The Giants hope Jake Peavy can recapture some of his old NL West brilliance tomorrow night in his Giants debut. Some runs would help.
Against all odds, Gregor Blanco hit a single against Clayton Kershaw in the first inning. The Giants would go hitless over the next six innings of this game, which the Giants lost 5-0. Kershaw pitched a complete game two-hitter, his second shutout of the season (the other was the no-hitter). All four of his complete games (including a five-inning game in Colorado) have come in his last nine starts. The St. Louis Cardinals are the only team with more than four complete games.
No one expected the Giants to win this one since Kershaw isn’t from this planet, but the combined dreadfulness of this series’ first two games has been tough for Giants fans to stomach. Then again, by the looks of things behind home plate and the visiting dugout, a lot of season ticket holders profited greatly from this series. The amount of blue down the first base line was especially noticeable tonight, which makes one wonder whether the realists who hold lower box seats saw Kershaw’s name on the schedule and thought of better things to do on a Saturday night.
Can’t blame them, although there’s something to be said for watching the best pitcher of his generation do his thing.
Vogelsong wasn’t knocked around so much as picked to death by a flock of small birds with blunt beaks. After three perfect innings, Vogelsong gave up a liner to Adrian Gonzalez in the fourth that Hunter Pence never saw, because he was facing directly into the evening sun that was still visible just above the top of the ballpark (thanks to the weird 6:05 pm Saturday start time). Hanley Ramirez hit a bloop to left that seemed to hang in the air for about 10 seconds, but Michael Morse was unable to lumber over quickly enough to make the play. He threw Ramirez out at second, but that was after Gonzalez scored.
The game was effectively over at that point.
Vogelsong allowed eight hits and four runs over six innings, taking the loss for the fifth time in his last six starts. The Giants didn’t score a single run while Vogelsong was the pitcher of record during any of those five losses. Tonight was the fourth time the Giants were shut out entirely in Vogelsong’s last five outings, but he took the blame for tonight’s defeat.
“I left some balls over the plate, and they got hit. That’s really why we lost,” Vogelsong said. “If you don’t give up any runs, you can’t lose.”
That seems to be Kershaw’s philosophy. OK, that’s enough about this game.
After the game, Peavy was sitting at his new locker. It’s funny, the lockers belonging to Vogelsong, Cain, Peavy, Hudson and Madison Bumgarner take up an entire row in the Giants clubhouse, and Tim Lincecum’s locker is all the way over on the other side, as far away as possible.
Anyway, Peavy and Cain were chatting when us media slobs walked in. I walked over and interrupted their conversation (at the behest of Giants PR Director Jim Moorehead, who was wondering why no one was interviewing Peavy while we had the chance). I asked Peavy what his reaction was after hearing today’s news that he was going from the Boston Red Sox to the San Francisco Giants.
“Obviously when you get traded it’s an exciting time, because you’re excited about what the future holds. But it’s also a sad day. It was tough telling some teammates that I dearly love; I was as close to 10 or 12 of those guys there that I’ve been to any guys at any point in time in my career. So having to say goodbye was tough. Tough for all of us. But you get here, you turn the page and meet new teammates, and hopefully the same bond will form and obviously you’re in a better situation then my team earlier in the day was,” he said.
Peavy was sad to leave his former team, but he’s certainly happy to get back into a pennant race and play for his first big league manager once again.
“Bochy is my guy. Boch, Flan, these guys raised me in the game. I was 20 years old. Green as any grapes as you’ve ever seen on a vine, I would imagine, coming up from Semmes, Alabama to the big leagues. Boch took care of me, taught me how to be a professional and taught me how to get my work done. A guy I dearly love, so I’m excited as ever to be reunited with him,” he said.
“I went into (Bochy’s) office and admired his elk. What a redneck, huh? He accuses me of being a redneck. He was in a solemn mood because of how the last few games went, but we’re looking to change that tomorrow.”
If that last sentence sounds pretty confident, it’s for a reason. After scoring two runs over the last three games and falling behind the Dodgers in the NL West tonight, it seems like the Giants are wilting. Facing Cole Hames, Zack Greinke and Kershaw will do that to a team, especially one as depleted as the Giants. But Peavy, who’s had success against the Dodgers in the past, isn’t worried about what happened tonight or over the last few days.
“I expect to win tomorrow night, I can tell you that,” said Peavy.
— Vogelsong threw one toward Ramirez’s chin, which reminded me of the time when Ramirez took a Vogelsong fastball off his hand back in April … mostly because I joked about his reaction after the x-rays came back negative, a Dodgers fan on Twitter took me to task, and that Dodgers fan ended up being my Uber driver that night.
— Bochy took Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey out of the game in the eighth inning, and not just because Kershaw looked unhittable.
“(Sandoval’s) back is a little tight, his leg. He’s pretty beat up. I’ll add to that. This group’s been through a pretty tough road trip. We didn’t get a day off coming from Philly,” Bochy said. “That’s why I took Posey out, too. He had to catch yesterday; that was (supposed) to be somewhat of a day off. I don’t know if I’ll give him a day tomorrow. I’ll wait till he gets here and see how he feels.”
— If you’re a Giants fan who wants to keep hating the Dodgers, stop reading.
Andrew Susac made his debut tonight, subbing in for Posey in the top of the eighth. He hit against Kershaw in the bottom of the inning, grounding out to third on the first pitch he saw. After the game, Susac said he thought he saw Kershaw smile at him as he stepped in the box.
“I thought he was going to throw me a cookie. I thought wrong,” said Susac, who described the look he saw from Kershaw. Or thought he saw, anyway.
“He gave me like this real little, ‘Alright, rook.’ (During his) at-bat before, he congratulated me. And so did Ellis, as well, which was pretty cool. Maybe it was just me thinking that. I was thinking a little too much.”