Rockies, Chatwood silence Giants with two-hitter

Bruce Bochy unloaded all of his left-handed hitters, with the exception of a resting Brandon Belt, to face righty Tyler Chatwood — a logical maneuver, a given, on paper.

But his logical lineup began to look entirely flawed; no Giant could get a hit, walk, let alone a hard-hit ball beyond the infield through 5-2/3 innings as Chatwood burned through them for his first career shutout in the Colorado Rockies’ 5-0 demolition Saturday afternoon.

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

Bochy’s lineup made sense given Chatwood’s career platoon splits — lefties hit .279, righties .275 — but his first two starts of 2017 told a different story. Of 25 right-handed hitters he had faced before Saturday, Chatwood (W, 1-2, 3.54 ERA) allowed 16 hits (two home runs) and three walks. Of the 22 lefties? Only three hits, including two home runs.

Having not watched Chatwood too intently over the past years, it’s difficult to pinpoint the reason for this stark contrast given the small sample size, too. But according to FanGraphs, his fastball velocity has ticked up a few notches from last year.

Saturday, only Chris Marrero and Joe Panik managed a pair of fruitless hits against Chatwood. Otherwise, every Giant would putter ground balls that barely escaped the infield. It wouldn’t be a proper Giants season without a hearty shellacking at the hands of a seemingly innocuous starter.

Or maybe Chatwood is a new sort of Giant kryptonite: Saturday’s shutout marked the Giants’ first since Chatwood dealt an eight-inning, three hit shutout last September against them.

The lopsided shutout looked more devastating today, said Bruce Bochy:

“You hope that when you run into a well pitched game, your guy is on, but Matty was off.”

Matt Moore‘s command was out of sorts, and the Rockies rocked him from start to finish.

Colorado hammered a few to the wall from the get-go, not able to get one over the fence until Nolan Arenado‘s 20th home run against the Giants, a solo blast, in the third. Arenado finished off Moore (L, 1-2, 4.26 ERA) with a two-out ground-rule double in the sixth.

Jarrett Parker ended the messy inning with a leaping catch off D.J. LeMahieu, but slammed into the wall and left the game grimacing in pain and holding his right shoulder.

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Moore said it was a “constant battle” trying to find a good tempo. He tried to force his stuff when it became apparent that the command was lacking:

“I was just trying to get back in the count, trying to ask too much of some pitches. … There were certain points where I felt I was trying to go too big with certain pitches.”

Colorado’s big inning came in a four-hit, three-run fourth that put the Rockies up 4-0. The Rockies marked all five runs against Moore using 10 hits to get there.

Up next

Jeff Samardzija (0-2, 6.75 ERA) will face Antonio Senzatela (1-0, 1.50 ERA) to wrap up the series and home stand Sunday.

Notes

The Giants have failed to score in the first inning in 12 of 13 games this year, scoring just one run in the opening frame all season. … Giants and Rockies players — and umpires — joined all other big league teams Saturday in wearing No. 42 Saturday on the 70th anniversary of Dodgers great Jackie Robinson breaking the MLB color barrier.


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.