Soggy Samardzija stomped early as Rockies sweep Giants

Sheets of rain soaked the infield dirt moments after the grounds crew lifted the tarp for Easter Sunday’s game. Puddles had formed in every corner of the warning track and fans huddled under the overhang, leaving the lucky ones with umbrellas and ponchos to brave the elements of a series finale that, apparently, was happening.

Jeff Samardzija (L, 0-3, 6.16 ERA) took the mound looking a little baffled himself.

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

He gave up a leadoff home run to Charlie Blackmon and the Rockies leapt to a big, early lead, ultimately topping the Giants 4-3 and taking the series 3-1.

Samardzija gave up all four runs through the first 11 batters he faced, then once the rain waned, fell into a stride and gave up just two more hits, striking out eight on the way — his slider doing a lot of the work again as he rose to a seven-inning, 110-pitch outing. Said Samardzija:

“I had good stuff today, so it was frustrating to get off to a start like that.”

There are “no excuses” for the rocky start, Samardzija asserted, not even the weather. But Bruce Bochy cut him some slack:

“I don’t know if warming up in the rain effected these guys, both (starters) were off. … You saw both guys, they were different pitches once the rain settled.”

An early deficit seemed particularly steep with a fresh face on the mount for the Rockies. There’s no official stat for this, but it’s been clear through recent years that these Giants do not preform well against unfamiliarity.

Antonio Senzatela (W, 2-0, 2.37 ERA) must not have gotten the memo. Denard Span clocked a leadoff double, Brandon Belt a single and Brandon Crawford a triple mixed in with a couple of sac flies from Hunter Pence and Nick Hundley to tie the game at 3-3 after the first inning.

Senzatela matched Samardzija’s zeroes from there, striking out three and walking none.

The difference in this one came in the second inning when Tony Wolters led with a single and the Rockies pushed him 270 feet with some grind-em-out contact and an RBI single from D.J. LeMahieu, who went a cool 8-for-15 in the series.

Mark Melancon did what he was paid to do, retiring the side in the ninth. Unfortunately the one-run lead wasn’t his to protect.

And the Giants did what they typically do, failing once again to overcome a deficit after the eighth inning. They’re now 0-72 in that category since May 2015.

Up Next

The Giants get a much-needed day off–they’ve played 13 games straight–and head to Kansas City for a two-game inter-league series. They get another day off in Colorado before a three game series there.

Notes

Not only was this home stand long, but emotionally brutal, too, kicking off with Buster Posey‘s head injury to Brandon Crawford‘s sister in law’s death to Jarrett Parker‘s broken clavicle. They are in last place at 5-9. … Jarrett Parker had surgery on his clavicle Sunday and all went well, according to Bochy. They expect him in 8-10 weeks, but he could be placed on the 60-day DL soon. … Orlando Calixte (OF) and Kelby Tomlinson are the options off the 40-man — Mac Williamson is, too, but injured — but this turn of events could open up a spot for a surprise call-up. Austin Slater (OF) is hitting .344 with the Sacramento River Cats. Drew Stubbs has played three games there, too. Bryan Reynolds, a 2016 OF draft pick, is hitting .333 in San Jose. It’s doubtful that Evans decides to start the clock on any of them at this juncture, though, left field is too much of a dark hole to rule anything out. They may also wait with what they have until Michael Morse is healthy and in rhythm. … Clayton Blackburn, who was DFA’d to make room for Tim Federowicz after Buster Posey’s injury, was traded to the Texas Rangers for 21-year-old INF Frandy De La Rosa and cash. De La Rosa was signed by the Cubs in 2013 and led their DSL club in RBI, With 50. He was traded to the Rangers in 2015.


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.