Giants have had to endure something they’ve never had to endure before — a Game 1 loss at home in the National League Division Series.
- The Giants also had a bunch a tough-luck outs — balls that were hit hard but were caught.
- With Cain out after five throwing 75 pitches, he could easily come back and pitch Game 4 Wednesday in Cincinnati.
- Chapman threw 28 pitches to get the last three outs.
The Reds held a 4-3 series advantage against the Giants this season. Here’s how the games went:
Reds 9, Giants 2
April 24 at Great American Ball Park
WP: Latos (1-2); LP: Cain (1-1)
Matt Cain came into this game with a 1.88 ERA. Mat Latos entered with a 8.22 ERA. Yet, it was Latos getting the upper hand in what started as a pitchers’ dual and ended as a lopsided win. Cain had a quality start with 3 ER in 6.1 IP, with all runs surrendered via the long ball. Brandon Phillips belted a two-run shot in the first inning, and Ryan Ludwick added a solo shot in the seventh. Dan Otero relieved Cain in the seventh, and allowed the Reds to add five more runs in that inning and one more in the eighth. Meanwhile, Latos shut out the Giants on four hits and two walks in seven innings, fanning three. Buster Posey avoided the shutout with a two-run home run in the ninth.
Reds 4, Giants 2
April 25 at Great American Ball Park
WP: Arredondo (2-0); LP: Hensley (1-2)
For the second straight day, the bullpen stung Giants. The Giants pounded out nine hits off Bronson Arroyo in five innings, but only took a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning after Angel Pagan homered in the third and the Giants added another run in the fourth on a Brandon Crawford single and error on Drew Stubbs. Barry Zito threw six shutout innings, giving up four hits and two walks, before giving up a leadoff homer to Scott Rolen in the seventh. Clay Hensley was called in from the bullpen and coughed up three more runs in the inning. Ryan Ludwick singled, Ryan Hanigan reached on an error by Hensley. After a pop out, a walk to Stubbs loaded the bases and a sac fly by Wilson Valdez tied the game. A wild pitch scored Hanigan with the go-ahead run and a double by Joey Votto made it 4-2.
Giants 6, Reds 5
April 26 at Great American Ball Park
WP: Lopez (2-0); LP: Marshall (0-2)
Angel Pagan was the big hero as the Giants avoided the sweep. The Giants were tied 2-2 through five innings as starter Ryan Vogelsong appeared headed to another quality start. But in the sixth, he gave up a two-run home run to Jay Bruce as the Giants trailed 4-2. After the Giants closed the gap to 4-3 in the top of the seventh, Scott Rolen’s homer in the bottom of the seventh made it 5-3 Reds. It stayed that way into the ninth when the Reds’ then-closer Sean Marshall came in. Joaquin Arias walked and Ryan Theriot singled. After a Brett Pill strikeout, Angel Pagan belted a three-run homer to left-center to put the Giants up 6-5. Santiago Casilla came in the bottom of the ninth and struck out Zach Cozart, Drew Stubbs and Joey Votto for the win.
Giants 5, Reds 0
June 28 at AT&T Park
WP: Bumgarner (10-4); LP: Cueto (9-4)
Madison Bumgarner was the star of this one, throwing a complete-game, one-hit shutout. It was the fourth consecutive shutout win by Giants pitching, coming on the heels a three shutouts of the Dodgers. The Giants got to Johnny Cueto early with a two-out rally in the first inning. With two out, Melky Cabrera walked and Buster Posey singled. Pagan singled to right to score Cabrera, and when Jay Bruce’s throw was off the mark, Posey scored for a 2-0 lead. Pablo Sandoval added an RBI double off Cueto in the sixth, and Gregor Blanco’s triple and Theriot’s single in the seventh off Sam LeCure made it 5-0.
Reds 5, Giants 1
June 29 at AT&T Park
WP: Leake (3-5); LP: Cain (9-3)
The Giants’ quest to pitch five shutout victories ended very quickly. Zach Cozart hit a home run off Matt Cain on the game’s first pitch. The Reds added two more runs in the first on Bruce’s two-run double. Cain settled in from there, but it didn’t matter much as the Giants could not muster much of anything off Leake, who would pitch a complete game. Sandoval’s home run in the ninth prevented the shutout.
