Frustration mounts for skidding Giants
String of miscues doom San Francisco in loss to Rockies
DENVER -- Add a game to the Giants' losing streak and multiple annoyances to their heap of aggravation.If the Giants wanted to gnash their teeth over this one, they'd have nothing left in their mouths but gums. Monday's 4-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies sustained their pattern of repeated offensive shortcomings and the one telling inning that dooms them. The Giants inched to a 3-1 lead before Colorado's three-run sixth inning precipitated San Francisco's sixth consecutive loss and 12th in its last 15 games. After amassing eight runs on Sunday, the Giants resumed their feeble ways with runners in scoring position, going 1-for-8 in those situations. A couple of Giants avoided the malaise. Fred Lewis tripled twice in his first game at Coors Field since he hit for the cycle here on May 13, 2007.
"I love it. It's a great place to hit," Lewis said of the mile-high ballpark.
Randy Winn drove in two runs and collected two hits, including a first-inning homer that extended his hitting streak to 14 games.Otherwise, the Giants continued teasing. They marooned runners on second or third in four separate innings and wasted a pair of serious threats. The Giants had runners at the corners with one out in the sixth inning, having already scored once to extend their lead to 3-1. Then, Jose Castillo struck out, prompting a double play when Aaron Rowand was tagged out between third and home after Rich Aurilia broke from first base to stay out of a twin killing.
Manager Bruce Bochy justified Rowand's dash by saying, "You can't just let them tag Richie there."Winn singled and Bengie Molina walked to begin the eighth, but Taylor Buchholz coaxed a first-pitch double-play grounder from Rowand, the team's leading hitter.
"We had the right guy up," Bochy said.The Giants left nobody aboard in the ninth, but that was because Eugenio Velez, pinch-running after Castillo singled to lead off the inning, was picked off first base by Rockies left-hander Brian Fuentes and thrown out at second. Velez leads the Giants in stolen bases, but his .571 theft percentage (8-for-14 after Monday's mishap) is significantly below the National League average of .727. The rookie has been unsuccessful on three of his last four stolen-base attempts. Bochy acknowledged that Velez is taking too many risks: "He's guessing a little too much right now. "He's pinch-running for a reason," Bochy said. "We got a great basestealer there and we're facing their closer. We're hoping we can steal a base and get a runner in scoring position. We're not the kind of club that can sit back." The Rockies' big sixth inning began against Giants starter Pat Misch, as Matt Holliday doubled and Garrett Atkins lined an RBI single. One out later, right-hander Vinnie Chulk (0-3) relieved Misch and walked Ryan Spilborghs. Chulk struck out Jeff Baker, but ex-Giant Yorvit Torrealba doubled down the left-field line to score Atkins and Spilborghs. That inning featured more to dissect than a high school biology class. Although Spilborghs, Baker and Torrealba were a combined 0-for-5 against Misch, Bochy pointed out that the left-hander had begun to elevate his pitches.
"I was definitely battling the last couple of innings to get the ball down," Misch admitted.Chulk, who has absorbed the decision in two losses during the Giants' current streak and in three of their last seven defeats, lamented his duel with Torrealba. "It was a first-pitch sinker in," Chulk said. "I've looked at it 100 times on video already. I hit my spot, but it's not a good pitch selection for me. He's known for getting his hands in pretty good on the inside fastball. It didn't catch much plate, but for Torrealba, in off the plate is almost middle." Bochy wasn't happy with the results, either.
"He's got good stuff," Bochy said of Chulk. "He just has to pitch smarter."Nor was Bochy entirely pleased with Lewis' handling of Torrealba's hit.
Asked if he thought the Giants had an opportunity to throw out Spilborghs at home, Bochy replied, "Yeah, with a good throw. Freddie was just trying to get rid of it. It bounced there."Lewis agreed with Bochy.
"Maybe if we had a better throw, we probably had a chance," Lewis said. "But I got to it late. I was playing straight up and I had to go a long way to get it."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.