AT&T PARK — Except for their All-Stars and Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter, the 2013 season has been a disaster for the Giants.
Now, they can’t even beat the Cubs.
Former Giant Nate Schierholtz homered off All-Star closer Sergio Romo (3-6, 3.00 ERA) in the top of the ninth lifting Chicago to a 1-0 win, its second straight triumph over the Giants and Romo in the final inning.
Beginning with their two-game road trip to Toronto, the Giants have spiraled into the cellar, posting baseball’s worst record (23-42) since May 14.
One sign that the Giants won’t be defending their World Championship, Bruce Bochy mentioned the word pride. That’s an indication when your team is playing for pride, that’s all you have left because you’re out of playoff contention and the Giants are nine games back of the first place Dodgers:
Giants manager Bruce Bochy
Video: CSN Bay Area
“We’re being tested. Why? I don’t know. But we’re really being tested and hopefully when you get tested you get stronger. That’s why these (first) two games are disappointing because the pitching has been there….There’s a lot of baseball left and there’s a lot of pride involved. The only thing we can do is come out and just give it our all tomorrow.”
That would be a good start. Nothing would be more embarrassing than getting swept by the lowly Cubs (47-55) who are playing better but still 15-1/2 games back in the NL Central.
The Giants wasted a sharp outing by All-Star Madison Bumgarner, who deserved a win for eight scoreless innings where he scattered only four hits and two walks while striking out seven. Luckily for Bumgarner, he didn’t take the loss.
The Giants offense was sleepwalking through the entire game. San Francisco didn’t even have a baserunner until a one-out walk by Hunter Pence in the fifth inning. With two outs, Joaquin Arias got the first hit with a single into center field.
The best chance for the Giants to score was the eighth inning against reliever Pedro Strop (1-3, 5.06 ERA) when they had the bases loaded with nobody out and Buster Posey at the plate.
Posey grounded into a force out at short, with Gregor Blanco thrown out at home plate. Pablo Sandoval followed, also grounding into a force out, this time with Andres Torres erased at home plate. Pence struck out swinging.
The stats don’t lie: The night was just brutal for the Giants who were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position leaving ten men on base.
As one might expect, the Giants’ clubhouse was quiet. So quiet, in fact, the air conditioning unit was almost deafening to the reporters as they interviewed the notable names.
After taking the loss against the Dodgers at home on July 7, Romo avoided the media. This time, he graciously answered all questions asked to him after losing for the second game in a row.
Romo says he made a bad pitch to his former teammate:
Giants closer Sergio Romo
Video: CSN Bay Area
“It was (a fastball) right down the middle. That’s what happens this is the big leagues you know. You make bad pitches and they’re going to hurt you. It didn’t matter who it is, stat lines, abilities or not, this is an unbelievable game you never know what’s going to happen.”
The Giants had a bad break in the seventh when Pence blasted a ball to deep right center. But the ball bounced off the warning track and up into the stands for a ground rule double. Pence was stranded at second as the next three batters were retired in order.
Pence says as bad as things are going for the defending World Champs, they should embrace their situation and take the positive from it:
“This is just part of baseball, it doesn’t always go your way. Part of being a competitor is continuing to give every last bit of effort, continuing to try to constantly make adjustments to turn around. It’s definitely tough, it’s frustrating and it’s not fun to be not getting wins and not having things fall our way. At the same time you’ve got to see the opportunity to be out here playing and competing. You have to see the opportunity in the tough times too.”
The Giants fell to 3-6 on their 10-game homestand. … Bumgarner has tossed 14.0 scoreless innings and pitched seven or more innings in eight consecutive starts. … The Giants committed two errors and lead the Majors in miscues with 76. … This is the first time Romo has suffered the loss in consecutive games in his career.