Randy Wolf Shuts Down San Francisco for Nine Innings
Orange Fridays just aren't as magical as they used to be.
There's really not much to be said about this game. The Giants lost 3-0 because they simply could not execute. They grounded into two double plays (Pablo Sandoval wasn't the culprit of either), both of which killed legitimate threats to score.
In the third, with runners on first and second and nobody out, Bumgarner failed to lay down a bunt. The ball flew off of his bat and one-hopped to McGehee, who then turned a double play. Renteria then failed to get the runner home from third base.
In the fight, Pat Burrell led off with a single, but Uribe fouled out and Jose Guillen grounded into a double play to end the inning. The Giants couldn't take many pitches because Randy Wolf pounded the strike zone, but their aggressive style didn't work too well, either. Through the first six innings, Wolf only had to throw 22 pitches through innings four, five, and six combined. The Giants just couldn't make him work hard.
Their defense was also atrocious. Juan Uribe made an error for the second game in a row, while Jeremy Affeldt made a decision to throw home on an easy come-backer in the seventh inning (it wasn't a force out, but it was an easy play) and threw the ball over Buster Posey, allowing the Brewers to score their third run. And these are only the obvious signs of poor defense.
When Madison Bumgarner pitches well, but gives up nine hits (his final line: 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K), it's clearly the result of mediocre defense. Very few of the hits he allowed were hit hard, but Burrell, Ross, and Guillen don't cover much range in the outfield at this point. For now, Triple's alley will be home run's alley until Torres returns.
Bumgarner was able to pitch out of many tough situations, though, which could be a sign of his maturity as a pitcher and his ability to stay focused on the mound. He has received zero runs of support over his last three starts.
The Giants' pitching is most likely going to keep them in games every day from here on out, so they need to start hitting. No more double plays. No more low pitch counts for opposing pitchers. No more failed bunt attempts. No more stranded runners in scoring position. They just can't afford to fail to execute basic fundamental baseball; at this point, it will cost them a ticket to the postseason.
Luckily, the Padres faced the same fate as the Giants on Friday, losing 14-4. They still remain right on the Giants' tails, though, with just half a game back. The Giants's next five games are against losing teams, so now's when they need to take advantage and build upon their NL West lead.
Tomorrow: Pitchers' duel. Gallardo vs. Lincecum. Uribe has a 3-for-5 against Gallardo in his career, but collectively, the Giants don't hit him well (.235 career average). Lincecum has pitched well lately, and will be at home, where he's at his best. It should be a good match-up.
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