Seriously. How did we lose this game? It wasn't as if I went into this thing expecting a victory of course. When you have Jonathan Sanchez on the hill, anything can happen. You can get a no-hitter, or a home run derby by the third inning. It all depends on how Sanchez's command is, and that is as easy to predict as the stock market back in the 1920's.
Yet when Sanchez deals today, only makes one mistake all day, and goes seven innings (seven innings!) well...you think we would win this one. Especially with no David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, or Carlos Delgado in the lineup, too, right?
Well, all I can say is I hope the Giants don't play the Sacramento Rivercats during this stretch, because the Giants basically lost to the New York Mets' Triple-A affiliate out there in today's 4-3 loss at Citi Field.
To put a silver lining on this game, kudos to Sanchez for pitching a great game today. To be honest, Sanchez has really earned his keep in this rotation after his no-hitter. He is a much better pitcher during this second-half, and even though he can be unpredictable, the promise he has showed since the no-hitter I think lessens the effect of losing Tim Alderson in the Freddy Sanchez trade. I mean, even when Randy Johnson retires next year, I look forward to a rotation of Lincecum, Cain, Zito, Sanchez and Martinez or perhaps even Bumgarner (if he tears it up in Spring Training next year). I think Sanchez is past the rut he had in the second half of last year, and the first half of this season, and I honestly believe, especially after today's outing that the future is bright for this kid.
That being said, Sanchez made a big mistake today: a two-run home run to freaking Luis "I can barely hit the ball out of the infield" Castillo, his first homer since late May of last year. I was about to smash my head into the television after that home run. Anybody but Castillo. Hell, I would've rather had Fernando "My career is still living on that two grand slams in one inning" Tatis hit that homer than Castillo.
Still, even with that mistake, you can't blame Sanchez in this one. The offense has just been awful since the Reds series. First the Reds, then the Dodgers, and now the Mets, who have owned us this year with a 5-2 overall record this year against us head-to-head. Maybe it's just a bad rut, but I thought we were past our rut after the 3-7 road trip out of the gate after the All-Star break. Apparently not though, and we look to be in another rut despite the deadline acquisitions of Ryan Garko and Freddy Sanchez. Sanchez is doing his part, but Garko...ehh...not so much. When you trade a guy who's hitting around the Mendoza Line for a prospect that is a borderline Top-100 minor league arm...well...let's just say you may have lost out on that trade.
The offense stunk today to be perfectly frank, and the only guys I can really tip my hat to in this one are Velez (who shrugged off an awful first couple of games in this series at the plate and went 2-for-3) and Winn, who had a very good at-bat and drove in Velez in the eighth to tie the game despite being pwned by Pelfrey for most of the game. Other than though, another goose egg of a game from the Giants "Triple-A" caliber offense.
Key stat of the game: Sandoval, F. Sanchez and Ishikawa went a combined 0-for-11 at the dish. It doesn't matter if you're playing a team that's more decimated out there than a Marine Sqaud in Vietnam. When you're three, four and six hitters do that poorly, you're going to lose.
I know I have to keep the faith in this Giants team during this stretch run. I know it is still August and in reality, the real games are played in September when the games really, REALLY count.
But damn it...these games are getting hard to stomach. You can only take so much excruciating pain. Watching the Giants offense is starting to feel more and more like getting a tattoo removed (i.e. REALLY FREAKING PAINFUL!)
Postgame box notes:
Winning pitcher: Francisco Rodriguez (3-4) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO.
Losing pitcher: Sergio Romo (3-2) 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO.
Giants standouts: Eugenio Velez, 2-for-3, 2B (7). Fred Lewis, 2B (18). Randy Winn, 2B (27).
Mets standouts: Jeff Franceour, 2-for-4. Angel Pagan, 2B (8). Luis Castillo, HR (1).
Probable starters for next game: Martinez (2-1) vs. Hernandez (7-7).