Chris Heston became the unlikely stopper for the Giants on Saturday, leading them to a victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. But a team is only as good as the guy who pitches the day after the stopper does his job. And on Sunday, Tim Hudson was shaky, ineffective and in trouble from the opening gun. I couldn’t figure out why Bruce Bochy left him in so long.
Giants’ Tim Hudson blew up early and never recovered.
In the end, it was as it had been for eight of the previous nine games as the G-men started a new losing streak with a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the D-Backs. Their record is now 4-10 and at .266 they are the third worst team in baseball. Only Milwaukee (.167) and Miami (.231) have worse records.
This time, the Giants did do one thing different. Whereas in most of the recent losses, they’ve wasted opportunity after opportunity, this time they just didn’t create any chances to waste. They stranded only five base runners and only two of them in scoring position. They just didn’t hit at all as Jeremy Hellickson tossed 6-2/3 innings of decent ball, scattering eight hits and giving up just one earned run.
Hudson, meanwhile, fell behind 2-0 in the first and never really recovered, leaving after five innings of work for another non-quality start.
Today, at long last, the Giants get a day off. They are the only team in the majors to have been forced to endure 14 consecutive games to open the season, a scheduling snafu I refuse to see as an accident. As far back as I’ve been able to research it, no other team has been forced to go 14 straight right out of Spring Training without a day off. The D-backs, by comparison, are enjoying their second day off today. That grueling schedule has no doubt played a part in the Giants’ poor start and MLB should be ashamed of itself for such a stupid move. But at the end of the day, professional players need to overcome those kinds of obstacles and the Giants clearly have not.
Tomorrow, the Dodgers, leading the NL West at 9-3, come into AT&T Park to face Tim Lincecum (0-1, 2.25) in the opener. They’ll throw Brett Anderson (1-0, 3.27) at the home team. The Dodgers have played nine of their first 12 at Dodger Stadium and are on a seven-game winning streak.
The odds are stacked against the orange-and-black in this series. They have the second worst runs scored vs runs allowed margin in all of baseball, having been outscored by 25 compared to the Brewers’ 35.
I’m afraid the Dodgers will continue the Giants’ losing streak despite a good effort from Lincecum.
Los Angeles 4, San Francisco 1.