Oakland A’s 4, San Francisco Giants 2: Two out of three ain’t bad
That’s about all you can say about Sunday’s series finale in Oakland.
While it would have been great to complete the sweep heading into the series with the Dodgers. But the Giants won two of three, and ultimately that’s the goal of every series … to win it.
The Giants looked like they might get that sweep when they led 2-1 in the ninth after a stellar performance from Matt Cain.
But Santiago Casilla came in, gave up two singles to go with two strikeouts before giving up a three-run homer to rookie Derek Norris on a 3-2 pitch.
One pitch away from a sweep. Instead, it’s a loss.
Sure, you can make the argument that Bruce Bochy should have considered other options in the ninth than Santiago Casilla, who had pitched in each of the previous two nights and not completely effectively.
Actually MoreSplashHits would argue that Casilla should not have been used to protect a three-run lead with two out in the ninth on Saturday. Just because a situation becomes a save situation according to the rules doesn’t mean you automatically bring in your closer. Saturday’s game should have been finished off by committee, which eventually it was, and given Casilla day off. It would have left him fresher for Sunday.
Now, having pitched in three consecutive days, Casilla will not be available Monday against the Dodgers. Of course, with Barry Zito pitching, if the Giants find themselves in a save situation Monday that will be a blessing in itself.
You could argue all those points. But in the end, the Giants ended up winning a game that they probably should have lost in Oakland and lost a game they should have won. And that’s called a push.
Entering this series, the Giants were 1-29 when trailing after eight innings, and they got a win Friday to go to 2-29.
On Sunday, they were 35-0 when entering the ninth with the lead, and now they are 35-1.
Maybe a bigger issue is how the Giants scored twice in the first inning on a Buster Posey home run, then didn’t score again.
The Giants are now 1-21 when scoring 3 runs or fewer in games in Oakland.
But thanks to a win by the Angels on Sunday, the Giants still only trail the Dodgers by three games in the NL West.
And now onto the Dodgers, which starts a stretch in which the Giants play their next 10 games against division leaders — three with the Dodgers (NL West leaders), four with the Reds (NL Central leaders) and three with the Nationals (NL East leaders). The first-half the season ends with three against the Pirates (who are second in the NL Central).
Thirteen games that will tell us a lot about how the Giants expect to contend for a division title and playoff spot in the second half of the season.