Scott Kazmir pitched seven innings of shut-out ball and the Oakland A’s continued their dominance of the San Francisco Giants, 6-1, Thursday, in the finale of the four-game Bay Bridge Series. The A’s took three of the four games.
Kazmir allowed no runs on three hits, while striking out nine and walking one. He did not allow a hit until Michael Morse led off the fifth inning with a single to right field. Two strikeouts later, Gregor Blanco doubled Morse to third, but he was stranded there when Tim Hudson flied out deep to Craig Gentry, who made a fine running catch heading to left-center field. Hudson came very close to changing the whole complexion of the game.
Dan Otero came on in the eighth inning, and gave up a run on three singles, Pablo Sandoval knocking in Ehire Adrianza who had led off the inning with a bloop into right field that should have been a double, had he been watching the base-paths, instead of the ball. It was a rookie mistake, but it came at a bad time. Fernando Abad came in to pitch a one-two-three ninth inning, delayed a few moments while Instant Replay eliminated Gregor Blanco from the bases, after he had been called safe, thus ending the game.
Tim Hudson ended up pitching five-and-a-third innings, giving up six runs on eight hits, while striking out two and walking two, one of them intentionally. After opening up the sixth inning by allowing three doubles and a home run, I would have thought we had seen enough, but he stayed in to walk Craig Gentry intentionally and get Kazmir swinging, before Javier Lopez relieved him.
After a fly ball out from John Jaso, Stephen Vogt singled in two more runs to wrap up Oakland’s scoring. They had four more runs than they needed already, because Giants bats once more fell silent, as they made another Oakland pitcher look like a Cy Young Award candidate.
John Jaso (single, triple), Stephen Vogt (two singles, 3 RBI’s), Brandon Moss (single, double), and Josh Donaldson (home run, single) had two hits apiece, while Yoenis Cespedes set the pace in the opposite direction, with four K’s and a double play grounder.
Coming into today’s game, the Giants had taken ten of twelve games played between the two clubs at AT&T Park, but today was not going to be the day to continue that streak. Except for another sterling outing by the bullpen, retiring the final ten batters faced, there was not much to take from this game.
A victory would have applied a little pressure on the Dodgers, who are only five and five in their last ten games, as if daring the Giants to get going. It’s beginning to look like it’s going to take more than a dare, and that’s too bad.
A team that relies on one player as much as the Giants rely on Angel Pagan, is not a team that is adequately prepared to make a serious playoff run anyway, so it may not make any difference. San Francisco faces the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend, before the All-Star break, which can’t come too soon.
Maybe Pagan will be back and maybe the Giants will get their act together and maybe not. I’m getting tired of saying maybe, and I think fans are tired of hearing it. If we’re going to fight for a pennant, then we’re going to need to find a way to win some games. Real soon.