07/31/08 2:19 AM ET
Giants muffled in loss to Dodgers
San Francisco musters just five hits in suffering shutout
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
"That's what we're going to still strive for," Bochy said. "That's the only thing you can do. Keep working."The diligence extends to general manager Brian Sabean, who's weighing possible transactions before the Trade Deadline strikes Thursday, a scheduled off-day for the Giants. Speculation increased that San Francisco is considering trading catcher Bengie Molina to Florida for first baseman Mike Jacobs, although the Marlins reportedly could be more preoccupied with a three-way deal involving Boston and Pittsburgh that would bring them Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez. Asked if all members of the 25-man roster would make the trip to San Diego for the Giants' next series, Bochy responded affirmatively. One Giant with much to ponder during the short bus ride was Sanchez (8-7), who didn't last more than 5 1/3 innings in any of his July starts. He worked just four innings against the Dodgers, who scored a run in the first inning and three more in the third. Sanchez continued to insist that he's not fatigued, although his 123 innings are 2 2/3 short of his professional career high.
"I didn't have it today, but I'm not tired," he said.Bochy was more concerned with Sanchez's poor control. Of the four Dodgers Sanchez walked, three of them scored.
"The walks killed him today," Bochy said.
That pattern began in the first inning when Matt Kemp walked on a 3-2 pitch, stole second base and came home on Russell Martin's single.Sanchez again encountered trouble after walking Kemp and Casey Blake with one out in the third. Martin hit another run-scoring single, Jeff Kent lashed an RBI double and James Loney added a sacrifice fly. Rookie relievers Osiris Matos, Geno Espineli and Sergio Romo gave the Giants a chance to rebound by blanking the Dodgers for four innings. But Billingsley had established his dominance by then. He retired the first 12 hitters he faced and didn't allow a Giant to reach second base for the first eight innings. Jose Castillo nearly ended the shutout by doubling off the top of the right-center-field wall with two outs in the ninth. Randy Winn followed with a single to left field. But instead of fueling a last-ditch rally, that only set up the Giants' final indignity as Andre Ethier threw out Castillo at home plate for the final out. Bochy defended third-base coach Tim Flannery, who waved Castillo home.
"We all know that's not the way you want it to end," Bochy said. But, he added, "it looked like a real easy score, and it was a perfect throw."Yet Flannery spared nothing in his self-criticism, since the Giants needed baserunners at that juncture more than a run. "Tonight, after 14 years, I became a fan instead of a third-base coach," he said. "It's just flat-out stupid."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.