Rookie starter Chris Heston took the mound last night as the Giants best starter in 2015. In his first three (quality) starts he had gone at least six innings in each game and given up just one earned run or less in each outing, sporting an 0.87 ERA. Then Coors Field happened. Pitching in this hitter’s park for the first time, Heston discovered how difficult it can be even for the best major league pitchers. He battled all night and kept the Giants in the game, but was unable to hold three leads in giving up six runs, 11 hits and a walk, while striking out four in 5 ⅓ innings. With the loss, Heston’s record is now at 2-2, with a 2.77 ERA.
This one started off well for the G-men with Justin Maxwell delivering a 2-run homer to deep left center field in the second, giving the Giants a 2-0 lead. The homer was Maxwell’s second of the season, in just 22 at bats. In four consecutive starts, Maxwell is now 6 for 14 with two HRs and five RBI. He also contributed two great catches, continuing to play great defense in right field.
The Rockies didn’t waste any time however, scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. They did the same in the third inning, after the Giants went ahead 3-2 in the top of the inning, when Angel Pagan singled in Gregor Blanco who had started off the inning with a double. In the fifth, a couple of doubles by Joe Panik and Brandon Belt put the Giants in front for the third time. But after shutting the Rockies down in the bottom of the inning, Heston was unable to hold the lead in the sixth inning, giving up three runs and leaving, after getting just one out in the inning.
In total the Giants rapped out 12 hits, and the offensive highlights were: Blanco and Panik, each going 2 for 5 with a double and run scored, Pagan 2 for 4 with an RBI, Belt 3 for 3 with a double, RBI and run scored, and Maxwell 2 for 3 with a HR, two RBI and a run scored. Posey and McGehee continue to struggle at the plate, now batting .234 and .163 respectively. And McGehee continued his propensity for grounding out into double plays, with two in the game. In his defense, one was turned on a scorching line drive down the third base line in the fourth inning that could have easily been a double and a couple of RBI. Look for McGehee to turn things around soon, and also Buster Posey, a career .400 hitter at Coors Field.
Tonight, Tim Hudson takes the mound for the Giants hoping to improve upon his Coors Field fortunes, where he’s 0-2 with a 7.29 ERA over eight starts here. Colorado will send Jorge De La Rosa to the hill, making his second start after recovering from a groin injury. De La Rosa was hammered by the Padres in his first start on Monday, giving up nine hits and seven earned runs in just two innings. Look for a high scoring affair in this one.