That was a ROUGH road trip.
The Giants headed home last night after absorbing another tough loss, losing 3-1 to the Nationals, getting swept for the second consecutive series, losing their sixth straight game.
With the loss, the Giants dropped to 42-41 on the year and trail the Dodgers by four games.
The Giants’ offense generated only 17 runs on this 0-6 road trip, including only five runs against Washington over the past three games. They’re clearly missing their lead off hitter and starting left fielder, Nori Aoki, as well as their starting right fielder, team leader and catalyst, Hunter Pence.
What’s it going to take to jump start the offense? Manager Bruce Bochy didn’t seem to have an immediate solution. “Somehow we need to get the mojo going with the offense,” he said.
Ryan Vogelsong (6-6, 4.10) was cruising along through 4+ innings, locked in a 1-1 tie thanks to a solo homerun by Brandon Crawford, his 12th on the year. After Vogey turned away in disgust after failing to get a strike three call, he approached home plate to talk to umpire Phil Cuzzi, failed to halt his approach when warned, and was immediately tossed. The Giants had been complaining all game about Cuzzi’s poor judgment on determining balls and strikes. Bochy then walked onto the field looking for an explanation for Vogey’s ejection and was thrown out himself shortly thereafter. The ejections, however, didn’t manage to fire up the Giants, as they generated just one single over the final four innings.
Usually reliable relief pitcher George Kontos (2-1, 1.74) took the loss when he gave up a solo homerun in the sixth inning to Wilson Ramos. Kontos had just entered the game in relief of lefty reliever Josh Osich (0-0, 0.00), who pitched well, allowing no hits in 1 1/3 innings in his second appearance of the season.
The Giants have started off July (0-5) in similar fashion to June (0-3) and have lost 21 of their last 33 games overall. They’re clearly not playing championship baseball over the past six weeks.
Rookie Chris Heston (8-5, 3.78) will try to turn the tables, when he faces the Mets and starter Jon Niese (3-8, 3.90) at AT&T tonight as they begin a three game series. The last time Heston faced the Mets was last month at Citi Field, when Heston pitched the game of his life in throwing a no-hitter. Heston has gone 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA over four starts since the no-hitter.
The Giants will wrap up this six game homestand with a weekend series against the Phillies, before the start of the All-Star break.
- Expect Boch to choose Craw as a reserve for the All-Star game where he’d join teammate Buster Posey who was voted in as the starting catcher for the mid-summer classic. You can also make a strong case for Madison Bumgarner, Joe Panik, and Nori Aoki being chosen based on their strong first half performances
- The Giants are hopeful they’ll have their entire starting line-up intact, including Aoki and Pence, shortly after the All-Star break