Heart of San Francisco's offense remains in fog
Outside of two home runs, big hits elude Giants in Game 4 loss to Cardinals
ST. LOUIS -- Although the heart of the Giants' lineup changed, their predicament did not.The top continued to produce in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, with Marco Scutaro getting his customary two hits and Angel Pagan joining him with two of his own. But while the table setters again did their jobs, those who followed couldn't clear the table.
When this out-of-sync situation was pointed out to him following the 8-3 loss to the Cardinals, Hunter Pence could offer only the classic understatement: "It'd be good if everyone just hit every time. Yeah, that'd be great."Nos. 1 and 2, Pagan and Scutaro, were 4-for-8. Nos. 3-5 -- Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Hector Sanchez -- were 1-for-12. Sanchez? Indeed, Pence was lowered to the six-hole, in the wake of having anointed himself the goat of Wednesday's 3-1 loss, in which his 0-for-4 had left five men on base. Posey and Sandoval swapping places were other features of manager Bruce Bochy's lineup shakeup, which brought an odd mix of results. "It's a game of adjustments. It's a little tweak I thought was necessary," Bochy had said. There was no bottom-line payoff, obviously, as the Giants were held to a total of six hits by Adam Wainwright and reliever Fernando Salas. Yet home runs by the displaced Pence and Sandoval accounted for the only scoring. Pence's blow was more critical, a solo shot in the second that halved St. Louis' early 2-0 lead.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.