Bruce Bochy picked a good game to get suspended, because he would have aged about 10 more years had he watched the San Francisco Giants and their atrocious pitching get demolished by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Giants fell 12-8 to the Pirates, who pounded Barry Zito and the rest of the pitching staff for 18 hits.
Pittsburgh used two big innings to turn the game around, scoring three times in the third and four times in the fifth. Andrew McCutchen knocked in the first three runs for the Pirates with an RBI single in the first and two-run double in the third (shown below):
One of the few highlights for the Giants was Joaquin Arias’ clutch, two-out single in the fifth, which knocked in two runs and tied the game up at 4-4 at the time.
However, the way that Zito was pitching, four runs would not be nearly enough run support.
The Giants allowed four hits in the bottom of the fifth, including two backbreaking run-scoring knocks with two outs. Pedro Alvarez’s double to right drove in the first pair, then after Jose Mijares replaced Zito, Neil Walker promptly greeted him with a two-run hit of his own to make to score 8-4:
Zito’s final line looked like this: 4.2 IP, 11 H, 8 ER
His road ERA is now an atrocious 11.28, while his home ERA is a brilliant 1.94. It seems like the Giants should look into shifting the rotation around so that Zito does not start on the road unless he absolutely has to.
The bullpen did not fare much better. With Chad Gaudin taking over the injured Ryan Vogelsong’s spot in the rotation, the Giants have to depend on guys like Ramon Ramirez, Jose Mijares, and Sandy Rosario for long relief, and none of them appear to be in the groove at the moment.
It’s not often that the Giants score eight runs in a game and still lose, but it happened tonight. Despite being down big, they rallied and scored two runs apiece in the seventh and eighth to cut the lead to 11-8.
However, it just wasn’t enough. Clearly, they have no problem with swinging the bats, lighting up the team with the third-lowest ERA in all of baseball.
But there’s not a whole lot they can do if the pitching fails to live up to par. The Giants are already short Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, and Pablo Sandoval, so it is crucial that the starters and bullpen patches things up ASAP and give them a chance to stay in ballgames.
Otherwise, with so many injuries and an underperforming rotation, look for a lot more disastrous losses like this one.