For three consecutive days/games, Sunday through Tuesday, Giants’ pitching was superb, allowing no runs over 27 innings. The last two games have been quite the opposite as the Giants’ staff has allowed 16 runs and 33 hits in consecutive losses. And as all good things eventually come to an end, this too shall pass.
The key moment in this one took place early, in the second inning, when starting pitcher Dan Haren drove a pitch deep into the gap in right center with two outs, scoring Miami’s first two runs. The next batter, Dee Gordon, also doubled, scoring Haren to give the Marlins a 3-0 lead that would prove insurmountable on this night.
Starting pitcher Tim Hudson managed to pitch into the seventh inning, going 6 ⅔ innings, but allowed six runs on 15 hits while striking out just three. Huddy has been inconsistent thus far this season and very hittable, and now sports a 1-3 record and 4.50 ERA. Opponents are batting .289 against him for the season. To put that in perspective, the Giants’ top two starting pitchers this year, Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum are holding opponent batting averages to .233 and .245 respectively.
Marlins’ starter Dan Haren pitched very well again, throwing seven innings and allowing just two runs on eight hits. Haren improved his record to 4-1 on the year and lowered his ERA to 2.68. Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said, “Really, Haren’s the one who killed us, on the mound and with the bat.”
The Giants’ offense managed nine hits in total for the night, but only two extra base hits, going just 1 for 4 with runners in scoring position. Nori Aoki continued to struggle at the plate for the fourth consecutive game and is now 2 for 16 over his last four games. He’s been an offensive spark plug all year and has played a lot of innings, and might be due for a day off. Brandon Belt continued his hot hitting, going 2 for 4 with a double. This is the fifth consecutive game that Belt has doubled and he’s raised his average to .274. Starting third baseman Matt Duffy was 1 for 3 with a double and RBI, and is 5 for 10 with two RBI in three consecutive starts, proving to be an upgrade over Casey McGehee, who continues to sit.
The pregame ceremony before the game was very touching, with the Giants CEO Larry Baer and manager Bruce Bochy presenting the 2014 World Championship ring to former Giant and current Marlin Michael Morse. Morse is genuinely liked by the entire Giants’ organization and fan base. He’s also a guy who appears to be very genuine himself, and clearly cherished his one season with the team. Morse was 2 for 4 for the night, raising his batting average to .207.
With the Giants’ loss and a Dodgers win, the G-men are now 14-15 on the year, 4 ½ games behind the Dodgers. Tim Lincecum, the Giants’ best starter statistically this year, will try to get the Giants back on track tonight. Timmy brings a 2-2 record and 2.40 ERA into the game and will be opposed by Miami starter Jarred Cosart (1-2, 2.97). Lincecum is 2-3 lifetime against the Marlins in seven starts, with an ERA of 3.83. Cosart will face the G-men for the first time. With a win, the Giants will even the series and their overall record for the year.