The San Francisco Giants made 3 errors in the same game for the seventh time this season. That didn’t help. The Giants walked 10 times, which I’m pretty sure is the amount of walks they accumulated in their previous 35 games combined. I’m not sure about that, though. Better check with @SFG_Stats.
None of the Giants looked all that impressive on Tuesday besides Gregor Blanco, who’s been everything to this team over the past couple days: blazing speed, excellent defense (the catch he made on that liner was spectacular, as well as something Angel Pagan could probably never duplicate) and walks that, for one night anyway, became contagious. Yet, Blanco alone is not enough. Even though his walk loaded the bases with one out in the 8th, and the bases were loaded with three Giants who had walked in order to get there, Brandon Belt and Melky Cabrera let their desire for contact-making and RBIs lead them to flail at pitches out of the zone.
Yes, Belt. Mr. OBP, the guy who walked twice and hit a sac fly in his first three plate appearances, looked overeager, overanxious, overwhelmed and overmatched, especially in the 8th. And for the first time (on Twitter, anyway), certain Belt-loving Giants fans seemed like they were over sticking their necks out for the awkward one by the end of Tuesday’s 5-4 loss.
“With Brandon, he’s one of our more disciplined hitters. He just got too aggressive, I think he got caught up in the moment,” Bruce Bochy said.
“Bam Bam had talked to him. You know, the guy had trouble throwing strikes and he’s one guy that usually doesn’t expand the zone. He did it on the first pitch, probably gave the pitcher confidence.”
— What to blame, who to blame … a Giants squad that went 2-for-17 and struck out 10 times with runners in scoring position (capped by a called strike 3 to Nate Schierholtz for the last out after Angel Pagan tried to start a rally singlehandedly), or the defense?
— It wasn’t Tim Lincecum’s fault, but he left feeling like he could’ve done much more. He threw 122 pitches and looked great early, but was unable to rise above the Giants’ defensive malaise. While that’s not his job description, he seemed disappointed in himself afterward.
“You just put yourself in tough situations when you kind of compact everything that’s been going on in a bad inning and you don’t stop it. The toughest part for me to take right now is the fact that I used to be able,” said Lincecum, who then stopped himself.
“Not that I used to be able to, but I’ve been known to get out of innings like that, pick up the team, and I feel like I could’ve done a better job in that last inning. Keeping the score where it was and maybe not put so much pressure on the team to have to bail me out or bail us out of this one.”
So … any good news?
— Besides Blanco’s excellent play and Brandon Crawford’s best offensive game in a while (2-for-3 with 2 walks), the bright side probably came from the fact that Joaquin Arias’ wrist wasn’t broken by a 93 mph Jeremy Guthrie fastball. He’s day-to-day with a forearm contusion, and could even play tomorrow according to Bochy.
— For all the concern over clubhouse leaders that I tried to debunk the other day, that doesn’t seem to be the Giants’ problem. They can’t play a clean game to save their lives, but this team likes each other.
— Belt and Brett Pill, supposed rivals, have lockers next to one another and played catch this afternoon.
— After the game, I heard Javier Lopez offer some support and encouragement to Charlie Culberson, who came in and played second after Arias’ injury moved Emmanuel Burriss to third. Culberson (who has a pregnant blond wife that CSN Bay Area won’t stop showing every time Culberson’s at the plate) is 1-for-11 so far.
— Aubrey Huff picked up a walk in his pinch-hitting appearance and scored a run on Cabrera’s double.
— Pagan made up for his defensive miscue by singling in Cabrera in the 7th and stealing second in the 9th. Sure, that was a very risky play. But it’s also risky to stay at first base with the bottom of the Giants’ order coming up.
— Brian Wilson will hold court with the media tomorrow afternoon according to the Giants’ PR staff, so maybe he’ll cheer everyone up.