Kickham Doesn’t Last Long In Debut Against A’s


Michael Kickham’s major league debut was a mixed bag of results ultimately packed into a disappointing outing from a statistical standpoint–2.1 innings, four runs, four hits and four walks. The Giants were disappointed in the loss column, meanwhile, as the Oakland A’s won 6-3.

Kickham did have some bright spots, one of which include a clean nine-pitch first inning. Perhaps I’m making a big deal out of nothing, but Giants’ starters have allowed a run in each of the team’s past seven games. So, Kickham’s first three outs were somewhat rarity, at least of recently.

May 28, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Michael Kickham (59) speaks with Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) after allowing a home run by Oakland Athletics catcher Derek Norris (36) during the second inning in a game at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Kickham did walk four batters, and as I wrote earlier Tuesday, his command is one of his bigger flaws. But he wasn’t missing the strike zone by a lot, specifically on his bases-loaded free pass to Jed Lowrie.

Hunter Pence’s RBI single in the first inning provided Kickham with a one-run lead, but he gave it back when Derek Norris took him deep in the bottom of the second, a two-run shot that officially gave Kickham an ERA.

The third inning was really when the wheels came off for Kickham. He walked Chris Young with one out, Yoenis Cespedes doubled and the young lefty intentionally walked Josh Donaldson to load the bases, setting up a force at any base. But this strategic move came back to haunt him, as Lowrie walked on six pitches and Nate Freiman slapped his fastball into left field for an RBI single.

Manager Bruce Bochy replaced him with George Kontos, who faced one batter, and then Javier Lopez was inserted to face the left-handed hitting Seth Smith, who he promptly struck out on four pitches.

An early departure from Kickham and Bochy’s pair of strategic moves to get out of a dangerous third inning left Chad Gaudin to log three innings. He allowed one earned run (two total), walked two and struck out two. Jose Mijares also surrendered a run.

Pence again contributed to San Francisco’s scoring output, as he launched closer Grant Balfour’s elevated fastball deep into the left center field bleachers in the ninth inning. His solo shot trimmed Oakland’s lead to 6-3, but Balfour struck out Brandon Belt and Andres Torres on a total of six pitches, three each.

Buster Posey sharply grounded out in the sixth inning to plate Marco Scutaro, who doubled and singled in four at-bats. He advanced to third on Chris Young’s error in the eighth.