Giants Blow 6-0 Lead As D’Backs Sweep Opening Series
By Bryan Rose
If somebody had told you that the San Francisco Giants would score 16 runs in three games to open the season in Arizona, you’d have taken it and assume they’d leave with at least one win, possibly two – hell, maybe even all three in the series.
Instead, they were swept.
Jumping out to an early 6-0 lead with Matt Cain on the mound, the Giants appeared to be in cruise control – both literally and figuratively. The big lead seemingly lulled the Giants to sleep and the D’Backs weren’t buying it, scoring seven unanswered as the Giants dropped their third consecutive game, all by a single digit.
Ugly game: Wow – it’s been a while since I’ve seen two teams play such an ugly baseball game. The two squads reverted to Spring Training style mistakes, botching easy ground balls (though the Diamondback ground crew has to loosen that infield), poor cutoff’s and just extremely poor fundamentals all around. The Giants and Diamondbacks combined for EIGHT errors with one or two more that could’ve been added to the tally. The only thing that may have been worse than the on-field play was the official scorer who continually botched whom the error was given to. Needless to say, both of these teams will be out early for infield practice before their next games – and possibly for a while after that.
Giant strengths let them down again: Starters, bullpen and defense – the strengths of the Giants ball club. Right? Well, certainly not through the first three games of the season. The Giants starting pitching (Lincecum, Bumgarner and Cain) gave up a combined 14 runs in 15.1 innings in the series. The pen pitched well in the first two games, but, struggled this afternoon with their control as Affeldt and Casilla couldn’t find the zone. Sergio Romo came in and cleaned up their mess, but the damage had already been done. Even Romo had his moments, but he kept any Snakes from crossing the plate. Defensively, the Giants normally sure handed arms and gloves in Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford all made mental mistakes, Posey wildly throwing a ball into center, Crawford mis-reading a game changing ground ball and Sandoval pulling Posey off the plate with an off-line throw, allowing the go-ahead and eventual winning run to score.
Giants’ offense appears competent: Despite the doom and gloom, all isn’t completely busted in Giant-land as the black and orange’s offense looks solid, despite the apparent early season slumps of multiple players. Pablo Sandoval, despite swinging at everything, looks every part of the next Vlad Guerrero from an offensive standpoint. Buster Posey, who blasted his first homer of the season today looks great. Melky Cabrera has been setting more tables than your local bus boy. Granted, the Giants were playing in Coors Field South, but given the rough starts from Aubrey Huff, Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan – you have to be hopeful that the offensively inept Giants of last year are long gone and we’ve all seen what the Giants can do with even an average offense. You know, assuming they, um, pitch.
Notes: As mentioned above, Buster Posey hit his first dinger of the young season – a towering drive to right center that sounded like a gunshot off the bat. He’s still trying to get back into game shape, but his bat speed looks as yummy as ever. Aubrey Huff was invisible again, stranding three more runners in his three at-bat’s. He currently sits at zero RBI’s despite leaving 10+ men on base through three games. Clock is already ticking on Huff Daddy. As for the sweep, well, that’s a tough one to explain. It’s the first time the Giants started a season 0-3 since 1986 and seeing the three Giant pitching studs get shelled the way they did, sometimes there are things you just can’t explain. Making mistakes to talented hitters though isn’t the way to get it done. Better to lose your first three than your last though.
Barry Zito tries to stop the bleeding in Colorado tomorrow as the Giants go for their first victory of the season. Make sure to follow @RoundTheFoghorn before it self implodes from the anti-Giant chatter.