The Giants wasted a great opportunity yesterday, mustering up only five hits in a 3-1 loss to Arizona. The loss came at the hands of Madison Bumgarner, who gave his teammates a great chance to pick up the sweep over their division leading rivals with 7 strong innings (1 ER).
When you’re in a position like the Giants currently are, you can’t afford to shoot yourself in the foot…and that’s exactly what happened in this one. The Giants only mounted two rallies all day, and both of them were squandered by poor judgment on the part of players or coaches. Let’s be honest, when the Flan Man sent Posey home on Pablo’s double in the 6th, you knew it wasn’t going to end well. It usually doesn’t when Posey or the Panda are trying to take an extra base. AJ Pollock got the ball in quickly to Pennington, who gunned Buster at the plate. In case you missed it, the Giants made three outs at home in the final two games of the series. The players who made those outs: Sandoval, Pence and Posey.
For the record, I love Flannery. I think he’s one of the best 3rd base coaches in the game. He probably makes the right call nine times out of ten, and my guess is he doesn’t send Posey in this case if the Giants aren’t hitting .143 with RISP during the series. Seriously, when was the last time the Brandon’s drove in a run? Regardless, I still Flannery think has to hold Posey there and trust that his guys can get a run home in that situation. Last note on this topic: It sounds like many people are shredding Flannery after this one. My guess is that most of those people couldn’t successfully coach 3rd base for a little league team, let alone a 2-time World Series champ.
The Giants scratched a run across in the 9th on a fielder’s choice, and Kensuke Tanaka was promptly thrown out trying to take second after an overthrow to first. The Giants needed base runners at that point, and that was not a smart play from a guy who probably doesn’t have a ton of wiggle room.
I’d like to touch on the upcoming 4-gamer with Cincinnati at some point today, as it’s likely one of the biggest series’ of the year. But for now, we’ll leave it here. The Giants took 2 of 3 from the Snakes, but a sweep would have been very big. With the loss, it’s now a 5.5 deficit in the standings. But hey, at least we prevented the Dodgers from taking over first… right?