The national TV spotlight shined on a pretty hapless Giants team Saturday afternoon as they attempted to recover from a two-hit blunder against Chris Anderson and halt a six-game losing skid at home.
Even after a good night’s sleep in their own beds, the Giants faltered, lobbing yet another Diamondbacks starter into the no-hit discussion. New guy Allen Webster kept San Francisco hitless into the sixth inning in the Diamondbacks’ 4-2 win. The Giants have now lost seven straight at AT&T Park.
Webster (W, 1-0, 3.15 ERA) wasn’t particularly stifling, but the Giants bats played right into the shifting defense’s hands; the ball always seemed to find a defender, and even so the Giants struggled to make solid contact.
This one could have easily been a shutout, but the Giants managed a sixth inning flash-in-the-pan rally propelled by a sharp Joe Panik double down the first base line that put an end to Webster’s no-hit bid. The hit advanced Nori Aoki — who had walked to start the inning — to third and set up Angel Pagan‘s sacrifice fly. Buster Posey followed with an RBI double to left to score Panik.
Those two runs were too little, and came way too late.
Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay
Jet lag could still be lingering through tired hands after a tough travel day from the East Coast, Manager Bruce Bochy said it’s just one of those things:
“We’re just out of sync right now … I don’t know if it’s the travel … looks like it took life out of them a little bit.”
The Giants’ offensive consistency at home is spotty, at best; this June they’ve tallied 33 runs on the road in six games and 11 at home in five. This season, they’re averaging around three runs at home, the lowest in the Majors, and around five on the road, the second highest in the Majors.
Suddenly the Giants’ home field advantage isn’t an advantage at all, which really just turns the concept of that intangible advantage to putty. At least for now.
Brandon Belt said there’s really no difference in the way they approach their at bats at home and on the road:
“I never even put too much into it. No matter where we’re playing we have the same approach.”
Posey, though, has now hit safely in eight straight games.
Ryan Vogelsong (L, 4-5, 4.81 ERA) pushed the drowning Giants bats down from the get-go thanks to a 39-pitch downer of a first inning. Arizona went on a big two-out rally ignited by Paul Goldschmidt‘s single.David Peralta nailed the RBI single. Vogey walked five batters in total that inning, granting the Diamondbacks two easy runs and the early 3-0 lead.
Bochy said Vogey’s two-out crisis was sparked by tentative pitching, especially to a hot-handed Goldy:
“It looked like he was trying to be a little careful with runners in scoring position, he missed his spots.”
But a visibly upset Vogelsong asserted his mistakes were just mechanical issues:
“When I miss it’s mechanics … I was off out of the stretch and was trying to make adjustments, but couldn’t put it together … I was just off.”
Arizona iced it with a two-out Goldy RBI single in the fourth that sent Vogey packing. It was his worst start since April; he dealt 81 pitches in 3-2/3 innings and gave up all four opposing runs.
But a few bright spots peeked out despite Vogey’s rough start: A few MLB debuts — one noteworthy and one forgettable — and a steely bullpen performance.
Yusmeiro Petit entered the fourth and dealt a solid 2-1/3 innings of hitless ball. And then, Mike Broadway, who put on a show worthy of his name in the seventh: he was dealing straight power, a fastball that reached 96 and 98 mph, and struck out the first big-league batter he faced. He gave up a hit to Yasmany Tomas, but got Goldschmidt to fly out.
Broadway beamed as he pulled his first big-league strikeout ball out from his locker. But was he nervous?
“I had nerves when I was warming up. When I got in the game, they were gone.”