SAN DIEGO -- The Giants expected a few short starts from their starters early in the season, and on Sunday the situation may have cost them a chance to tie the game.
Even after Jake Peavy gave up a grand slam that was the big blow in a 6-4 loss to the Padres, the Giants had the tying run on third. With one out in the sixth and Gregor Blanco on third, Bochy sent pinch-hitter Angel Pagan to the on-deck circle with Matt Duffy at the plate. After Duffy grounded out, Bochy called Pagan back and let Yusmeiro Petit hit. At that point, Petit, the lone long man available Sunday, had thrown only one inning.
"There were two outs, I needed some work from (Petit)," Bochy said. "He was throwing the ball well the inning before and it's a one-run game ... You're hoping he can hold them there and we can score another run (later). That's the best shot at winning the game. We've seen what Petit can do."
Petit has so often been a shutdown reliever in similar situations, but he gave up two runs while saving the rest of the pen. He also struck out in that at-bat, stranding the runner. Bochy said he needed length out of Petit because Ryan Vogelsong threw 68 pitches the night before and George Kontos threw 32. Even with a 13-man staff, the Giants were a little short after getting three innings from Madison Bumgarner on Saturday and just four from Peavy on Sunday.
"At that point, you don't want to start using everybody and tear up the bullpen," Bochy said.
It’ll be up to the starting staff to make sure this isn’t a season-long issue.
“Obviously yesterday Bum had some struggles and he expects not to do that much,” Peavy said. “Today, if I make a better pitch there (in the fourth), it keeps me in the ballgame.”
--- Peavy was fine physically and said the back tightness wasn’t the problem today. He felt he mostly made good pitches in that fourth inning and the Padres just found holes, but the cutter that Wil Nieves hit didn’t do much.
“I wasn’t sharp by any means in that inning but other than that (cutter) it was soft contact, contact we wanted,” he said. “The ball bounced their way. The (cutter) came out spinning and obviously lost us the game.”
Said Buster Posey: “I felt he was pretty sharp. That was as crisp as I’ve seen him the last three or four times I’ve (caught) him.”
--- We’ve spent some time recently discussing Matt Duffy trying first and left, but that obscures the fact that a few weeks ago he was working hard at getting comfortable at third. He looked really solid out there Sunday, making a pretty nice catch of a pop-up down the line. The coaches love Duffy’s approach at the plate, and if he can adequately handle all these positions, we might be looking at a guy who plays somewhere just about every day.
--- Brandon Belt’s groin got a good test when Brandon Crawford’s throw took him up the line on a grounder in the fourth. Belt had to spin back and beat Tyson Ross to the bag, and he did. He later had to leap a bit to corral a ball. Belt said the groin didn’t bother him at all during the game.
--- It was a rough first week for the Giants, one filled with close losses and injuries. But they’ll all be smiling tomorrow when the pre-game ceremony starts at 12:45 at AT&T Park.
“I really want to try to take in as much as I can,” Posey said. “When I catch, I get caught up in — no pun intended — making sure I’m ready. I still want to make sure I’m ready, but it’s a special day. You need to appreciate it.”