside.
But don’t take my word for it:
After the play, Andrew Baggarly tweeted this:
I have never seen Pablo Sandoval look so awful at the plate.
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) July 4, 2013
— It seems like a year ago, but at one point during the game we saw perhaps the weirdest TOOTBLAN in a decade:
— At least we can laugh at this guy: