The Giants got clobbered Tuesday night. Again.
San Francisco’s offense managed to cancel out the three runs starter Drew Pomeranz allowed in the first four innings, but the seven runs allowed by the recently recalled Ty Blach were too much to make up for, and the Giants (12-18) fell, 10-3, to the Dodgers (20-12).
Over the weekend, San Francisco took three beatings from a roster made up of second-string Yankees, but Tuesday’s drubbing probably stung a little bit more acutely given it was at the hands of the rival Dodgers.
In a bid to rest some of his bullpen arms for the later innings, manager Bruce Bochy went to an old standby in Blach when they were still behind just 3-1 in the sixth.
Up from Triple-A Sacramento after Derek Holland was placed on the 10-day Injured List with a bone bruise to his left index finger Monday, Blach was recalled for just this purpose.
“He was up here to help out the bullpen, we’ve been using them quite a bit. He was the guy that was gonna eat some innings for us to give them a break.”
Good-old, sturdy, reliable and levelheaded Blach, who can start or just as soon pitch one inning in relief as five.
But what was left out of that calculus was emotions. The 28-year-old southpaw started the season in Triple-A for the first time since 2016 this year, and Tuesday was the first time he’d stood on that mound under those bright lights since a September outing in relief against these same Dodgers.
“I just couldn’t control the emotions and I got behind some hitters … [there was] just a lot of adrenaline tonight.”
Taking the ball after Trevor Gott tossed a scoreless fifth, Blach got one quick out before coming undone in the sixth. He loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a single before allowing doubles to Chris Taylor and Austin Barnes. Kiké Hernandez topped it all off with a two-run shot (6), to put the Dodgers up 9-1.
Said the southpaw:
“[It was my] first game back and first time pitching out of the bullpen this year, so I was just trying to control all those [factors] and I usually pride myself on being able to do that, I just wasn’t able to do it tonight.”
Bochy said he didn’t feel good about leaving Blach out there floundering, but under the circumstances, with a tired bullpen, he stuck with the plan:
“It’s tough when your long guy goes out there and has an inning like that. You hate for him to have to stay out there. But we really needed to stay away from some guys that needed a break. And so we had to stay with him there.”
Pomeranz (L, 1-3, 4.08 ERA) lasted just four innings, allowing three runs on three hits, and threw only 77 pitches. He has not seen the seventh inning in a game since September of 2017, but the matchup with the Dodgers at Oracle Park was the third of six 2019 outings in which he didn’t make it past the fourth.
Kevin Pillar posted his 19th RBI of April (and the season) in the second inning, setting a career-high for RBIs in a calendar month. With the Brandons, Belt and Crawford, at the corners, Pillar hit a liner off Dodger starter Walker Buehler (W, 3-0, 5.22 ERA) into center field to get the Giants on the board first. It was a lead that wouldn’t hold.
The Dodgers didn’t hit Pomeranz especially hard. In fact, he held them hitless until the third when he allowed a single. But they drew a lot of pitches. He threw 20 in each of the first two innings and 24 in the fourth.
Freese drew a six pitch walk in his first at-bat in the second inning, and by the eighth pitch of his at-bat in the fourth he evidently had Pomeranz pretty well figured out as he launched a three-run shot (2) to right.
Pomeranz said he didn’t put the pitch quite where he meant to but felt he pitched well otherwise Tuesday. He said:
“I left that one [pitch] up a little bit and I think if I executed the pitch where I was trying to throw it I don’t think that happens, but you know he kind of has some power that way on balls up and he just got the barrel to it. I felt like I was throwing pretty good there and you know you make one bad pitch and it cost us three runs.”
Pomeranz would get out of the inning with no further damage and hit the showers.
The Giants added a pair and chased Buehler from the game in the sixth on an RBI double from Buster Posey. Belt followed with his second triple of the season, making it 9-3, but the game had already gotten away from them.
After the bloodbath sixth inning and a Turner dinger (1) to open the seventh, Blach settled down allowing no more runs. But with two Dodgers on base in the ninth, Bochy finally put Blach out of his misery, giving Travis Bergen the assignment of putting an end to a lost cause.
San Francisco’s ace Madison Bumgarner (1-4, 4.30 ERA) will take on Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 2.96 ERA) in Wednesday’s finale at Oracle Park as the Giants vie for the series win. First pitch is set for 6:45 p.m.