Tim Hudson not the answer; San Francisco Giants lose to Padres


In a game that bore many similarities to the opener played last night, the San Diego Padres defeated the San Francisco Giants 7-2, as Jesse Hahn, facing the Giants for the first time in his career, stymied them for the first four innings, before settling for a six-inning effort, giving up two runs, on four hits, with a walk and eight strikeouts.

Tim Hudson started for San Francisco, and produced a second consecutive lackluster effort, giving up six runs, four of them earned, on nine hits, with two walks and three K’s.  Through five, things were still within grasp, with the Padres having scored three, but it got ugly in the sixth, when five hits and a hit batsman led to three more runs.  Only an excellent play at the plate, on a throw by Brandon Crawford to nail Seth Smith, kept the run total down.

The hitting star for the Padres was Alexi Amarista, batting .206 coming into the game, who went three for four, with three RBI’s.  Will Venable (.205) added two RBI’s, one on a sac fly, and one on an infield groundout.  Jake Goebbert and Cameron Maybin had two hits apiece, with Goebbert hitting a solo home run in the eighth, off of Javier Lopez.

For the second game in a row, Bud Black lost an instant replay decision, this one occurring in the seventh inning, when Brandon Crawford beat out an infield hit to the right side.  The play involved first baseman Jake Goebbert making a nice play to snag Crawford’s bounding ball, but he tossed the ball high so that the pitcher, Jesse Hahn, had to jump for it, landing just off the base.  It was a good call on the part of the umpire.

The Giants mustered a total of five hits for the night, one run-scoring double from Buster Posey and four infield singles by four different Giants.  They didn’t even get a base runner until the fifth, as opposed to the Padres, who put their leadoff guy on base every inning from the first through the sixth.

Joe Panik’s honeymoon-period is officially over.  He botched the opening play of the game, allowing Will Venable to reach first, but got out of it when Hudson induced a double-play ball from Everth Cabrera.  In the fifth, Panik was unable to catch a ball thrown by Pablo Sandoval, which might have allowed a double play to clear the bases, prior to Alexi Amarista’s double.  As a result of the error, two runs were to score in the inning.

At the plate, Panik took a called third strike in the third, drew a walk in the fifth, and grounded into a fielder’s choice in the seventh, just after Crawford was ruled safe at first on the close play involving instant replay. Welcome to the big leagues, Kid.

A trio of Padres relief pitchers, Alex Torres, Dale Thayer, and Blaine Boyer, dispatched the Giants tonight as methodically as the Padres’ bullpen did on Monday night.  

For the Giants Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, and Yusmeiro Petit pitched the final three and a third innings, with the only blemish being the home run off of Lopez by Goebbert.

This was a particularly disheartening game, because the Giants knew part way through that the Los Angeles Dodgers, behind another stellar performance by Clayton Kershaw, had beaten the Kansas City Royals.

All of the hoopla over Joe Panik is over.  Tim Hudson’s streak of seven consecutive starts at AT&T Park producing Giants’ victories is over; and the Giants’ hold over first place is now more tenuous than ever, having shrunk to three games.

Maybe it is time to consider trade options to pick up another arm for the starting rotation.  I hear the Chicago Cubs have a guy who might fit the bill.  

For the immediate future, I’d settle for some Timmy magic tomorrow, as Tim Lincecum goes for San Francisco.  AT&T Park could use a little magical pick-me-up in the form of a victory-real soon.