August 7, 2009 the Giants suffered their worst loss of the season, committing an embarrassing five errors despite the pitchers allowing five earned runs in a 10-5 loss against a struggling Cincinnati Reds club. Granted Tim Lincecum didn't have his best stuff and did not have a great outing, but the defense was no help.
After the Giants took an early 2-0 lead in the 1st on Bengie Molina's 2-run homer, the Reds answered with 1 in each of the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings. The first two runs could have been avoided. In the 4th, Rowand tried to make a diving catch to end the inning with runners at 1st and 2nd, but was unable to come up with the ball. Though he was trying to end the inning, the dive is not necessary when you have a 2-run lead early with Lincecum on the mound. And who knows, Gonzalez could have tried to score and a chance to get the out anyways. Or how competitive Lincecum is, he struck out the next batter anyways.
The next inning after a bad decision by Rowand, Renteria fumbles the ball hit by Taveras with two out. That leads to a single by Gonzalez and the game is tied on two errors from a good defensive team.
Aside from the five errors, if that's not enough, Bochy continued to make bone-head decisions using his pitchers. When the Reds eventually tied the game again in the 8th, Affeldt walked the lead-off batter and then sat on the bench. Bochy likes going with the storied "lefty-lefty" match-up but seriously, Affeldt has proven he pitches right-handed batters more effectively.
Either way, to my disappointment, Romo comes in. Not like I don't like him, but the skipper has no faith in his best relief pitcher. Romo gives up a big hit to the next hitter Brandon Phillips, but then strikes out the next guy before walking another guy to load the bases. This is where Bochy made another costly mistake. He wanted to see Wilson in the game quickly so Wilson gets the call for a ridiculous 5-out save. I am no fan of this, especially with the bases loaded. Not to mention he likes to pitch himself into trouble before getting it done.
Wilson did not have his arm working tonite to pitch two high stress innings, as he walks three with one man already on base with one out. That's all we see of our closer, but the damage is done already. With the Reds up one, Molina and Pablo Sandoval make back-to-back throwing errors to allow two more runs to score instead of going into the bottom of the 9th down two at most.
Instead, the inning continues to see more defensive woes. Medders throws a wild pitch to allow another run to score, and lastly Rolen scores to make it 10-5 on a sacrifice fly by Laynce Nix.
So the Giants collectively threw the game away on too many walks and errors. Five errors, but I am still excited about the future because only two of them were by Giants I want to see for a long time. Medders, who inherited a tight situation, and Sandoval, who makes too many stellar plays at 3rd to get upset at him.
Given they made five errors in the game, the Giants just got unlucky. Everybody just wasn't in the right mind-set for the game against a struggling team, and I'm sure we won't have this problem tomorrow.
The problem I wish to address is who should be the Giants skipper next year. Now Bochy took this young team to be in playoff contention for the 1st time in five years, but is it really Bochy to thank? Time and time again Bochy has called in pitchers at wrong times. (Brian Wilson in tie games in the 8th or 9th inning and leaving starting pitchers out 1/3 of an inning too long to name a few.)
He also arranges the batting line-up weird often. Like tonight, Winn gets put in the 5th spot, primarily an RBI man's spot, when he has no where near the numbers of that kind of bat. I thought the Giants got Garko for that role so Winn or Lewis doesn't hit there. Guess not. And what did Winn do in the RBI role? 0 for 5.
Bochy has to start utilizing his players effectively or I want to see a new face. Velez seems to be the fix at lead-off for now, and the Giants need to find either a clean-up or 2nd place hitter. I think Pablo and Sanchez gets moved down to 4th and 3rd, respectively, and move Molina down to 5th. From the remaining players, until Schierholtz comes back, I think Garko hits 3rd and then Rowand-Renteria-Winn in 6-7-8. When Nate comes back, he replaces Garko and Garko moves down to 6th behind Molina and that should be enough with the Giants pitching to at least win the wild card.