SAN FRANCISCO — Bruce Bochy is often quick to credit an opposing pitcher, especially one as talented as Gerrit Cole. But on this night, Bochy wasn’t going to simply tip his cap.
“Yes and no,” he said when asked if a 4-3 loss was all about Cole. “He’s got great stuff and he’s having a great year. He’s got the stuff to pitch out of that jam in the sixth. That hurt us. Those guys find a way to get out of it and he did.
“That was our undoing. We had two good hitters up and he made the pitches to stop it.”
The Giants had two of their hottest hitters on deck when the bases were loaded in the sixth. But Brandon Belt went down on a check swing on a nasty slider and Brandon Crawford bounced a 98 mph fastball into an inning-ending double play. They trailed by two at the time and would only end up getting one of those runs back.
Truthfully, this one could have been much worse. Diving catches by Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence robbed Andrew McCutchen of a pair of three-run doubles. Ryan Vogelsong worked around the first one but wasn’t able to escape a second time. Neil Walker’s double broke the game open after Pence’s catch in the fifth.
Coming off a month that had him nominated for National League Pitcher of the Month, Vogelsong said he thought he had good stuff and threw the ball well.
“I just made too many mistakes in the fifth inning and it ended up costing us the game,” he said. “I put us in a real bad situation. Buster (Posey) made a great play to throw a guy out at third and then I had one get away from me (when I hit) Josh Harrison when I was ahead in the count. I ended up walking (Gregory) Polanco on a pretty close pitch, but it’s still a walk.”
That sequence set up McCutchen, who tied the game with his fly to Pence. Walker’s double put the Giants in a hole that was too big against Cole, who hit 99 mph early and touched 97 with a nasty two-seamer on his 100th and final pitch.
“That’s what we expected,” Vogelsong said. “He’s tough, man. We had him on the ropes there with the bases loaded and nobody out and he made some big pitches to get out of it.”
The loss was the third straight for the Giants. This is their first three-game losing streak since April 15-17.
--- Bochy didn’t come out to complain when replay determined that (a Pirates) fan interfered with Polanco’s attempt to catch Posey’s fly down the right-field line in the eighth. The call ended the inning.
“I haven’t looked at it,” Bochy said. “It looked like the fan was in fair territory a little. You’re not going to get that call once the fan reaches into fair territory. That’s my thinking there. I wasn’t surprised they overturned it.”
--- Joe Panik had two more hits and now has a 15-game hitting streak at AT&T Park.
--- Casey McGehee has three straight multi-hit games for Triple-A Sacramento and has homered in two straight, so it looks like he's starting to find his swing a little bit. The Giants hoped this would happen when they sent him down there. McGehee is hitting .345 in seven games down there.
Also: Juan Gutierrez opted out of his Triple-A contract, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Also: Juan Gutierrez was with the River Cats, in case you had missed that.
--- Interesting to see that the Pirates, who have fully embraced the shift, didn’t do it to Belt in the ninth. He might be forcing teams to play more straight-up after hitting the ball all over the park in May.