Before last night’s game, we made two predictions:
1) that the Giants would win and break their 7 game losing skid and 2) that we’d post a blog about the game results. Well, we’re batting .500 on those predictions, which is a lot better than the Giants team batting average for the season, which now stands at .224.
Arizona starter Josh Collmenter was dominant last night, allowing just four hits in blanking the Giants, his second career shutout. Only three Giants managed to get a hit off of Collmenter, with Joe Panik’s (2 for 4) double the only offensive highlight of the evening. With their eighth consecutive loss, the Giants dropped to 3-9 on the season and now trail the streaking, (five straight wins) first place Dodgers by five games.
Despite starter Jake Peavy’s second consecutive rough outing and recurring back injury, the concern and focus continues to be on the G’men’s lackluster offense. This team was built to play small ball, getting on base frequently, in the hopes that they could scratch out 4-4.5 runs per game. Basically, a similar approach to past years which saw the Giants capture three World Championships in five seasons. In the first 12 games, this offense has scored just 32 runs, averaging 2.67 runs per game. Most games have been close, but with a couple of blowouts, their run differential now stands at -24, which is second worst in MLB.
With the Giants frustrated and the fan base very concerned, it’s still way too early to panic or jump to conclusions. With two position starters still out, including team spark plug Hunter Pence, we can expect the offense to continue to struggle to score runs. Yes, the pitching is going to have to carry this team for the next couple of weeks, if the Giants are going to reverse this very rough start and get back into the mix.
Speaking of pitching, overall the staff has performed well with two exceptions – Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong. Last night was Peavy’s second start and second consecutive rough outing. Once again, Peavy couldn’t get past the fourth inning, going 3 ⅔ and giving up eight hits and four runs, while walking one. Peavy’s back flared up again and his status is now questionable for his next start. His ERA stands at 9.39 after two starts.
Ryan Vogelsong completed the sixth and seventh innings, and pitched to two batters in the eighth. His line: 15 batters faced, five hits, four walks and two runs allowed (one earned). Despite his third consecutive poor performance, Vogey was actually able to lower his ERA to 10.45, worst on the team. Manager Bruce Bochy might want to consider giving Vogelsong a few days off to work some things out, as he’s hurting the club right now.
The Giants are hopeful that tonight’s starter, rookie Chris Heston, will continue his early dominance as the Giants’ best starting pitcher in this young season. After two starts he’s 1-1 with a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings pitched. Heston will be opposed by D-backs’ good luck starter Rubby De La Rosa (2-0, 7.15). The Giants faced De La Rosa in Arizona in the second game of the season and lost, despite tagging De La Rosa for 6 runs in 5 ⅓ innings. Arizona has scored 15 runs in De La Rosa’s two starts. Chris Heston expects to stop that trend tonight, but this blogger is holding off on any predictions for the time being.