There’s an old saying, “all good things must come to an end.” This is definitely true in the wonderful world of major league baseball, where teams play a 162 game schedule over six months.
Rookie starter Chris Heston came into yesterday’s game against San Diego with a 2-2 record and 2.51 ERA. The Giants’ pitching staff was working on three consecutive shutouts, over 27 innings. Heston extended the scoreless streak to 29 innings, working out of jams in each of the first two innings. Then the third inning happened and just like that, the scoreless streak, five game winning streak, and eight game home winning streak all came to an abrupt end.
Heston didn’t look like himself from the start, giving up three hits and a walk BEFORE he reached the fateful third inning. In the third, Heston was pummeled, giving up five runs on six hits and a walk. He ended up completing five innings, allowing five runs, 11 hits and three walks, throwing a total of 87 pitches. The rough outing raised Heston’s ERA to 3.38, dropping his record to 2-3.
The Padres came into the game with an aggressive approach, frustrated after being shutout in the first two games of the series. San Diego starting pitcher Ian Kennedy said,”I don’t see our lineup getting shut out too often. We don’t like getting shut out.” In total, the Padres rapped out 16 hits and 9 runs, including five extra base hits. For the day, San Diego had 20 men in scoring position and left 14 runners on base, as the Giants’ defense helped avert a more severe beating.
On the positive side, the Giants won the series, and have now won two consecutive series and 10 of their last 14 games. Fortunately, the Dodgers also lost, so the Giants remain just 3 ½ games behind the first place Dodgers, with their record now at 14-14.
Offensively, there wasn’t much to write home about for the G-men. Brandon Belt continued his hot hitting, doubling for the fourth consecutive game, also adding a triple, as he went 2 for 3. Belt is now 6 for 13 with five extra base hits over his last four games. And starting third baseman Matt Duffy, in his second consecutive start in place of the struggling Casey McGehee, knocked two hits for the second day in a row. Don’t be surprised to see Duffy at third again tonight.
The Giants, now 5-1 on this home stand, look to win their third consecutive series and start a new winning streak tonight, as the Miami Marlins are in town to start a four game series. Tim Hudson (1-2, 3.78) is coming off a strong start last Saturday against the Dodgers, when he picked up his first victory, allowing just two hits and three runs over eight innings. Miami sends Dan Haren to the mound, also coming off of an impressive outing last Saturday, when he threw six shutout innings against the Phillies for the victory. Haren is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in five starts. After a couple of games without much suspense, look for the Giants to return to their torturous ways tonight in what is anticipated to be a tight, low scoring affair.