This series against the Reds has been a plane crash. In fact, they’d have been better off letting KTVU air the games. Maybe Tori Campbell could announce the play-by-play. At least then the games would be offensive.
Okay, so it’s not like the Giants didn’t fill up the box score. They did — especially tonight. Somehow, they managed 15 hits, only one of which went for extra bases. This is a feat the team has achieved only five times since 1990 (The Giants have played in 3,760 regular season games since then, if you’re keeping track at home). That’s pretty special.
Still, it’s not as special as the fact that this team became just the 14th team in Giants’ history (over 15,000 games) to score three or fewer runs despite registering at least 15 hits. For comparison to another rarity in Giants history, the team has no-hit their opponents 11 times and has been no-hit 13 times. So, we kinda witnessed history tonight.
As you’d expect with a team that gets 15 hits, the Giants had plenty of opportunities to score (Note: the following is not safe for children):
- In the first inning, with Marco Scutaro on second and Hunter Pence at first, Brandon Belt ended the inning with a ground ball to second.
- In the second, with Jeff Francoeur on third and Guillermo Quiroz on second, Gregor Blanco grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.
- In the third, with Hunter Pence on second and Brandon Belt on first, Jeff Francoeur grounded into an inning-ending double play.
- In the fourth, with the bases loaded, Pablo Sandoval popped out to third to end the inning.
- In the fifth, with Pence on second and Francoeur on first and only one out, Brandon Crawford struck out swinging and then Quiroz ended the inning with a ground ball to third.
- In the seventh, with the bases loaded and ZERO outs, Francoeur struck out swinging, Buster Posey grounded into a force out at home, and Quiroz struck out looking.
- In the eighth, with runners at the corners and one out, Belt struck out looking and then Francoeur grounded out to third.
The ineptitude of the offense might have been matched by the pitching and defense. Before being pulled in the third inning, Chad Gaudin gave up seven hits, five walks, and six runs. He wasn’t helped by his defense — Gregor Blanco in particular. Blanco first let a ball go through his legs in the third, and then, he dropped an easy fly ball to shallow center while trying slide under it to make the catch.
It wasn’t all ugly, however, as Hunter Pence connected for five hits — all singles, of course. It’s the second five-hit game of his career. Pence’s offensive explosion — if I can call it that — couldn’t come at a better time, as the Texas Rangers have reportedly “set their sights” on Pence. Though we’ve certainly become attached to Pence since his arrival last summer, it’s becoming increasingly more likely that the Giants will be sellers at the trade deadline. Though the season’s not over, their hopes of the playoffs pretty much are. As Henry Schulman tweeted, the Giants “will need to finish 35-26 to reach .500. At no point this season were they nine games above .500.”
— The Giants left 10 runners on base. Their season average is 3.72.
— In this four game series, no Giants pitcher made it out of the fifth inning. In fact, Zito is the only pitcher to make it into the fifth.
— The Giants are now 10-44 when they fail to score more than four runs. They’re 36-11 when they reach at least four runs.