Randy Wells is one of the easiest starting pitchers to hit a home run against in all of baseball, allowing 1.78 HR per 9 innings entering Monday’s game. Tim Lincecum is one of the toughest, with a 0.50 HR/9 ratio before facing the Cubs. So of course Chicago rolled into San Francisco on Monday night and hit 4 home runs, 3 off Lincecum.
The Giants, who looked as flat and dead as they have in two years, didn’t just fail to hit a homer off Wells, who lowered his ERA from 5.53 to 5.06 in the first complete game shutout of his career. They did nothing, save for a couple minuscule glimmers of hope from Andres Torres (leadoff walk and a double in his second at-bat) that would end up squashed.
Lots of hung heads and slumped shoulders in the late innings of this one. The Giants haven’t hit, they know they haven’t hit and that knowledge seems to be leading to poorer performances at the plate as the season goes on. If hitting’s contagious, this virus the Giants caught is like a baseball version of SARS, Ebola — pick your pandemic of choice.
And with Orlando Cabrera booting balls nearly every game these days, and Carlos Beltran playing right field as if in slow motion, the Giants aren’t much to watch defensively, either.
After the game I went down to the press conference room to listen to Bruce Bochy, and realized a couple minutes after sitting down that the middle of the front row was entirely clear before we were all told he’d be taking questions in his office instead. The fact that the media spread out to such a degree was kind of embarrassing, but not as embarrassing as getting shut out by Wells, who is the very definition of mediocre.
“I’ve seen him throw great,” Bochy said of Wells. “But everybody going out there’s throwing great right now.”
Yep, it’s cap-tipping time once again! Two hits. One walk. No runs, for the 50th time during a Lincecum start this season (or maybe it just seems that way). Another Giant (Aubrey Huff) removed from a game after fouling a ball off his own shin, although this time the news probably won’t be met with feelings of gloom and doom. Not just because Huff’s had a bad season, but because after a game that both Bochy and Lincecum agreed was the low point of the season, things can’t get much worse.