The Colorado Rockies defeated the Giants before another sold out AT & T Park crowd, as the offense continued to struggle. With the loss, the Giants have now dropped four straight as manager Bruce Bochy looks for ways to spark this offense.
The G-men have now been shutout twice in their first 8 games and have scored just 7 runs in their past 5 games. Yesterday, they teased the crowd early, loading the bases in each of the first two innings, only to come away with no runs. In fact, they stranded 10 runners in total in the first four innings, as Colorado rookie pitcher Eddie Butler continued to weave in and out of trouble. On the day, the Giants’ offense was 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position, managing just 5 hits, frustrating all 42,019 fans in attendance.
A bright spot for the Giants was rookie starter Chris Heston, who continued to do his best Matt Cain impersonation. Yesterday, he became only the second rookie pitcher in San Francisco Giants history to start a home opener (Alan Fowlkes was the other in 1982). Heston seems to be completely unfazed by the distractions and pressures of MLB and genuinely seems to be enjoying himself out there. “Any time you’re out there, you should be having fun. It was a blast,” Heston said after the game. This lends credence to the fact that these Giants aren’t pressing yet, and that the team remains loose and confident despite the four game losing streak and lack of offense. Heston pitched 7 innings, giving up just one earned run and striking out 5. His ERA after two starts this season – 0.69.
The one bright spot on offense continues to be newcomer, Norichika Aoki. With a single in the first inning yesterday, he extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games. After starting all 8 games, he’s batting .412 and has reached base 18 times. It’s only a matter of time before Angel Pagan gets going, and with Pence looking to return by May 1st, the outfield contingent should become a strong contributor to the Giants’ offense. The thing to remember is that these early offensive struggles are really no different from the past five seasons (which turned out pretty good for the G-men with THREE world championships). This team, like its predecessors, is built to win with pitching and defense.
Veteran Tim Hudson will be on the hill tonight, opposing Rockies starter Christian Bergman, as the Giants look to end their losing skid and start a new winning streak.