Extra Baggs: Gaudin's a hit, Zito could get skipped, etc.

Gaudin: 'We played a great game as a team and it was really uplifting'

Extra Baggs: Gaudin's a hit, Zito could get skipped, etc.
July 31, 2013, 9:15 pm
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When 15 people comment to you that you need to work on your hitting, it kind of wears on you.
Chad Gaudin

Chad Gaudin's final stat line Wednesday night: 7 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K, WIN, RBI single (AP)

PHILADELPHIA – They say hitting gets contagious. But when Chad Gaudin scratches out a base hit, you know you’re caught up in a Stage 1 pandemic.

Gaudin’s single in the third inning Wednesday night snapped an 0-for-40 streak that dated back to 2009 with the Padres and was the longest active hitless streak in the major leagues. It was a bouncer through the left side with the bases loaded that drove in a run.

The Phillies must’ve respected him after that, since he drew a walk in his next plate appearance. But only a little respect. Gaudin ended the game 2 for 60 in his career.

This hit gave Gaudin his first RBI. So he asked for the baseball and wanted his teammates to sign it.

“They got the oldest ball they could find,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, grinning.

Gaudin held it up: It looked like Babe Ruth played catch with it.

“I figured I’d run into one sooner or later,” Gaudin said.

Actually, Gaudin was so bothered by his streak that he took 150 swings in the cage on the last homestand a day before his start against the Reds. He told Bochy that all those swings might have affected him when his stuff was flat and the Reds pounded him for six runs in 3 2/3 innings.

“When 15 people comment to you that you need to work on your hitting, it kind of wears on you,” Gaudin said. “I said, `You know, I’ll give it a shot and work on it.’ I guess it paid off, right?”

From across the room, Brandon Crawford teased Gaudin. Who asks for the baseball from your first RBI?

“Me,” Gaudin said.

“After 2 for 60, are you kidding me?” said Crawford, pointing out that Roger Kieschnick collected an RBI in his first big league plate appearance.

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If you want to know why Kieschnick’s debut was such a big deal to his teammates, I hope you’ll read this feature I wrote on him in spring training.

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Indications are that Barry Zito is less than a coin flip to start Sunday at Tampa Bay. Not only are the Giants winless in his nine starts away from AT&T Park, but the Rays are 23-11 vs. left-handed starters – the best winning percentage in the major leagues.

Even if Ryan Vogelsong stays for one more rehab start with Double-A Richmond, the Giants could start Guillermo Moscoso and have Zito back him up. It’s being discussed, and if I were a betting man, that’s what I think the Giants will do.

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The Giants will be playing on artificial turf in Tampa, too. They’ll get in late after a night game Thursday in Philly, so they probably won’t take early infield. But they’ll make sure everyone gets plenty of pregame exposure to the ceiling, the turf, the angles, etc.

When they played on turf in Toronto, they looked like they were wearing hockey skates.

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Pablo Sandoval said he bruised his left heel when he stepped on second base in the third inning. He came out for a pinch runner after singling in the sixth, but said he was confident he would play Thursday night.

Sandoval said the injury wasn’t related to the foot strain that forced him to the DL earlier this season.

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What do you know? If the Giants can beat Cole Hamels on Thursday, they’d win their second consecutive road series – and just their third since the end of April.

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