You could point a lot of areas where the Giants fell short Wednesday in Cincinnati.
You could mention that after scoring 4 or more runs in their first 10 road games, the Giants have gone back-to-back games without scoring more than two.
You could point that the Giants were only able to score two runs despite collecting nine hits and one walk in five innings off Bronson Arroyo.
Or you could question Bruce Bochy’s decision to send Barry Zito back out to the mound for the seventh inning after sitting right at 100 pitches through six innings.
But the bottom line was that the Giants could have won this game if they could simply throw and catch the ball.
After Zito gave up a leadoff homer to Scott Rolen in the seventh, Clay Hensley was summoned from the bullpen and gave up a single to Ryan Ludwick.
Ryan Hanigan tried to bunt Ludwick to second. If Hensley throws Hanigan out to first, the Giants could have escaped the inning with the lead.
Hanigan would have been out No. 1 one. Then Willie Harris’ infield pop up would have out No. 2. Then Wilson Valdez’s fly to right, after a walk to Drew Stubbs, would have ended the inning.
Instead, Hensley fielded the ball and slipped as he took a look at second. But he didn’t reset his feet as he threw to first and sailed it over Emmanuel Burriss’ head and into right field.
Now, there’s second and third and none out. Harris’ pop is out No. 1 and a walk to Stubbs loaded the bases.
Nate Schierholtz caught Valdez’s fly and threw home to get Ludwick trying to score. But catcher Hector Sanchez could not come up with the ball and Ludwick scored the tying run as the other runners moved up. Schierholtz was charged with the error, even though it was dead on the mark. Sanchez just whiffed the one-hopper.
Then Jeremy Affeldt came in and threw a wild pitch that allowed Hanigan to score the go-ahead run. Joey Votto’s double to center completed the four-run rally.
- The error-filled seventh (and lack of offense) wasted Barry Zito’s third quality start in four starts. He gave up 1 run on five hits in six innings. His season ERA is 1.67. The Giants couldn’t ask for more.
- Pablo Sandoval went 1 for 4 to extend his season-opening hitting streak to 18 games.
Ryan Vogelsong takes on Homer Bailey at 9:35 a.m. Thursday. If the Giants can win, they’ll go home with a 4-3 road trip. Good enough, all things considered.