It took eight games, but, the Giants finally failed to reach the four+ run plateau as they were stiffed all afternoon by former Giant, Kevin Correia. The lively Giant bats, despite their early season run barrage, continued their struggles with runners in scoring position – the one black eye of the early season offensive numbers. The loss dropped the Giants to 4-5 on the young season, although, still winners of three out of their last four.
Vogelsong’s Strong Debut: After a marvelous six pitch first inning, Ryan Vogelsong struggled in the second, allowing two earned runs – a homerun to Garret Jones and three singles and a walk which resulted in the second run. Once the second inning ended though, Vogelsong (obviously hyped up for his season debut) calmed down and essentially shut the Pirates down, retiring 13 straight batters until a walk and a hit batter in the top half of the 7th, resulting in his pulling. All in all – you couldn’t have expected much better in Vogey’s season debut. Once the butterflies calmed themselves, he was the typical solid Vogelsong we’ve come to expect – even a bit better, despite taking the loss.
Defense Continues To Kill Giants: The Giants, on paper, are a pretty sound defensive squad – you wouldn’t know it in the first week plus of the season though. The Giants currently lead all of Major League Baseball (not just the National League) with 14 errors. Not only that, the errors seemingly continue to happen with runners on base, making the already boneheaded plays even that much more costly. The normally sure handed (and some might say Gold Glove caliber) talents in Pablo Sandoval (4), Brandon Crawford (4) and Buster Posey (3) lead the Giants in errors which makes the stat even more odd-ball. Sandoval did struggle with his throwing in Spring – and although he seemingly corrected the problem, his wild throw allowed the Pirates to score a run in addition to putting another running in scoring position (which eventually scored on a squeeze). Granted, the play was pretty difficult but one you expect Sandoval to make on most occasions – certainly a play we’ve seen him make plenty of times in the past.
Belt Gets The Start: It had been one week today since Brandon Belt started (the finale in Arizona) and while he did get in on a double switch on the 8th, this was his first legit time and the young Giants first baseman made a solid impact – going 1 for 3 and drawing a 9th inning walk while playing a solid first base. Hard to tell what will come of the results though as the Giants will face a tough three game stretch against the Phillies starting tomorrow evening with Roy Halladay opening the series. Bochy may return to his veteran Huff, who made his lone appearance this afternoon as a pinch hitter in the 7th, stranding Brandon Crawford on third as he flied out to end the inning.
Notes: Buster Posey was not himself today – going 0-4 and looking lost at the plate every time. Maybe simply an off day, maybe the shingles were catching up, either way Posey had his struggles for the G’s today and unfortunately, they happened at the most inopportune of times. Brandon Crawford and Emmanuel Burriss continued their solid play, Crawford with a big double and a fantastic swipe tag (across the helmet) to get a stealing Andrew McCutchen while Burriss found himself on base twice in his four opportunities.