Giants starter Jake Peavy returned to Petco Park for the first time since he was traded from the Padres to the Whitesox, in 2009. And Peavy pitched great, exhibiting the form that won him a Cy Young award as a Padre in 2007. Then the fourth inning happened. With two outs in the fourth and the bases loaded, Peavy hung a pitch to his former battery mate Will Nieves, and just like that the Giants 2-0 lead was erased, and they faced a 4-2 deficit they would be unable to overcome.
Through the first three innings, Peavy cruised, striking out four and allowing just one hit. Buster Posey said, “he looked probably as crisp as I’ve seen him the last three or four times I caught him. He really didn’t make too many mistakes.” Peavy was fired up to face his former team, returning to the mound in the city he spent his first 7 ½ seasons. The Giants were hopeful that Peavy would lead them to the victory that would enable them to return home with a winning road trip, and a split in the four game series with the Padres. In yet another example of how this game truly is a game of inches, Peavy’s one mistake was tagged by Nieves and was the difference in this one. Peavy left the game after 4 innings having thrown 87 pitches, allowing 4 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks with 5 strikeouts.
Despite scoring 4 runs, the Giants’ offense continued to struggle, even with the return of Brandon Belt to the lineup. The G-men managed just 7 hits and left 5 runners in scoring position. Buster Posey kept things interesting by hitting his second homer of the year in the 7th inning, closing the gap to 5-4, but the Giants weren’t able to muster any additional offense after that. Manager Bruce Bochy is hoping that third baseman Casey McGehee can return to the lineup soon, and that Hunter Pence will continue to stay on pace for a May 1st return. In the meantime, it does appear that the Giants’ pitching staff will have to carry the team.
The defending World Champions return to AT & T park this afternoon to face the Colorado Rockies in their home opener. The team will raise their 2014 World Championship banner and also honor their late, great Hall of Fame announcer, Lon Simmons, who passed away earlier this month. Rookie Chris Heston will pitch the home opener, and will be the first rookie to do so since Alan Fowlkes in 1982. The Giants have posted a 35-21 record in home openers since moving to San Francisco, and can move back to .500 with a win. The Rockies have played the Giants evenly over the past two seasons, splitting 38 games.