Sep 15, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcherRyan Vogelsong
(32) throws during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco Giants have officially entered the “must win” portion of the season after losing 2 out of 3 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and every loss at this point has more serious implications.
Ryan Vogelsong looked to continue his success from last week but the road has not been as friendly to him as AT&T Park. With Mr. Spark Plug himself, Angel Pagan being scratched from the line up 1 hour before game time, this loss would be one of those frustrating games that might end up being the difference on September 28th.
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Ryan Vogelsong struggled a bit in the first but was able to work his way through trouble. In the 3rd, Vogelsong gave up a hit to Wade Miley to start the 3rd. With 2 outs, Vogey gave up a base hit and walked A.J. Pollock and then Mark Trumbo hit a grand slam with 2 outs to make the score 4-0.
The Giants couldn’t really string anything together all night until Joaquin Arias got things started in the 7th with a lead off base hit to 3rd baseman Aaron Hill. Gregor Blanco followed that up with a ground rule double to right center. Brandon Crawford grounded out but that allowed Joaquin Arias to score the first run of the night. Matt Duffy had a good at bat but the ball hung in the air too long for the 2nd out and Blanco was stranded at 3rd after Juan Perez grounded out.
J.C. Gutierrez came in for the 7th inning trying to keep the game close and gave up a lead off single. He promptly got 2 outs but then couldn’t shut down the inning giving up a triple to Pollock followed by a base hit to Trumbo making the score 6-1. Hey! Who gave all of our two out hits to the lowly Diamondbacks in September? Not cool Baseball Gods. Not cool.
The Giants would try desperately to build another rally in the 8th when Joe Panik lead off the inning with a double followed by a Buster Posey single to score the 2nd run of the night. Hunter Pence hit a ball hard to center but not hard enough. Pablo Sandoval missed a home run by a few feet and had to settle for a single off the fence in right field. Travis Ishikawa then struck out for the 2nd out followed by Blanco grounding out to short stranding 2 more base runners.
“Offense, or lack of it, suddenly has become an issue for the Giants. The league’s top scoring and hitting team since the All-Star break has mustered four runs in its last three games.” – Chris Haft/MLB.com
Brace yourselves for this mind blowing analysis, the end of September in a pennant race is not the time to forget how to get clutch hits and score runs. This team absolutely lives and dies with Angel Pagan it seems and not having him in the lineup yesterday certainly attributed to the lack of run production with Juan Perez hitting lead off and going 0-5. According to Andrew Baggarly, Bochy said there’s a good chance that Pagan will play on Tuesday night.
The Giants need Jake Peavy to come out fired up tonight and mow down the Snakes and hope the Rockies can step it up and tag Dan Haren for a lot of runs early. If the Cubs can play the Dodgers tough and the Giants can get back to 2 games out of first place by the start of the next Dodgers series, we can still pull off a division title but it will definitely not be an easy task.