The San Francisco Giants returned home tonight for the first of six games in a seven day homestand, taking on the Texas Rangers. Yup, those guys. The two teams came into the game tied with the 3rd-highest winning percentage in MLB, at 33-25 each. Who could have predicted that?
Let’s just rip the band-aid off of this one. Here’s the starting lineup for tonight:
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Blanco lf, Theriot 2b, Pagan cf, Sanchez c, Pill 1b, Arias 3b, Schierholtz rf, Crawford ss, Zito p
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) June 8, 2012
Yuck. Just yuck.
Granted, the team is being careful with Melky Cabrera’s hamstring (giving Nate Schierholtz just his 6th start in 36 games), and Buster Posey was taking a planned day off (allowing Hector Sanchez to serve as Zito’s personal catcher, naturally) before catching a day game tomorrow. But still. When a team ends up fielding what can best be described as a split squad lineup in June, you know nothing good will come of it.
In the end, the game was about as I expected. This lineup managed to get exactly none runs (as they say), resulting in the Giants’ first shut-out of the season*.
*I know this seems completely un-possible. But it’s true. Until tonight, the Giants had not been shutout in 2012. Not even one time. To compare, the Giants were shutout 14 times last season, including 5 times as of this point in 2011.
Barry Zito started the game off by giving up a homerun to the first batter he faced (Ian Kinsler). Yikes. I was expecting the worst. Instead, Zito didn’t let it bother him, even overcoming a throwing error by Joaquin Arias to get out of the inning without a hit.
As one might expect, the Giants’ lineup was fairly impotent, managing just 5 hits. And no runs. Don’t forget that they scored no runs. Against Matt Harrison, who pitched a complete game shutout.
Zito wasn’t awful. He pitched Zito-ly, going 6 innings while giving up 9 hits and 4 ER (including 2 HR). Could have been worse. Could have been better*. But with the offense stubbornly refusing to score any runs, I guess in the end it didn’t much matter.
*One way the Giants’ pitching in general could have been better would have been to not let the Rangers’ 8th place hitter get 5 hits.
I suppose the best way to sum up the game is this:
Pill is being optioned to Triple-A. Sandoval coming up.
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) June 9, 2012
Pablo hadn’t been expected back until Tuesday. Bringing him up this weekend may be a signal that the front office is tired of offensive futility.
Tomorrow’s 1:05 game will see Ryan Vogelsong (4-2, 2.38) vs. Scott Feldman (0-4, 7.01).