Last night, the Giants managed just eight hits (only one extra base hit), scored only two runs, left seven men on base, were just 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position, and committed FOUR errors in the field. And they won, shutting out the Padres 2-0. Such is life when you have ace Madison Bumgarner on the mound.
Yes, Giants fans, the G-men are on a roll. This writer suggested last Friday, before this ten game home stand started, that the Giants were starting to finally play championship baseball, and were poised to embark on a ten game, home stand win streak. With yesterday’s victory, the Giants have now won the first four games of the home stand, and 9 of their last 12 games overall. With the Dodgers’ loss last night to Milwaukee (ace Clayton Kershaw failed to hold a 3-0 lead), the Giants trail Los Angeles by just 3 ½ games and can move past San Diego into second place in the division with a win tonight.
With the offense struggling to knock Padres’ starter Tyson Ross out of the game, MadBum simply rose to the occasion, holding the Padres hitless through six innings. In total, MadBum went 7 ⅓ innings, allowing just two hits and a walk, with six strikeouts. Because of the four Giants’ errors however, Bumgarner had to shut down multiple scoring opportunities. The Padres were able to get runners into scoring position in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings, but each time came up empty handed, going 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
There weren’t many offensive highlights for the G-men, as Ross thwarted the Giants’ attempts to break the game open on multiple occasions. Ross allowed seven hits and three walks over seven innings, but the Giants couldn’t get the big hit when they needed it. Casey McGehee had a particularly rough night at the plate, striking out in the second inning with runners on second and third and no outs, and then grounding out into a double play with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the third. On the night, McGehee left five runners on base, going 0 for 3 and is now batting .181 on the season. Don’t be surprised to see McGehee on the bench tonight, with either Matt Duffy or Joaquin Arias getting the start at third. Manager Bruce Bochy has been very patient as McGehee has played through a leg injury, much more patient than Giants’ fans have been, but it seems like a little time off might be in order at this point. On a positive note, Angel Pagan continued his consistently hot hitting, going 2 for 4 with an RBI. Brandon Belt went 2 for 4 with a double, despite having a difficult night in the field, making one error on a dropped throw in the ninth inning from Santiago Casilla, and failing to scoop three other throws on the night where throwing errors were charged to MadBum, Crawford and McGehee.
Tonight, the Giants look to move into second place with their fifth consecutive win on this home stand, and will send Ryan Vogelsong to the mound against Andrew Cashner. Cashner is 1-4 on the year, despite a 2.61 ERA. Vogel has not pitched well this season, and brings an 0-2 record and 9.31 ERA into the game. This could be his last start for a while if he pitches poorly again. Look for Vogey to step up tonight, and for the Giants offense to come up big, keeping this win streak alive.