Longballs Spurn Giants Again As Homer Happy Diamondbacks Drop G’s To 0-2
By Bryan Rose
The San Francisco Giants were 55-9 last year when they scored four runs or more. Through two games this year, they’re 0-2.
Falling behind early as the Diamondbacks jumped on the G’s again in the first inning via the longball, the Giants did their best to scratch and claw their way back into the hole created by Madison Bumgarner but again fell one run short by a score of 5-4, the same as Opening Night.
Madison, oh, Madison – Much like Tim Lincecum the evening before, Madison Bumgarner struggled early – this afternoon’s culprit Aaron Hill, who homered twice off of Bumgarner who gave up only two homeruns in ALL of April last year. A double by Chris Young added another run before Bumgarner was chased from the game after the 4th with 80 pitches. The normally pinpoint Bumgarner was, again, much like Lincecum the evening before, off on his spots and struggled to keep himself out of trouble which included allowing D’Backs pitcher Daniel Hudson to reach base twice on two hard hit singles. Bumgarner finished the off-day giving up seven hits and two walks in his four innings – certainly not typical Madison.
Aubrey gon’ Aubrey – Through two games, Aubrey Huff has eight plate appearances. He’s stranded seven runners. He’s currently 2 for 8, with one of those hits being a botched bloop in this afternoon’s contest which really should’ve been caught. Needless to say, at least through two games, the whole Pilates thing? Yeah – not working. Even when Huff appears to make solid contact, the ball simply isn’t getting the loft or distance it needs. What were once homers are 300 foot fly-out’s and what were once gap shots are hanging cans of corn. More than that, Huff has the protection of Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey infront of him, yet, he still continues to flounder while Brandon Belt is sandwiched between he (Huff) and Ryan Theriot. Yeah, I don’t get that one either. Whatever the case, the Giants have given Huff plenty of chances to make a big impact through two games and so far he’s looked every part of 2011. Assuming it continues, and we’ve seen no reason as to why it wont (his swing still looks all sorta broken), I’d expect a change come, oh, August or so – right?!
Pills ARE good – Brandon Belt hasn’t looked pretty through the seasons first two games, but given his assumed future with the organization, it’s a bit easier to take than the continued struggles of Aubrey Huff who has to be looking in his rear view mirror and watching Brett Pill scream towards him at lightning speed. Pill once again let loose, homering in his first at-bat of the season with a clutch two-run bomb that closed the Giants’ three run deficit to only one in the top of the 7th. Granted, Pill didn’t do anything special as his moonshot was nothing more than a fat pitch down the heart of the plate, but he didn’t miss it – which is more than the majority of the lineup could say today. Either way, with the Giants seemingly apparent commitment to youth combined with Pill’s powerful swing and Huff’s, well, Huff-ness, will hopefully breed some type of change for the black and orange – either Huff getting it in gear (hahahaha, funny) or Pill finding himself with more starts in left. It’s not like he’d do much worse than Huff out there…
Notes: There isn’t much worse than watching the Giants lose, but doing so while being ear assaulted by Eric Byrnes all afternoon on the Fox broadcast was salt in the wound – no, more like, acid. The Giants’ pen again did well, with Javier Lopez and Santiago Casilla throwing two shutout innings in relief of Bumgarner. Dan Otero also made his major league debut, relieving Bumgarner to open the fifth and opened it well striking out All-Star Justin Upton with some outside paint. Unfortunately, a single followed by a wild pitch and then a Chris Young double put a tally on Otero’s otherwise solid two innings of work. Angel Pagan continued to struggle, dropping his average through two games to a Giants low, .111. The concern among the brass might be starting to mount after the disastrous Spring Pagan had. Gregor Blanco, who’s had two solid AB’s for the G’s in the first two games will start the finale tomorrow. Pablo Sandoval continued his scorching hot start to the season, hitting a two-run shot, adding his second and third RBI to go with his now .500 avg and two extra base hits. He’s still swinging at anything within 50 feet of the plate, but, he eventually gets one of them – and gets it good. Real, good.
The Giants try to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon – hopefully the Bunny brings them a win.
Make sure you follow the team at @RoundTheFoghorn for more dirty tweets about Aubrey Huff.