Reds 2, Giants 1
June 30 at AT&T Park
WP: Latos (7-2); LP: Zito (6-6)
For a second straight day, a Reds pitcher threw a complete game as the Giants offense could get a run until the ninth inning. They wasted a nice outing from Zito, who held the Reds to one run on five hits over six innings. He did walk six batters, however. A bases-loaded walk — the third in a row by Zito — plated the Reds’ first run. They would plate another on a Miguel Cairo single off George Kontos in the seventh. The only offense the Giants had for eight innings was a Brandon Crawford double in the third inning. Brandon Belt’s one-out pinch-hit triple in the ninth was the Giants’ second hit. Belt scored on Gregor Blanco’s groundout.
Giants 4, Reds 3
July 1 at AT&T Park
WP: Casilla (2-3); LP: Arredondo (4-2)
For the second time this season, the Giants avoided dropping a third game in a row to the Reds with some ninth inning magic. The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the third on three consecutive two-out singles by Ryan Theriot, Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey. The Reds took a 2-1 lead on Todd Frazier’s two-run home run in the fifth. One batter earlier, Ryan Ludwick got the Reds’ first hit of the game with a single to right. The Giants tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a Theriot double and Cabrera single. Posey’s second RBI single of the game scored Theriot with the go-ahead run in the seventh. After Javier Lopez gave up a leadoff single to Jay Bruce in the ninth, Santiago Casilla came in for the save, but couldn’t hold the lead, giving up three consecutive singles to Ludwick, Frazier and Miguel Cairo. On the Cairo single, Ludwick was held up a third base with no one out, then Casilla pulled off a Houdini-like escape. He struck out Ryan Hanigan and Wilson Valdez before getting Zach Cozart to line out to third. The Giants made two quick outs in the ninth before Buster Posey ripped a ground-rule double to left. After a Pablo Sandoval walk, Angel Pagan lifted a deep fly ball to right that Bruce appeared prepared to catch and then …. he just plain dropped it. It was ruled a double for Pagan, scoring Posey for the win.
During Sunday’s broadcast of the Giants-Reds game, the camera focused in on a woman who was celebrating her 102nd birthday at AT&T Park.
After seeing her, MoreSplashHits tweeted something like: “Woman celebrating her 102nd birthday at AT&T Park still upset about Snodgrass’ drop in the 1912 World Series.”
For less educated Giants fans, Fred Snodgrass’ error in the 1912 is one of the infamous moments in Giants lore.
In the final game of the 1912 series against the Red Sox, the Giants led 2-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning when Boston’s Clyde Engle hit a lazy fly ball to center that Snodgrass dropped for a two-base error. Engle would later score the tying run and the Red Sox would push across the winning run later that inning.
Little did I know that the Giants would go on to win Sunday’s game against the Reds on a dropped ball by an outfielder.
Well, technically, it wasn’t dropped. Jay Bruce never touched the ball, so it went for a double for Angel Pagan.
But just as John McGraw said Snodgrass was not totally to blame for the loss in 1912, there was plenty of blame to go around for the Reds on Sunday.
Take the top of the ninth. The Giants were leading 3-2 when Javier Lopez was brought in specifically to face the left-handed hitting Bruce. After getting ahead of Bruce 0-2, Lopez gave up a single. Now, if Bruce had simply struck out, like he was supposed to do, he could have saved himself a lot of grief in the bottom of the ninth.
Santiago Casilla was brought in from the bullpen and gave up a single to Ryan Ludwick. Todd Frazier followed with a single to right-center that Gregor Blanco fielded and threw home.
With no one out, Reds third base coach Mark Berry held up Bruce at third base.
Miguel Cairo followed with a single to left, scoring Bruce. But Berry held up Ludwick at third instead of challenging the arm of Cabrera.
Apparently, earlier last week, Berry sent a runner home who was eventually throw out, leading to a lot of criticism of Berry. That could have factored into his decision.
Baker said responsibility also lies with the runner.
“A lot of that depends on the base-runner,” Baker said. “The coaches get all the blame. But most of the time you don’t need a coach. We thought it was in there all the way. Maybe (Ludwick) didn’t.”
Then Casilla struck out Ryan Hanigan and Wilson Valdez and got Zack Cozart to hit a soft liner to Brandon Belt to end the threat.
“We had the bases loaded and nobody out. That’s a tough one to lose,” Baker said. “It’s really tough when you get four hits and you get one run. That usually doesn’t happen.”
