SAN FRANCISCO — Bruce Bochy has many go-to phrases that he pulls out over the course of a long season, and there are a few he would rather not have to use.
Fans never want to hear a manager use the words “rock bottom” and they’d prefer he doesn’t have to explain how he’ll “ham and egg it” to get through a tough injury or two. After Sunday’s lackluster 4-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bochy pulled out another one that signals bad times.
“You put your big boy pants on,” he said. “You come out and get ready to go tomorrow.”
Bochy is hopeful his players forget what happened this weekend, because even for a team that can go through really rough stretches, this one was pretty, pretty bad. The Giants scored two runs while getting swept and they’ve now lost eight straight at home, their longest such streak since 1993. They got completely shut down by the unheralded trio of Chase Anderson (a 27-year-old who didn’t debut until last year), Allen Webster (who was making his season debut) and Rubby De La Rosa (who gave up 16 runs in his two previous starts).
“They’re tough ruts you get into,” Bochy said. “This is one of our ugliest games, there’s no getting around it, between the errors and the double plays.”
The errors cost the Giants two of the four runs, and they were uncharacteristic. Brandon Crawford made two on one play and Justin Maxwell, who has been such a plus defensively, dropped an easy fly ball to center.
Chris Heston wasn’t great, but he wasn’t bad, either, and in all the Giants allowed just nine runs in this three-game series. The difference was a lineup that continues to look punchless at home. The Giants hit .159 in the series, getting swept for the third time at home this season. Five of their six shutouts have come at home.
How do they come out of this?
“Play better baseball,” Crawford said. “Play like we do on the road. We just haven’t gotten any hits with guys in scoring position. Today we didn’t.”
On Sunday, the Giants actually went backwards in big spots. Casey McGehee hit into double plays in his first two at-bats, wiping out rallies in innings that included three singles and a walk. Nori Aoki hit into two outs in the fifth. McGehee singled in the seventh but Maxwell promptly hit into a double play.
The one in the ninth had the Giants shaking their heads as they walked back to a quiet clubhouse. AT&T Park shook when Buster Posey was announced as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded and one out. He bounced a Daniel Hudson offering into a game-ending double play. The Giants hit into five double plays for the first time since April 16, 2011.
“We need a big hit,” Bochy said. “We had our chances there. They induced the ground balls and got the double plays.”
It was easy on Twitter or in the stands for the blame to fall on McGehee, who leads the National League with 14 GIDPs. But Aoki is a regular, a possible All-Star, and he hit into a double play. Maxwell is part of what was supposed to be a deep bench but now looks suspect. Posey is the superstar. None were immune. Bochy wasn’t willing to blame the lack of production on the injuries to Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco or the rest days for Angel Pagan, Matt Duffy and Posey.
“We had some good hitters in the middle of the order,” Bochy said of his lineup. “We’re in a situation where we had some guys who needed a day off, there’s no getting around it. They needed a break.”
The Giants won’t get one with four against the Mariners coming right up and then three in Los Angeles. But at the very least, they temporarily don’t have to worry about this strange run against Arizona. The Diamondbacks have taken five of six meetings at AT&T Park this season. This was their first sweep here since 2008.
“Some things are hard to explain,” Bochy said. “This team got us twice here at home. I do think they caught us at the right time.”
--- Jarrett Parker hit a hard single to right for his first career hit.
"That's a pretty good feeling. It's what I've been playing for since I was a kid," he said. "When 41,000 people stand up and clap, it hit me for a second. That's a pretty cool feeling. I'm glad my parents were able to experience that."
Parker's parents flew in from Washington D.C. just in time for Sunday's game.
--- Gary Brown pitching in a Triple-A blowout is a thing that happened today. He gave up five earned runs on seven hits.