Thursday, July 5, 2012

Getaway game gets away

Giants blew a lot of scoring chances tonight and that kept the Nationals in striking distance. Fifteen hits, two walks, and a meaningful stolen base should net you more than five runs. I knew the Giants would rue those blown opportunities. With some better at-bats it could have easily been an 8-1 game in the top of the 7th inning. Matt Cain delivered a stopper start until he gave up back-to-back bombs in the bottom half to make it 5-3, and Ol' Boch had to yank him. Suddenly, the team was just hanging on instead of cruising. Jeremy Affeldt made a mess of things, and Sergio Romo managed to clean it up, but Santiago Casilla made an even bigger mess, and that was that. Cain wasn't on top of his game, but he certainly pitched well enough to get the team a win in a must-win game. Washington showed a lot of explosiveness in this series, banging out extra-base hits in bunches. You had to figure they were going to keep coming, and it was going to take all hands to nail down the win.

When you don't hit home runs you have to rely on station-to-station baseball, and that means it takes four guys to score a run instead of one. And when you play for one run then one run is all you'll get. I like crooked numbers, but the team is just not built that way, they are built to hit three singles and not score. But that's, by comparison, a minor issue in the big scheme of things. Hell, at least they get hits. They couldn't do that last season. The big issue is the lack of consistent performance from key relievers. Another series on the road ends with bullpen disasters. This team needs to get outs in those "close-and-late" situations, and can't afford to let games like this get away from them. Tonight the Giants let one get away and now head for Pittsburgh to face the first-place Pirates for the final series before the Break.




nomisnala said...

Affeldt is either good or bad, and when he comes in to shut down the offense in a game that Cain leaves with a lead, I cringe. Mark Derosa with a double. Mr broken wrist Derosa. Then a switch hitter batting 107 gets an infield hit off of Affeldt. Does it seem when giants hit the ball 120 MPH back to the pitcher, our guy is always out, and when someone else does it to the giants, their guy is always safe. Casilla seems to come in just a tad before he settles down. He gives up a double, by making a mistake pitch. Not a closer pitch. Then he mishandles a bunt. They get a lucky bounce hit. Tie the game. Then we load the bases and get a questionable out at the plate. Then he throws a double play ground ball, but it there is a poor throw on the pivot and Belt cannot scoop it out. I don't know why that is not an error. He would have been out with a good throw. Yes I can assume the DP. So instead of going into the 10th inning with hope, the giants go to pittsburgh having just been swept. Would it kill Bochy to let Romo face at least one batter in the ninth? I think that HBP by Romo. where the batter did not move out of the way of the ball, and let his elbow guard get hit, moved the lineup one player, which could have been a key to the nationals have their best guys coming up in the 9th.

M.C. O'Connor said...

He took one for the team, that's for sure. But it should have been 8-1 and the drama would have been moot.

Zo said...

Given the way the Giants imploded (exploded?) 8-1 may not have been enough. Two starts where our starters did not pitch well enough, followed by one in which Matt did, only to have the bullpen blow it. Meanwhile, Cincinnati, who looked so good in SF is looking like crap in LA as the Giants descend from first just as quickly as they gained it. K&K were talking about Espinosa's hbp in the eighth. That should have been ruled a strike, as should any hbp in the strike zone. Either the pitcher gets the strike zone or he does not. Kuip mentioned, however, that call is NEVER made. Affeldt - no outs. Casilla - basically no outs as a result of his own error before the game was as good as lost. Deeply disappointing. I have to give the Nats credit - their hitters are monsters. But yesterday, we choked big time.