Kevin Correia, who’s been the quintessential replacement level pitcher over the last two seasons, held the Giants to one run today. Through six innings, the Giants only managed three hits — two of which were singles, and one of which should have been a single, as Brandon Belt was luckily called safe trying to stretch his hit into a double. The Giants got runners on base in each of the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th innings, but squandered every one of those opportunities. They couldn’t even get Angel Pagan home after a leadoff triple in the eighth.
Overall, the Giants’ offense stranded nine baserunners in a performance reminiscent of last year’s team, and snapped their four-runs-scored streak in the process. On the bright side, Pagan had some very good at-bats today (working the count full in four out of his five plate appearances), and the results were there — a walk and another triple. Additionally, Brandon Belt, who made his first start since last Sunday, went one for three with a double and a walk — which I’d suppose earned him another start for tomorrow’s game.
On the pitching side of things, Ryan Vogelsong looked good in his return to the mound. After a six-pitch first inning, he ran into some trouble in the second when his command seemed to falter a little; the Pirates were able to tack a couple runs on the board there. After that rough patch though, he settled down and was pretty exceptional from that point forward, retiring 12 consecutive Pirates at one point in the outing. The final results: 6.1 IP, 2 R, 7 K, 3 BB. The Giants’ rotation put together some terrible starts at the beginning of the season, but the trio of Matt Cain/Barry Zito/Ryan Vogelsong really shut down the Pirates this series: 22.1 IP, 4 ER, 22 K, 4 BB. They’re the Pirates, but whatever. Very good pitching nonetheless.
Tim Lincecum will start for the Giants tomorrow as they begin a three-game set against the Phillies. He’s looked awful all season long, and accordingly, people are hitting the annual Tim Lincecum panic button as early as ever. I’m not worried yet, but tomorrow’s start should be a very interesting one to watch.
As a quick aside, apparently it was Pagan’s decision to stay at third base on that Melky Cabrera grounder in the third — he didn’t see where the ball had gone at first. Not that it would have made a difference…:
“He said he didn’t see the ball. He came up, apologized. He said, ‘I just didn’t see where the ball went at first. I hesitated, then I didn’t want to go.’ Normally on that ball you score,” Bochy said. “That’s a big run. Didn’t really change the game but at the same time these are some of the small mistakes I was talking about that we made today that came back to haunt us.”