In the bottom of the ninth, the first two Giants went down quietly against Jose Arredondo. Buster Posey hit a long flare down the right field line that landed just fair then bounced into the stands along the right-field line for a ground-rule double.
Baker then elected to walk Pablo Sandoval intentionally, which didn’t make a lot of sense here. It would have been better to throw four eye-high strikes to the free-swinging Sandoval and see if he chases.
Instead, they elected to pitch to Pagan, who worked the count to 3-1 after nearly being hit by a pitch.
Then Pagan served up a fly ball to right. Bruce retreated but had room. Then, suddenly and very unexpectedly, jumped for the ball as if he were making a play up against the wall.
One problem, though. He wasn’t at the wall. He was barely to the warning track and the ball sailed over his glove for a game-winning double.
“It was not as close to the wall as I thought it was. I missed it,” Bruce said. “It’s really, really embarrassing. It should be an error. … I pride myself on my defense.”
The Giants will take it and the 5-2 homestand it gave them.
The Giants have an off-day Monday before beginning a three-game series in D.C. against the Nationals. The Giants will miss All-Stars Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg in the series. Tim Lincecum will face Jordan Zimmermann on Tuesday.
For a second consecutive day, the best thing we can say about the Giants offense is “Hey, we didn’t get shutout.”
After throwing four consecutive shutouts earlier this week, the Giants needed shutouts Friday and against Saturday to win. They didn’t get it in either.
Normally, when a pitcher shuts down the Giants offense, it’s hard to totally credit the pitcher with that. Normally, the Giants help him out.
But as much as I’d like to avoid doing this, I’d have to give Mat Latos credit.
It was the fourth game that he did not walk a batter this season, although his 115-pitch outing was the most pitches he has thrown in a game without a walk.
But Latos is usually around the plate. He hasn’t walked more than two in a game in his last eight outings.
He’d get ahead of the Giant hitters, then had them on their heals, as they rolled ground ball after ground ball to his infielders.
That is until Brandon Belt smacked a one-out triple in the ninth, leading to the Giants’ only run.
So once again we find ourselves searching for silver linings.
- The Giants wasted a quality start from Barry Zito. Zito allowed only one run in six innings after miraculously avoiding the landmines he planted. Zito walked six out of eight batters during one stretch, including three in a row resulting in the Reds’ first run.
- Belt had a nice at-bat to get that triple, one of the Giants’ only two hits. Belt, who has been scuffling of late, did not start, but got his triple in a pinch-hitting role.
- The Giants still lead the NL West by one game as the Dodgers lost again, suffering their fifth shutout in six games. That’s enough to put a smile on any Giants fans face. Even the Diamondbacks loss, staying four games back.
- Joey Votto left in the fifth inning with a sore knee. He figures to sit out Sunday’s game.
- Brad Penny made his 2012 Giants debut out of the bullpen throwing 2 1/3 hitless innings. He retired all seven hitters he faced.
Ryan Vogelsong returns to the mound to face Bronson Arroyo in the series finale at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. The Giants look for a split of the series and a 5-2 homestand before heading East to conclude the first-half of the season.
For the record, the San Francisco Giants’ shutout streak lasted 36 innings, 60 feet, five inches.
The Reds’ Zach Cozart smacked the first pitch of the game from Matt Cain into the left-field bleachers, ending the Giants’ streak of four consecutive shutouts.
The Reds would go on to add two more runs in the inning as Matt Cain struggled in his first home start since his perfect game on June 6.
He would later give up a home run to Reds pitcher Mike Leake, the first home run Cain has allowed to an opposing pitcher in his career. Cain finished with five earned runs on 11 hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven.
“I’m just sad I didn’t keep it going,” Cain said. “I wanted to follow (Madison Bumgarner’s gem) up, and I didn’t do that.”
The Giants got their hits on Leake, smacking out nine hits. But they went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
But there are some silver linings in the loss:
- Pablo Sandoval helped the Giants avert their fourth shutout loss of the season — and first to a National League club — with his one-out home run to right in the ninth inning. It was Sandoval’s first home run since coming off the disabled list earlier this month.
- While the Giants avoided a shutout, the Dodgers did not, losing 9-0 to the Mets. So the Giants retained their one-game lead in the NL West.
Barry Zito tries to build off his outstanding start on Monday when San Francisco faces Giant-villain Mat Latos in a 1:05 p.m. start Saturday.
