Big Belt and a bunch of bobbles
MoreSplashHits is still trying to figure out what’s worse.
The fact the Giants still don’t have their first win of the 2011 season.
That both losses to open the season were to the hated Dodgers.
That they’ve wasted two solid pitching effort.
That the Giants aren’t hitting well.
That despite all that, the Giants still could have won if they had simply played with more focus on defense.
For the second straight night, the Giants basically gave a victory to the Dodgers, losing 4-3 Friday night.
If there’s good news, it was the performance of rookie Brandon Belt. Belt hammered a 2-0 pitch from Chad Billingsley in the fourth over the center-field fence for his first career home run, a three-run shot.
But the rest of the night, the Giants failed to deliver a clutch hit. Buster Posey struck out in the seventh with a bases loaded.
Here’s an interesting stat to note. Dating back to the World Series, 12 of the last 13 runs the Giants have scored have come via the home run.
There was Belt’s 3-run blast Friday, Pat Burrell’s solo shot Thursday, Edgar Renteria’s three-run homer in Game 5 of the World Series, Buster Posey’s solo shot and Aubrey Huff’s two-run shot in Game 4 of the Series and solo home runs by Cody Ross and Andres Torres in Game 3.
The only non-homer produced run in that stretch was an RBI double by Torres in Game 4.
But unlike in the Fall Classic, the Giants aren’t doing the little things to win so far in 2011.
On Friday night, the Giants were up 3-1 in the sixth when Matt Kemp led off with a single. Kemp then went from first to third on a slow chopper by Marcus Thames.
Sandoval charged the ball and never looked over to Kemp before throwing Thames out at first. Kemp never stopped to go from first to third.
The mental lapse came back to get the Giants when Kemp scored on a sacrifice fly by James Loney.
After Rod Barajas singled to left, Aaron Miles rolled a swinging bunt to Sandoval at third. Sandoval charged, bare-handed the ball, then threw wide to first, allowing Barajas to advance to third and Miles go to second.
Instead of eating the ball, as he had no chance of getting Miles, Sandoval compounded the situation by throwing the ball away.
But it looked as if the Giants might escape the game when Hector Gimenez hit a weak bouncer back to Jonathan Sanchez. But the lefty took his eye off the ball, and dropped it, allowing Barajas to score the tying run.
Guillermo Mota relieved Sanchez and gave up a single to Rafael Furcal, scoring Miles with the go-ahead run.
So, some dumb luck (three balls that didn’t leave the infield grass), bad decisions and bad fielding left the Giants 0-2.
The Giants turn to Matt Cain to help stop the slide on Saturday afternoon. Let’s hope the Giants play some better defense behind the right-hander.