Jhoulys Chacin kept his pitches low, mixed his pitches well enough to keep the Giants from making a lot of hard contact, and the Rockies just needed to capitalize on some high pitches from Friday night’s starter Barry Zito to win a 4-1 series opener. The Giants are awarded with fourth place with the loss tonight. Buster Posey hit a solo home run off of Rex Brothers in the ninth inning to account for the Giants only run-scoring offense. The Giants did have their chances this game, including bringing the tying run to the plate against Brothers in the ninth.
The trouble started early for Zito as leadoff hitter DJ Lemahieu got on base on the second pitch out of Zito’s hand on a single to LF past a diving Brandon Crawford. An eleven pitch AB vs. Jordan Pacheco nearly a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out, but Marco Scutaro was late to cover 2nd, Carlos Gonzalez on the next pitch doubled Lemahieu home to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead. Scutaro’s mental mistake cost the Giants a run, and Zito threw more than twenty pitches in the first. Beat writer Hank Schulman pointed out that Pacheco’s walking in front of Buster Posey may have been a clear interference on JP’s part.
Michael Cuddyer hit a powerful line drive the opposite way to right field to extend his hitting streak to twenty-five in the top of the 3rd to score Jordan Pacheco (and himself) on a two-run blast to make it 3-0 early in the game.
The Giants had a rally going in the fourth after a Buster Posey bloop double to LF and a four-pitch Pablo Sandoval walk, which even he was surprised about. However, Hunter Pence struck out looking, and Brandon Belt grounded out 4-3 on a pretty good diving stop by the 6’4” DJ Lemahieu.
Zito lasted 5.1 innings, only one third of an inning shorter than his last outing in Colorado. Jake Dunning got Carlos Gonzalez to ground into a 6-6-3 double play to keep Zito’s ER count at four for the night and keep the score at 4-0. Dunning would go another inning, and George Kontos would work the eighth inning to round out the pitching for the Giants on Friday.
The Giants got a runner to second base for the second time in the game in the seventh after Brandon Belt singled, and after a pretty good walk worked by Andres Torres, Brandon Crawford couldn’t bring either of the boys home.
Hunter Pence made a pretty nifty catch in the bottom of the seventh that I might say was the biggest highlight of the night for the Giants.