Giants drop series to Diamondbacks: Offense goes quietly again as Tim Hudson takes loss in rubber match
A bad balls-and-strikes call helped put Tim Hudson and the Giants in a big hole early, but the inability to score runs—a recurring theme during the team’s 4-10 start—doomed the reigning champs as they fell to Arizona by a 5-1 final.
After yielding a two-run homer to Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt in the first, Tim Hudson appeared to have pitched his way out of trouble with two on and two out in the third. Unfortunately, home plate umpire Dan Iassogna missed a high strike on a full count to third baseman Aaron Hill, extending an inning where the Snakes would rally for three runs on a hit batsman and two-run single from second baseman Chris Owings.
San Francisco couldn’t get anything going after plating Nori Aoki in the first on an Angel Pagan sack fly. Buster Posey grounded into a double play to end the threat—the first of three for the Giants on the day, effectively halting any chance of a comeback.
The lone bright spots for the Giants were multi-hit performances from Aoki (.339 season BA) and the Brandons, both of whom seem to be settling in at the plate after awful starts to their 2015 campaigns. Belt has now reached base in two-straight games after failing to do so in his first eight contests, and Crawford is back at .200 after a week floating below the Mendoza line. The shortstop continues to lead the team in home runs with three.
Andrew Susac also tallied his first hit since being called up to replace an injured Jake Peavy, lobbing a Jeremy Hellickson offering into left field in the second.
Hellickson wasn’t lights out for Arizona, giving up eight hits in 6.2 innings, but he held the Giants in check to notch his first win of the young season. Hudson, who has only received one run of support across his three starts thus far, allowed five earned in five frames, taking his second loss for San Francisco.
Goldschmidt, Owings and center fielder A.J. Pollock—who made a run-saving diving catch in the second—starred for Arizona, going a combined 7-for-12 with four runs and five RBI. The D-Backs’ All-Star first baseman continues his ownage of Giants pitchers at the plate, with more hits, runs and RBI than any other opposing hitter over the past four years, via The New York Times.
Though San Francisco dropped its third-straight series on Sunday, the lineup is slowly beginning to show signs of life at the plate. The biggest positive to come out of this weekend, however, was the continued excellence of Chris Heston, who twirled another gem on Saturday to move his record to 3-0 (0.87 ERA, 16/5 SO/BB ratio).
The Giants finally have a chance to catch their breath, receiving their first off day of the season on Monday before clashing with the division leading Dodgers (9-3) for the two teams’ first meeting of 2015. Los Angeles has won seven-straight and will send Brett Anderson (1-0, 3.27 ERA) to the mound to oppose Tim Lincecum (0-1, 2.25 ERA) on Tuesday evening.