Kruk & Kuip: Another 'on the chin' for Giants
Tim Lincecum allowed six runs and seven hits over five innings and committed one error. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
DENVER – Bruce Bochy has referenced Braveheart, Gideon from the Old Testament and even Tom Cruise in “Days of Thunder” on rare occasions when he called a team meeting.
Whatever he rolled out before batting practice Saturday, he might want to consider retiring it.
[RELATED: Giants notes: Bochy calls team meeting, Pill sent down to Fresno, etc.]
The Giants have played blemished baseball through most of May, and their ghastly breakout on this road trip continued unabated in a 10-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
Just as Madison Bumgarner did a night before, a leadoff walk and a pitcher’s error set the stage for Colorado’s big inning. The Rockies scored a three-run third against Tim Lincecum, who didn’t help himself when he threw a ball into right field.
It was the second of three errors on the night – and one of 12 they’ve committed in five games on this trip.
Lincecum didn’t make too many mistakes over the plate, actually. But he ended up yielding six runs in five innings that brought to mind raking leaves in a windstorm. No effort, however profound, could make a difference on this night.
In addition to his error, which came after he bobbled a nubber and then rushed an unnecessary throw, Lincecum also slipped on the slab while delivering a pitch, he couldn’t get a glove on an RBI single up the middle by opposing pitcher Tyler Chatwood, and he served up a two-run homer to Wilin Rosario.
Starting pitching report
You begin to understand why the Giants added a 13th arm to their pitching staff. Lincecum’s five innings actually represented the club’s second longest outing in five games on this trip.
While losing four of five in Toronto and Colorado, the rotation has pitched 23 2/3 innings and allowed 41 hits, 37 runs (27 earned runs) and 7 home runs.
That computes to a 10.27 ERA – with 10 more unearned runs on top of that!
Lincecum (3-3) looked like he might act as a stopper in the early innings. In a perfect example of how he can thrive, Lincecum used his fastball to get ahead of Todd Helton, then got him to chase a breaking ball in the dirt.
Lincecum pitched around Buster Posey’s throwing error in the first inning, too; part of Bochy’s message to the group was that the pitchers needed to be good teammates and limit the damage.
But a leadoff walk to No.8 hitter Charlie Blackmon portended bad things, and the Giants’ 1-0 lead evaporated when Dexter Fowler doubled down the left field line. Josh Rutledge followed with a tapper that Lincecum bobbled before making a slinging throw past first baseman Brandon Belt.
Lincecum’s shoulders slumped as Fowler scored and Rutledge coasted into third base. An RBI ground out brought home Rutledge to make it 3-1. Troy Tulowitzki followed with a double, and while it came with the bases empty, it ensured that all three of Lincecum’s runs would be earned.
The Rockies added another run in the fourth when Chatwood singled in Nolan Arenado, who had advanced into scoring position on a balk when Lincecum fell down while starting his delivery.
It was still a 4-1 game when Lincecum threw a 1-0 pitch above the belt to Rosario. It wasn’t a strike, but the power hitter extended his arms and sent it over the left field fence.
Jean Machi, newly recalled from Fresno, gave up a run in two innings. George Kontos looked like his workload was beginning to catch up to him as the Rockies pounded him for three runs in the eighth.
At the plate
The comeback never materialized against Chatwood (2-0), a spot starter who only pitched in the series because Jeff Francis went on the disabled list.
The Giants did manage to score the game’s first run when Brandon Belt doubled and scored on Gregor Blanco’s two-out single in the second inning.
But they had some of Bochy’s signature buzzard’s luck earlier in the inning, when Buster Posey was thrown out trying to advance on a pitch that got past Rosario. As it happened, the ball caromed off the backstop and went directly to the catcher, who threw to third base for the out.
(Locals said Rosario wouldn’t have gotten that bounce last year, since there are three more rows of seats behind the plate that cut into the amount of foul ground here.)
The Giants didn’t score again until the eighth, when Hunter Pence doubled and scored on Brandon Crawford’s infield single.
It’s not as if the Giants totally slept through Bochy’s sermon.
In the seventh inning, Pablo Sandoval made a diving stop of Troy Tulowitzki’s grounder, got to his feet quickly and looked to first, but didn’t throw. A day earlier, Sandoval had thrown wide for an error when he had no chance to get the runner.
Still, the Giants committed three more errors. In addition to Posey’s wide throw and Lincecum’s sling, Crawford let a Rockies runner take an extra base in the eighth when Pence’s throw glanced off his glove.
The Rockies announced 41,412 paid – including those folks up front who had an excellent view of Rosario’s throw.
The Giants conclude their four-game series at Coors Field as well as their six-game road trip Sunday afternoon. Barry Zito (3-2, 3.40 ERA) will try to cure his road woes against right-hander Juan Nicasio (3-1, 5.13). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PDT.
Zito is 3-0 with a 0.55 ERA in five home starts but 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA in three road starts.