Tuesday, September 16, 2014

LA             86-64      ...                  Three straight wins and counting... down.
GIANTS    82-68     4  GB            The wild-card is looking more realistic.

Giants lost at Arizona, 6-2, their third straight defeat and a particularly untimely one.
LA defeated Colorado, 11-3.

The Weekend
Giants lost two of three to LA. After a rousing 9-0 rout to start things off on Friday, they were embarrassed in turn, 17-0, on Saturday, and then lost the rubber match Sunday, 4-2. LA thus left town with a three-game lead after seeing it cut to one.

Giants at Arizona again; the game is underway at the moment and SF holds a 1-0 lead in the fourth behind steady Jake Peavy. Josh Collmenter opposes.
LA is at Colorado, they currently trail 5-2 in the sixth. There's always hope.

Last Night's Game
Will Mike Trumbo be remembered as the man who sank the Giants' division hopes? The former Angel launched a third-inning grand-slam home run off Ryan Vogelsong, and folks, that pretty much tells the story. Dinged for four homers in his last start, Vogelsong is one of several Giants starters who seem to have lost the ol' mojo as we head into the final weeks. It sure ain't pretty, and neither is stranding nine runners on base, eight of them in scoring position, five of them by one guy, Gregor Blanco. Oh, don't pick on him; the last three days have truly been a team effort. A week after sweeping these guys, the Giants are in danger of losing a series to a team that trails them by twenty games in the standings.

The Lost Weekend
Yeah, that's what it was. The math was simple: win two of three, we've got a pennant race likely to go down to the wire. Lose two of three, and the numbers start to add up in the opposite direction.

It turned in the third game, the rubber match, after each team had taken a turn blowing the other completely out of the ballpark. Clayton Kershaw started for LA on Sunday against Yusmeiro Petit, but it was by no means the mail-in victory many expect when Kershaw takes the mound. The Giants had their chances against the big lefty; trailing 4-1 they put two on wth one out on sigles by Joaquin Arias and Andrew Susac, but Kershaw allowed only pinch-hitter Matt Duffy's bloop single, retiring Gregor Blanco and Angel Pagan to deny the big inning. Getting Kershaw out of the game in the ninth ws no help; Kanley Jansen and his 95-MPH fastball ended the game in the grand manner, with back-to-back strikeouts of the selfsame Susac and Arias. Petit, for his part, pitched reasonably well; his only real blunder was surrendering Matt Kemp's two-run shot in the sixth which turned 2-1 into 4-1; with hindsight we can see Kershaw's 19th win was pretty much assured at that point.

No question the high-water mark of the season so far was reached Friday night as the Giants unloaded on the visitors, pounding Hyun-Jin Ryu for five hits, three of them doubles, and four runs in the first. Madison Bumgarner put 'er on cruise control en route to his 18th win, and the Giants went on their merry way with a two-run homer from Brandon Crawford and a three-run shot by our old friend, Travis Ishikawa. The rout capped a magnificent 14-3 run for the Giants, leaving them only one tantalizing game back, and suddenly the chance to sweep the Hated Foe and kick them out of town in second place was very real, and there for the taking.

Ryu left that game early with an injury; no such excuse awaited Tim Hudson Sunday as he suffered through the shortest start of his career. Excused after surrendering eight hits and six runs while managing only three outs, Hudson leaves the question hanging as to whether he can still be an effective starter down the stretch. Early on he and Bumgarner were the reliables; lately Peavy has taken the sidekick role, but can the Giants win anything with only two effective starters? Keeping in the spirit of things, five relievers followed and only one, Chris Heston-- in his first major-league appearance, no less-- escaped severe damage. In case you were wondering, Tim Lincecum was first to relieve-- if that's the word-- Hudson, and himself allowed five runs on seven hits, albeit over three innings. (New degrees of awfulness, we are discovering.) For the record, LA had 24 (!) hits, received four walks and three hit batsmen (one courtesy of  Bruce Bochy's son, Brett), plus two errors. Scoring seventeen, they left fifteen men on base. Heaven knows how many runs they might have scored had they hit with a little more efficiency! Strangely, and most charitably, the affair was over in 3:15, thanks mostly to the Giants lineup, which tapped out five hits and didn't draw a walk. Oh, the humanity!

No comments:

Post a Comment