Two weeks ago, Matt Cain set Giants franchise history by throwing the first perfect game in team history.
Not to be outdone, the other four pitchers on the staff have teamed up to match Cain’s accomplishment in one.
Led by outstanding starting performances by Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Linecum and Madison Bumgarner, the Giants have posted four consecutive shutouts for the first time in franchise history.
It’s the first since the 1995 Orioles that a team has posted four consecutive shutouts.
On Monday, it was Zito, George Kontos and Shane Loux shutting out the Dodgers 8-0.
On Tuesday, it was Vogelsong, Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla shutting out the Dodgers 2-0
On Wednesday, it was Lincecum, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo shutting out the Dodgers 3-0.
On Thursday, it was all Bumgarner in a 5-0 win over the Reds.
Bumgarner took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and finished with a one-hitter with two walks and eight strikeouts.
The streak of 36 consecutive shutout innings set a San Francisco Giants record of 35 set back in 1960.
It’s the third one-hitter or better the Giants pitchers have thrown this season.
They have 10 shutouts on the season — the last four and five of the last six home games.
- April 9 — 7-0 at Colorado (Zito CG)
- April 15 — 5-0 vs. Pittsburgh (Cain CG)
- April 18 — 1-0 (11) vs. Philadelphia (Cain start)
- May 19 — 4-0 vs. Oakland (Vogelsong start)
- June 3 — 2-0 vs. Chicago Cubs (Zito start)
- June 13 — 10-0 vs. Houston (Cain CG)
- June 25 — 8-0 vs. L.A. Dodgers (Zito start)
- June 26 — 2-0 vs. L.A. Dodgers (Vogelsong start)
- June 27 — 3-0 vs. L.A. Dodgers (Lincecum start)
- June 28 — 5-0 vs. Cincinnati (Bumgarner CG)
The 10 shutouts tie the Giants with the Angels for the most in the majors this season. The Giants lead the National League by a significant margin. The Mets have eight, then the Diamondbacks have five. Eight other teams have four.
And let’s not forget about the offense. All nine Giants who played Thursday reached safely as the Giants drew six walks and had nine hits. Even Bumgarner collected a hit. Melky Cabrera went 2 for 2 with two walks.
Oh, and Thursday’s win put the Giants all alone in first place in the NL West for the first time all season.
Good times, Giants fans, good times.
Cain takes the hill against Mike Leake as the Giants and Reds meet at 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The Giants broke a lot of streaks Thursday when Angel Pagan’s three-run home run in the ninth inning gave them a much-needed win over the Reds.
It is the first time the Giants have won in Cincinnati since 2010, a string of seven consecutive loss.
It was the first time this season the Giants won a game in which they trailed after the seventh inning. They were 0-9 in those games.
It was the first time they won when trailing after two innings. They were 0-6 in those games.
It was also the fourth consecutive time the Giants have won a series finale before heading to another city.
“We were just thinking ‘happy flight’,” Pagan said. “It’s a good road trip, I think. Now, we’ve got to go home and take care of business.”
The Giants head home 10-9, which isn’t too terrible considering 13 of their first 19 games were on the road. The old adage is to win at home and split on the road.
Thursday’s win gave the Giants a 4-3 road trip, and they are now 6-7 on the road for the season — 6-4 after that season-opening sweep in Arizona.
Pagan is now hitting .241 with a .277 OBP. Not exactly what you look for from your leadoff guy. But after a very slow start, Pagan has hit safely in 11 straight games, batting .308 over that span. He also hit three home runs on the road trip, from the right side and left.
- Joaquin Arias had a solid debut at the plate after getting called up from Fresno on Wednesday. He went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. His walk started the ninth-inning rally.
- The bottom of the order made contributions. 2B Ryan Theriot went 2 for 3 with a sac fly. He singled after Arias’ walk in the ninth.
- Pablo Sandoval went 1 for 5 to extend his hitting streak to 19 games.
- Santiago Casilla struck out the side in the ninth to record his second save.
The Giants open a nine-game homestand with a 7:15 p.m. game against the Padres on Friday. The Giants haven’t officially named a starter to face San Diego’s Cory Luebke. But Eric Hacker’s agent tweeted Wednesday that his client would get called up Friday to make the start. There are other roster moves the Giants need to make in order for that to happen. We would expect Dan Otero to be sent down and Brian Wilson to be moved to the 60-day DL.