PHILADELPHIA — There were a lot of little things that went wrong for the Giants on Sunday, but ultimately the post-game talk centered on a series of events in what was then a tie game but ended as a 6-4 loss to the Phillies.
Ryan Vogelsong had retired 11 straight entering the seventh inning but Freddy Galvis led off with a single. The next batter, Cameron Rupp, tried to move Galvis over and instead popped up a bunt that was so terrible it ended up flying just over a charging Vogelsong and landing in no-man’s land near the mound. Just like that, two on with no outs.
“You can’t have a worse bunt be in a more perfect spot than that,” Vogelsong said.
The right-hander buckled in and got Darin Ruf to hit into a double play on the next pitch. Manager Bruce Bochy, pleased with the way Vogelsong was still throwing, let him stay in to face left-hander Ben Revere even though Javier Lopez was warmed up.
“I gave him a shot there with Revere,” Bochy said. “I thought he earned that.”
On a day when Vogelsong felt his stuff and command were good, he followed with a walk of Revere that had him kicking himself after the loss. Revere had struck out looking in his first at-bat and then twice grounded out harmlessly to third.
[INSTANT REPLAY: Vogelsong roughed up, Giants lose to Phillies]
“It was more of a mental mistake, really,” Vogelsong said. “I was just trying to be too fine. The go-ahead run is on third there and I’m trying to force him to hit what I wanted to hit. It probably caused me to lose some of my aggressiveness.
“I felt great. I still felt great in the seventh inning. It was more of a mental mistake than anything to do with being tired.”
Vogelsong was pulled after the walk and Lopez entered to face Odubel Herrera. The Phillies countered with Jeff Francoeur, the right-handed hitter who struggled mightily with the Giants in 2013 but has found a niche with the Phillies. Francoeur entered with four hits in eight pinch-hit at-bats and he had hit a grand slam off Madison Bumgarner on Saturday, so Lopez was instructed to pitch around him.
Lopez said he didn’t want to throw Francoeur any sinkers and instead focused on giving Francoeur “chase pitches.” He left a changeup over the plate and Francoeur lined it over Matt Duffy and into the corner, scoring two runs and giving the Phillies a 5-3 lead that would hold up.
“That’s a mistake on my part,” Lopez said. “If I could do it again, I would.”
Bochy said Lopez was “trying to be careful.”
“We’ve still got a base open. He can still make his pitches,” Bochy said. “The pitch just got away from him.”
The Giants could have asked Lopez to intentionally walk Francoeur and go after Chase Utley with a left-on-left matchup, but managers don’t like calling on a reliever and then having him intentionally throw balls. “It’s not ideal,” Lopez confirmed. “You wouldn’t want to come in and just throw four wide ones.”
Instead, a changeup that was supposed to miss the plate caught far too much of it.
“He’s a veteran left-hander. He knew the situation,” Bochy said. “The pitch got away from him. It’s a changeup that he yanked a little bit. It’s going to happen. That’s baseball. You give them credit, though. They didn’t miss it.”
Along the way, plenty of other plays altered the result, too. Vogelsong felt good about a pitch he threw Cody Asche in the second, but the low fastball was poked into left for a two-run single. “The ball was about as down as you can get it without bouncing,” Vogelsong said.
The Giants left 11 on base, including two in the ninth. It didn’t help that Jeremy Affeldt gave up a solo homer to Maikel Franco that padded Jonathan Papelbon’s cushion. It all added up to a loss on a day the Giants seemed to have the decided edge against Sean O’Sullivan and a struggling Phillies team. The Giants haven’t seen the Nationals, Cardinals, Mets or Cubs yet. Games like Sunday's are the ones they need to fatten up on. Vogelsong felt he had more than enough to make that happen.
“That’s two games in a row now that I felt I threw the ball really, really good and haven’t come away on the right side of it,” he said.
--- Joe Panik has a 12-game hitting streak and he has multiple hits in five of his last seven games. He's third among NL second basemen in average and leads the way in OPS. All-Star?
"Obviously it would be an honor, but for me it's way too early to think about that," Panik said. "I try not to look too far ahead because that's when you lose sight of what the task is at hand."
Bochy happens to be the National League manager.
"I think you look at second basemen, and he's playing as well as anybody," he said.
--- Brandon Belt extended his on-base streak to 22 games, the longest in the Majors. Panik is right behind him at 20 games.