It’s been a long time since I’ve heard those familiar songs from Rick Ross, Drake, 2Pac and Eminem (which might as well be known as the “B-Craw Win Mix” on the clubhouse iPod). The Giants have lost eight of their last nine home games, and the lone victory came on a Thursday afternoon when I was on a flight back home from L.A.
I never thought I’d say this, but I miss those Rick Ross grunts.
“I THINK I’M BIG MEECH … LARRY HOOVER … WHIPPIN’ WORK … HALLELUJAH”
The Giants surely miss them a lot more.
The first two games of this three-game series with the Padres — a 6-0 loss on Monday night and a 7-2 defeat tonight — haven’t been complicated.
“San Diego played well. Their two young guys, they pitched very well. They played well, they’re swinging the bats,” Bruce Bochy said.
“We’re not swinging the bats and we’re not pitching well. That doesn’t work out.”
The starters, Matt Cain and Tim Hudson, combined to allow 12 runs (10 earned) over 13 innings. The hitters have flailed against two unfamiliar starters, although they managed to plate a couple runs against Jesse Hahn — despite striking out six times through the first three innings and not reaching base until the fifth.
Ah, moral victories. Here’s another … Wednesday’s Padres starter is Ian Kennedy, someone the Giants have faced before! Unfortunately, Kennedy is 7-3 against the Giants with a 2.49 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 17 starts, including four starts last year with an ERA of 2.88.
Without Angel Pagan, the Giants’ offense goes from fun and frisky to feckless and frustrating. Bruce Bochy said he’d have an update on Pagan’s status tomorrow, but it appears a trip to the disabled list is inevitable, followed by a call-up for either Adam Duvall or Gary Brown.
However — and it may sound unfair to pin most of the team’s recent difficulties on the starting rotation, since the Giants have averaged one run per game since returning to San Francisco — during this 3-11 stretch, the starters’ combined numbers have been ugly: 5.63 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 6.6 SO/9. Take away Madison Bumgarner’s three starts and the other guys’ numbers look even worse over those 11 games: 6.75 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 5.9 K/9.
“I think it’s fair to say that’s our biggest issue right now through this tough stretch. It’s that rotation that put us in a good position, and we’ve hit a bump in the road with some of them. It’s going to happen. It’s important that we come out of this, and it’s our starting pitching that gets us out of this,” said Bochy, who called the team’s recent struggles at home “tough to explain.”
Hudson’s last two outings have caused his ERA to rise from 1.81 (which led all MLB starters at the time) to 2.62.
“My Chicago start, I just wasn’t very good that game. I didn’t make very good pitches,” Hudson said.
“Tonight, I felt really good. Like I was making some pretty good pitches. They hit a couple pretty good pitches, they hit some pitches that weren’t very good. You’ve got to give them credit. But at the same time, I was a pitch or two away from not giving up any runs. It’s just one of those things that happens. They went out there and had some decent at-bats, especially in that sixth inning.”
Despite the overall misgivings about the way the rotation has performed over the last two-plus weeks, Bochy didn’t sound too worried about Hudson.
“He’s just been up a little bit more. Not getting that same sink, I think,” Bochy said.
“He got his double play balls early. He’s hoping he could get one in that last inning (the sixth, when Hudson allowed three runs), but he got it through the infield. I think that’s the biggest thing with him. Just missing his spots a little bit and elevating the ball … he’s healthy. He’ll be fine.”
— Buster Posey drove in the Giants’ second run with his ninth double of the season. Posey also has nine homers. In 2012-13, Posey hit 39 home runs and 73 doubles.
— Earlier today I took a bunch of photos of “The Garden,” which opened today at AT&T Park. Included is a shot of Hunter Pence eating salad with little kids and a couple pics of the new, smaller avocado trees.
— The highlight of this game was a Garden-variety pun-off that started with Andrew Baggarly’s response to a joke I made about arugula. The string of jokes ended up receiving a ton of great additions thrown in by others on Twitter who were probably just as bored with this game as I was. Thanks to everyone for taking part. I’m glad we showed we could keep the puns flowing without resorting to “Panik” jokes.
— Speaking of Joe Panik, the rookie made two errors tonight. Neither one was especially terrible. The first was a semi-difficult backhand play that he couldn’t come up with; the second came when he couldn’t handle a pretty mediocre throw from Pablo Sandoval. After the game, Shawon Dunston sat with Panik at his locker and chatted for several minutes. I wasn’t going to eavesdrop, but based on facial expressions and body language from both men it appeared that Dunston was encouraging the 23-year-old.