If I had told you before this game started that the Giants would hit three home runs and score five runs, and that Madison Bumgarner would give the team another quality start, something like 6 ⅓ innings and three runs allowed, and that the Giants were 25-0 this season when leading after eight innings, you’d have probably felt pretty darn good about the G-men achieving their 22nd victory in the month of May.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out so well for the Giants, as they failed to hold a 5-3 lead in the ninth inning when Atlanta erupted for four runs in route to a 7-5 Giants’ loss.
Coming into the game, the Giants had established themselves as a team with good defense and excellent pitching, a team that hits for a high average and takes advantage of runners in scoring position. In the ninth inning, none of those things happened.
The Giants took a 5-3 into the fateful ninth, after Joe Panik had hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh. Santiago Casilla came on to pitch the ninth and after getting Juan Uribe for the first out, Freddie Freeman homered to close the gap to 5-4. Casilla walked the next batter, but then coaxed Christian Betancourt to ground into what appeared to be a perfect set up for a game-ending double play. However, All-Star candidate and defensive phenom Brandon Crawford misplayed the routine ground ball for an error, allowing both runners to reach safely. “It wasn’t hit real hard, so I came to get it and it took a little funny hop off the grass, but I just came at it too hard and I was trying to get two before I ever caught the ball, Craw said.”
A. J. Pierzynski then singled to load the bases, bringing Jace Peterson up to the plate with one out. Peterson roped a deep drive into the right-center field gap to drive in all three baserunners, giving the Braves a 7-5 lead and final score, as the Giants would fail to get anything going in the bottom of the ninth.
This one was painful, and although Casilla wasn’t at his best on this day, the loss was a total team effort, as the G-men had opportunities to win it in the ninth, and earlier in the game as well.
Offensively, the Giants managed only seven hits in this one, but five were for extra bases (3 home runs, two doubles) and they also managed five walks off of Braves’ pitchers. The team was 2 for 5 with runners in scoring position and got home runs from Brandon Belt, Crawford, and Panik.
Brandon Belt went 2 for 3 on the day, with a run scored and RBI and the homer was his seventh, all of them hit over the past 17 games.
The Giants open a three game series tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates, in a rematch of 2014 Wild Card opponents. Ryan Vogelsong (4-2, 4.24) faces Gerrit Cole (7-2, 2.11), as Vogey looks to maintain his successful run over his past five starts.