The San Francisco Giants came into Chicago hot and had a chance to make a statement. Having won seven of their last nine games, they had to win at least two games here. Instead, the Giants lose 3-out-of-4 and are heading back home 11 games out of first place.
This game didn’t have much action in it, but when it did, it was all Cubs as the Giants fell to the Cubs today 5-1.
There wasn’t much offense from the Giants. Brandon Belt had he lone RBI with a 2-out double in the first scoring Denard Span.
Jeff Samardzija pitched very well in this game. He only allowed three runs in seven strong innings of work. His only blunder was giving up three solo home runs.
Kris Bryant was one of them hitting his 10th home run of the year in the first inning. After that it was all Cubs.
Jason Heyward hit the go-ahead home run in the fifth to give the Cubs the 2-1 lead. Ben Zobrist then followed with his fifth home run of the season in the sixth inning to extend the lead to 3-1. The last two runs were scored in the eighth on a wild pitch by Josh Osich.
The biggest rally moment for the Giants came in the top of the fifth. Down 2-1 with runners on the corners and one out, Span got picked off at first base. That was huge because it took away the option to hit a sacrifice fly to tie the the game at the very least. Joe Panik ended up grounding out and the tyingnrun was stranded at third. All game long the Giants hit hard hit balls all over the field, they were just hit right to the fielders.
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May has been a different month. Samardzija has looked like the Samardzija of last year’s first half. Before today’s three home run game, he had only allowed one in his last four starts. If you look at the league leaders for strikeouts, you will see Jeff Samardzija at the top with 79. A really nice streak came to an end today as Samardzija walked his first batter in the last 154 batters faced. Because of that, he has been able to pitch into the seventh inning in all of his last five starts.
Arroyo has entered his first big league slump and it hasn’t been fun to watch at all. His average has dipped below .200 now, and he has only six hits since that long 17-inning game back on May 12. The Giants have Aaron Hill and Conor Gillaspie expected to come off the DL this weekend. The big question will be, who will be the players demoted back to Triple-A? Arroyo is an option. Arroyo had some success up in the big leagues, but his long slump might have shown the Giants that he needs just a little more work in the minors to figure things out.
Today won’t be a happy flight home, but they are heading home. Tomorrow night the Giants begin a 6-game home stand against the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals. Matt Cain will get the ball tomorrow.