Moore’s Giant struggles continue in loss to the Mets

If you’re sitting back after the Giants’ 9-5 loss to the Mets, wondering what the team saw in Matt Moore, just look at his July numbers.

Moore held a 2.41 ERA and had just shutout the Dodgers a game prior to the trade. He looked like just the left-handed inning eater the Giants were looking for.

But despite two solid and fruitless starts to begin his Giants career, Moore hasn’t been able to show fans that guy yet.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at AT&T Park.

The Mets were looking for a clean way out of the mess they’ve been mired in, and Moore wanted to keep his team’s two-game winning streak alive:

“More so than anything I wanted to keep the ball rolling from the last two nights. It didn’t help with that kind of first inning.”

A 38-pitch first inning ultimately did Moore in. Though he only gave up one run on a Yoenis Cespedes double that inning, Moore already knew his fastball wasn’t right.

His line to home felt off and he started to yank it, resulting in long, losing at-bats that ticked his pitch count up to 92 pitches through his five innings.

Cespedes took an off 3-2 fastball deep to left field to put the Mets up to a 3-0 lead in the third inning.

Moore gave up three walks, adding to his total 17 as a Giant, which he notes are just a result of his off command:

“That’s the end result.”

It’s a small sample size, yes, but Moore’s accumulated a 6.65 walk-per-nine inning ratio in four starts as a Giant compared to a 2.77 BB/9 with Tampa Bay this year. These new acquisitions are taking time to adjust–Will Smith has a 10.38 ERA in eight appearances with the Giants–but Bruce Bochy isn’t concerned. These are streaks his players will get through:

“Is it an issue? I don’t see this going on, no.”

Still, Moore kept the Giants in it — something he’s been able to do in nearly every start.

They came within one run on a Denard Span Splash Hit (No. 71) and Joe Panik tripled and scored on a groundout to make it 3-2. The bats couldn’t get hot against Bartolo Colon — who earned his 11th win this season and 229th career win — collecting just those two runs on nine hits against him.

Jake Peavy let the stumbling Mets gain their footing. Old friend Alejandro De Aza pummeled a three-run bomb on a 3-2 pitch that put the Mets up 7-2. Cespedes blasted another pitch 418 feet for the dagger.

Peavy’s been solid out of the bullpen. He allowed just one earned run through seven relief appearances, striking out seven, before Saturday. He was also one of Bochy’s only options:

“I’m trying to rest this ‘pen a little bit. They’ve been working a lot. Jake’s been throwing the ball well.”

Peavy’s rare meltdown ended up making the difference, it turned out. The Giants finally woke up in the eighth inning against the Mets bullpen.

Hansel Robles and Addison Reed walked three batters who all eventually scored on Eduardo Nuñez’s two-run double, which was his fifth as a Giant, and Panik’s ground out, putting the Giants within three runs of a tie ballgame.

If there’s a silver lining to this loss: the Giants bats have not fallen dead, yet. They’ve now scored 23 runs on 43 hits this series. But they do lose their 22nd game of the second half.


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.