Hey, the home run drought is finally over!
Now, back to your regularly scheduled gloom, doom and June swoon.
The way this four-game series against the Miami Marlins went down, with the San Francisco Giants (barely) winning one game, it makes it easy to forget that the Giants actually won their series against San Diego. I had to go back and check, and then double-check. And I was here for every inning of this seven-game homestand. They somehow regrouped after the schedule and a 13-inning loss tired them out and won two games in a row against the Padres. I bring this up to remind everyone that losing this series against the Marlins isn’t the end of the world.
That doesn’t mean things are peachy, however. Bruce Bochy had to use Sergio Romo in a non-save situation yesterday for five outs, because he knew that game might be the team’s best chance for a win against Miami. After Jake Dunning held the Marlins in check to keep Sunday’s game close, Jean Machi came in and got destroyed.
Before everyone starts to believe that sending Machi back to Fresno is the answer, a couple of things.
First: Machi — who allowed his first two home runs since the Giants called him up — has pitched in seven of the last 11 days.
“Bullpen got worn down a little bit,” Bochy said. “Machi showed the effects of it in that ninth inning. Those guys have been used a lot.”
Fresno’s top 4 RP in appearances: Hembree (29 gm, 5.58 ERA), Runzler (29 gm, 5.58 ERA), Edlefsen (28 gm, 6.54 ERA), Bochy (25 gm, 5.28 ERA)
— Bay Area Sports Guy (@BASportsGuy) June 23, 2013
The Giants also made far too many mistakes against the Marlins for a team that has designs on contending in the NL West, let alone defending their World Series title. Everyone seems to be pressing at the plate (where rallies turned into double plays fairly frequently) and on the basepaths. It seemed like the Giants failed more often than not when trying to take an extra base (Marco Scutaro was the culprit today, but he was far from the only Giant to go into TOOTBLAN mode).
The defense wasn’t in top form either, particularly in the infield during the sixth inning. The Marlins led off with an infield single where Nick Noonan threw the ball over Brandon Belt’s head. After a single to left by Giancarlo Stanton (whom the Giants held in check over a four-game stretch, a rare moral victory from this series), Logan Morrison hit a grounder that Belt couldn’t handle and the third run scored. It wouldn’t end up mattering anyway, but the Giants don’t have the offensive firepower to overcome all these mental and physical errors.
“We made some mistakes that hurt us,” Bruce Bochy said. “We just got shut down. Their starters, bullpen, they played great. We got outplayed here.”
— Pablo Sandoval will replace Noonan on the roster and in the lineup tomorrow evening in Los Angeles. Bochy and all the players who were asked said they’re looking forward to getting a boost of panda power with his return.
“You can’t put that much pressure on Pablo, but it certainly should do something for the club,” Bochy said. “We need a lift right now. Hopefully he’ll take a little pressure off the other guys trying to do too much.”
— Matt Cain gave up his 16th home run of the season. His season-high is 22, the number he allowed in 2009 and 2010.
— Marcell Ozuna went 6-for-14 with a home run and two doubles in the series.
“We made some awful pitches to him. A lot of mistakes he took advantage of,” Bochy said. “He came into this series struggling and he certainly got on track and he killed us.”
— After the loss, there were two themes heard again and again … and again.
FIRST THEME: THOSE MARLINS PITCHED WELL
Bochy: “We ran into some good pitching. They’ve been pitching well. We saw a great arm today, the guy’s throwing 97, 98.”
Pence: “I think they pitched really well, they have some really good arms.”
Cain: “They’ve played really well against us. They pitched well.”
Posey: “Give the Marlins credit, they pitched really well.”
SECOND THEME: NO EXCUSES!!!
The best part of this Cain/Pence/Posey montage is at the end, when an overzealous cameraman ran over Posey’s toe with a chair. It was the highlight of the afternoon, truth be told. Maybe not for Posey, but I found it amusing:
— It took me until today to notice, but the name above Brett Pill’s locker — which is next to Belt’s — is spelled “BRET PILL.”
— I wrote a little bit about the fan interference problem at AT&T Park after asking Bochy about his take on the epidemic before the game. Bochy was surprisingly pro-fan.
— Carmen put together a music video that brightened a dreary day in San Francisco — Javier Lopez strutting to a certain Bee Gees song you surely know well.