San Francisco Giants take pounding from Padres, lose McGehee


The San Francisco Giants got pounded by the San Diego Padres Saturday night at PetCo Park, 10-2, looking weak in every phase of the game. Madison Bumgarner (1-1) got lit up for ten hits and five runs in three innings, while the Giants continued their anemic hitting in SoCal, getting a total of five hits and two runs. The Padres piled on twenty hits and benefited from a strong start from ace James Shields (1-0), who went seven complete, giving up a solo home run to Joaquin Arias for his only blemish.

Madison Bumgarner surrendered four hits in the first inning and five more in the third, ten in all in his three innings, while walking none and striking out four including the side in the third. He didn’t look any different, and the only hit off of him that went for extra bases was Matt Kemp’s double in the first inning. The rest were singles, but as Duane Kuiper said, “Singles can hurt you a lot if you stack them up.”

Saturday’s game matched the two pitchers who faced each other in Games 1 and 5 of the 2014 World Series, both won by San Francisco.

33-year-old James Shields (2.08 ERA), in his ninth year, had no decision versus the Dodgers in the Season Opener, and has averaged over 200 innings in the past eight seasons. He may or may not have been thinking about last October when he faced the Giants tonight, but it looked as though he pitched the way he would have liked to have pitched in the World Series.

Altogether, he went seven innings, giving up one run on four hits, while walking one and striking out seven. He contributed to his own cause in the sixth inning by singling and scoring later in the inning in the three-run uprising.

Oct 25, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the second inning during game four of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Vogelsong was almost identical in his ineffectiveness, surrendering nine hits and five earned runs, while walking one and striking out two, all in three-and-two-thirds innings. George Kontos got the final out of the eighth inning by striking out Upton.

Matt Kemp led the Padres’ hitting parade with two doubles and two singles followed by Yangervis Solarte (3 singles) and Will Middlebrooks (2 singles/double) with three hits each. Wil Myers, Justin Upton, and Derek Norris each had two hits, Myers with a run-scoring double in the seventh. Every starter had at least one hit.

Casey McGehee left the game in the bottom of the first with a strained knee, incurred as he flied out to Wil Myers in center field. His replacement, Joaquin Arias homered in his first at-bat after entering the game with no one aboard.

The Giants did get good news when Bochy announced before the game that Brandon Belt was available to pinch-hit. The news was especially significant early on when McGehee went down in the first inning.

Matt Duffy proved his worth tonight, initially, by being versatile enough to play at first base for the first time in his professional baseball career. On top of that, when he was moved from first to short, after the double-switch was made when Ryan Vogelsong came into the game, Duffy handled Justin Upton’s grounder to short to start the inning-ending double play.

What the baseball gods giveth, however, they also taketh away. It was Duffy’s throwing error in the sixth that got things started, after Vogelsong posted a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth; the Pads ended up tacking on three more.

The Giants played the game without three of their regulars and it showed,  as the Padres came ready to show off their bats. Of the players on the 25-man roster, 15 of them are new from the end of last season.

This game got out of hand right away, so it doesn’t matter that the Padres piled it on. After the first two games, one team was likely to do  it. However, Sunday’s finale will be a key test of how the Giants respond to being thrashed. They are still reeling from McGehee’s injury, but they need to get it together.

They have to escape with a split.