Bochy three hours ago: “I really believe when it’s all said and done, (the defense) is going to be better.” I wonder if he still believes.
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) April 18, 2012
The second game of the Phillies’ series started off with a great 91 mph pitch from Madison Bumgarner to Shane Victorino, followed promptly by an easy 6-3 grounder fielded beautifully by. . . Wait. Crap. Another E6 on Brandon Crawford. What? I’m starting to think that Crawford is going to be all bat and no glove.
Next batter, another easy 1-6 to start a double play. . . Wait. Bumgarner throws low to Crawford, resulting in a dropped ball and an E1 (although, really, Crawford should have been able to pick that one up and hang on to it).
This makes 8 games out of 11 so far this season with one or more errors by the Giants. Coming in to the game, the Giants had an MLB-leading 14 errors (thanks only to a retroactive correction of an error from last night’s game). After this game, they have an MLB-leading 16 errors. That includes 4 games with three errors in addition to tonight’s game with two. Read that tweet at the top again. The defense is going to be better than what? My 6 year old’s t-ball team?
The very best part of the game may have been when Buster Posey charmed the ump into a safe call on a steal of third* in the bottom of the 5th inning. Crawford, however, was not so lucky. He got caught stealing 2nd for the third out of the inning.
*replays showed that the play was extraordinarily close; the call could have easily gone either way, but no one can resist the Buster
Crawford’s defensive woes continued in the 6th inning, when hard hit ball ticked off his glove into left field that could have easily been called an error. Not content with that, Crawford also misplayed a strike thrown by Posey in the 7th inning to catch Juan Pierre’s steal of second base. Crawford simply didn’t catch the ball.
To top it off, Crawford struck out with the bases loade din the 7th, for an impotent hitless night to match his cluster-kerfuffle in the field.
But then! Crawford made a great diving catch of Victorino’s hard hit ball and fired it across to Belt at first for the final out of the game, preserving the win for Bumgarner and the save for Santiago Casilla, stepping in for Brian Wilson.
Also of note: the top of the order is hitting well. In addition to Posey’s three hits, Angel Pagan had two hits (could his slow start be heating up?), Melky Cabrera ended his 0-12 slump with a hit, and Pablo Sandoval ended the night with two hits of his own (continuing his 11 game hitting streak to start the season). That’s some pretty fine production from the top of the order. Unfortunately, Aubrey Huff hit 5th tonight, stranding five of those guys on base. Huff’s anemic .207 BA is turning into a liability in the 5-hole. Nate Schierholtz, on the other hand, ended the night with three hits and a walk. It might be time to make some line-up moves.
And finally: the Giants’ pitching tonight was pretty dang good. Bumgarner went 6 innings, giving up 7 hits, 1 ER and striking out two. Clay Hensley, Sergio Romo and Casilla all pitched a scoreless inning each, with Casilla giving up the sole hit for the ‘pen. Good hitting, good pitching. Maybe next game we’ll see some good defense to go along with it.