Kickham While They’re Down: Reds Beat Giants in 6


Jul 1, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Michael Kickham (59) pitches during the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants entered Cincinnati with a 1-game winning streak, and desperately in need of more. June was a miserable month for the Giants, who went just 10-16 and scored the fewest runs (90) of any NL team. Prior to Sunday night’s win against the Rockies, the Giants had lost 6 straight games, their longest losing streak since 2010.

They came into Cincinnati with a glimmer of hope, and brand new month of baseball. However, Bronson Arroyo and the Reds weren’t having any of it. Perhaps they were a little bitter still from the 2012 NLDS where they blew a 2-0 series lead, and allowed the Giants to win 3 straight to move on to the NLCS. Or maybe it was just that Buster Posey Grand Slam in Game 5. Whatever it was, the Reds showed up ready to play and kick around the Giants, specifically, rookie pitcher Mike Kickham, who was making just his third major league start.

The Cincinnati Reds beat the Giants tonight 8-1 in a game that ended after 6 innings in rain delay. Because of the score and it being the 6th inning, the game was ultimately called and the win given to the Reds. I’d say that was a pretty fair assessment and probably a blessing in disguise for the Giants. Bochy even pulled Posey before the bottom of the 6th, giving him a rest and allowing Hector Sanchez to play. That was a pretty big sign to fans that even Bochy had even up on this game.

Pitching: After a 3 up, 3 down, 1st inning, the Reds got aggressive with Kickham in the 2nd inning, swinging at his first pitches and lighting him up. Kickham lasted just 2.2 innings, giving up 9 hits and 7 earned runs. Jake Dunning relived him, pitching the remainder of the 3rd and the 4th inning. He was flawless and didn’t allow a single baserunner. George Kontos pitched the 5th, allowing 2 hits and 1 run and Jose Mijares pitched a flawless 6th inning.

Hitting: The G-men only managed 2 hits in the 6 innings played before the rain delay. The first hit of the game for the Giants belong to Kickham himself. It wasn’t enough to help out his team, but it was his first major league hit, and it was a double. The lone Giants run came in the 5th inning off a Brandon Belt solo home run. After warming the bench for 2 games in Colorado, he showed Bruce Bochy how much he missed being the lineup, and how much the Giants just might need him there.