The wheels have officially come off. At least that’s how it feels to San Francisco Giants fans after Homer Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds shut them out 4-0 on Sunday afternoon.
That makes it a 4-game sweep for Cincinnati. Since AT&T Park opened in 2000, that had never been done by a visiting team before. It’s also the first time the Giants have been swept in a 4-game series anywhere since September 2008 in Arizona. Aside from Tim Lincecum‘s first Cy Young Award, that was not a good season.
Tim Hudson pitched into the 9th inning and only allowed 2 runs on 5 hits without walking a batter, but the offense was held to just 3 hits for the second time in the last three days.
This was the first complete game for Reds pitcher Bailey since, you guessed it, he no-hit the Giants last season. He’s now 4-0, with a 3.57 ERA in 8 starts against the Giants. This afternoon he carried a no-hitter until 2 outs in the 7th inning when Buster Posey singled to right field to break it up.
Once again the bullpen was not good. Today it was Jeremy Affeldt‘s turn. He came into a 1-0 game in the top of the 9th inning with a runner on 1st. Then he balked, allowed a single, threw a wild pitch, and then after a sac fly, he hit Jay Bruce with a breaking pitch.
By the time Santiago Casilla relieved Affeldt the game was 4-0 and was lost.
With the loss the Giants have fallen into a first place tie with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. They have lost a 9.5 game lead in 3 weeks. This is the first time since May 7 that the teams have been tied.
I’m going to pump the brakes for a moment. If you told Giants fans before the season that after 82 games they’d be tied for first with the Dodgers, most would be thrilled.
How about the fact that they are tied with the Dodgers despite significant injuries in the first-half this season? Brandon Belt has been out of the lineup for weeks and Angel Pagan has missed, especially lately, a good bit of time. You throw in Matt Cain‘s struggles as well as the second baseman situation, it’s almost amazing that they held the division lead for so long by themselves.
Yes losing streaks suck. The Giants have lost 15 of their last 19 games and the last 4 straight. But June is over and there are 3 more months of baseball to be played. The Giants are off tomorrow and it could not come at a better time. St. Louis comes to town for 3 games starting Tuesday, we’ll see if July holds something new.