SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants have played four games against the Cincinnati Reds this season. They’ve been outscored 25-3 and they’ve had a no-hitter thrown against them.
If this were a ride at Knott’s Berry Farm, it would be called Dusty’s Revenge.
Now comes a doubleheader Tuesday. At least Homer Bailey won’t pitch in it. It’s Tony Cingrani and Greg Reynolds.
It could be Gilbert and Sullivan. The Giants have to step it up no matter who stands on the mound. They’ve scored a total of seven runs in four games out of the All-Star break, and while Brandon Belt is not exactly the team’s designated spokesperson, he summarized the offense’s current plight quite well.
“Honestly, it’s a little bit embarrassing,” said Belt after Bronson Arroyo threw a seven-hit shutout in an 11-0 drubbing, one night after Arizona’s Randall Delgado choked the Giants on a steady diet of fastballs. “I don’t know exactly how to word this, but we it’s definitely something we want to change. We can stop it right now and go out and win a couple ballgames, and we’ll be right back in it.”
[REWIND: Reds pummel Lincecum in 11-0 win]
“We really have to do a better job executing a plan. The Reds have had our number up to this point.”
And they’ll have to figure out what to do in left field. It was noticeable that Kensuke Tanaka was benched a day after he couldn’t make either of two tough plays in left field and made a high school-level mental mistake on the basepaths.
A guess: Tanaka is on the block to return to Fresno when Joaquin Arias is activated in another couple days. And that means a whole lot of Jeff Francoeur, Andres Torres or both against right-handed pitching.
I keep hearing that the cavalry is not coming for the Giants at the trade deadline. Even after the two wins against Arizona out of the break, which got them within 4 ½ games in the NL West, they were likely to stand mostly pat. These last two losses don’t change the calculus much.
Belt on Arroyo: “He doesn’t miss spots very much. There’s really no method to what he does. He throws any pitch in any count he wants. It doesn’t do much good to watch video of him.”
Arroyo has thrown 16 scoreless innings at AT&T Park, if you count his one-hit, seven-inning victory in Game 2 of the NLDS. It’s hard to believe that prior to that, he’d made six career regular-season starts at China Basin – and the Reds had lost all of them.
The Reds will act as the home team in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader. It almost felt like they got a walk-off victory on the road Monday night, too.
Derrick Robinson’s catch was the best I’ve seen in person this season. He brought back Jeff Francoeur’s near home run, then when the ball came out of his glove, he was able to snag it out of midair to send the Reds running into the handshake line.
What was Francoeur’s thought as he saw the catch?
“Bleep me,” Francoeur said.
Any chance you’d care to rephrase for us, Jeff?
“Yeah,” he said. “This sucks. I crushed it. I put a good swing on it, man. What sucks is not the fact he robbed me. I mean, he could have at least dropped it.
“Nobody likes these games, man. It’s one you’ve got to forget. Hopefully everyone can have a good night’s sleep and get back at it tomorrow.”
[ANALYSIS: Did Lincecum's no-hit workload catch up to him?]
In the interview room, Bochy volunteered his displeasure with Derrick Robinson’s bunt single in the first inning. I didn’t think Pablo Sandoval played it poorly by any means. But he probably positioned himself a step or two too deep.
This is a little stale, but I asked Marco Scutaro about that play in the fifth inning Sunday, when Cliff Pennington got doubled off after Belt caught a foul fly. Did Scutaro deke him?
Yes, indeed he did. Scutaro said he punched his glove as if he was preparing to receive a throw, hoping he would fool Pennington into continuing to second base. That’s exactly what he did.
It’s simple, but you’ve always got to know where the ball is. If it’s obvious that you don’t, someone shrewd like Scutaro is liable to take advantage of it.
Ryan Vogelsong will be on a 35-pitch target when he starts Tuesday for the Giants’ affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League.
The Giants get a free extra roster spot for Tuesday’s doubleheader, so they don’t have to remove a player to call up Eric Surkamp. But they’re bound to discuss making an additional roster move for another arm anyway.
George Kontos threw a career high 63 pitches in 3 1/3 innings. He’d never thrown more than 40 in a big league game. It was a pretty meaningful contribution, and often times, a reliever gets the shaft in these situations.
No, Kontos has not pitched well most of the season. But the Giants don’t have a lot of options right now. Dan Runzler is the only other reliever on the 40-man who is still in Fresno, and he got ejected in an appearance at Salt Lake Monday night.
According to Doug Greenwald’s recap, Runzler covered first base on a ground ball but was ruled off the bag. The tying run scored on the play. While Runzler argued with the umpire, ball in his glove, the go-ahead run scored all the way from first base.
Runzler game up two runs on a hit and a walk. The time before that, on Saturday, he struck out three in a scoreless inning.
Scouts still ask me about Runzler all the time, by the way. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen him in peak form, obviously, but he’s still valued by clubs. They know what kind of impact he could make if he puts it all together again.
What the other Giants did in the start after recent no-hitters:
Matt Cain: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR and the win in a 5-3 victory at Anaheim.
Jonathan Sanchez: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 2 HR and no decision in an 11-3 loss at Atlanta.
It was idiot see, idiot do in the ninth inning when three fans ran onto the field. Don’t do it, people. It will not end well for you.
Outfielder Jason Romano did not have an especially long or memorable career, but I’ll never forget the night he cold cocked a fan at Dodger Stadium while I was on the Dodger beat.
Hardest hit he had all year, if memory serves.
Gilbert and Sullivan probably would have pitched in Pittsburgh, if they pitched anywhere. You know, "The Pirates of Penzance," and all.
Aaaaand OK, bedtime. Long day tomorrow. Can't get too punchy before a doubleheader.