May 17, 2011
URBANARCHIVEGIANTS PAGE GIANTSVIDEOMychael UrbanCSNBayArea.com
Our MLB Insider takes a look at the Giants' 5-3 loss to the host Rockies on Tuesday in the finale of a two-day twinbill of a series at Coors Field.
Bust(er)ing out: Nobody would have batted an eye had Giants manager Bruce Bochy given catcher Buster Posey the day off; he was 2-for-13 (.154) against Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez, it was a day game after a night game, and backup Eli Whiteside has often guided Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez through spectacular outings. Bochy, however, stuck with the hot hand -- Posey had two hits Monday -- and decided that with Sunday's game in Chicago having been rained out, Posey was plenty rested. He even moved Posey into the No. 3 spot in the order, and his faith was rewarded with another multi-hit game from the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, who singled and scored during San Francisco's tie-breaking rally in the third inning.RECAP: Rockies take late lead, sweep Giants in short series
Well-played hunch: Bochy also raised some eyebrows by starting struggling Pat Burrell (1-for-12 funk) in left field and putting Mike Fontenot (1-for-19) into Freddy Sanchez's customary spots at second base and second in the batting order. As has happened so often since late last season, Bochy's moves paid off. Fontenot also singled in the third, and he and Posey scored when Burrell, given the green light to swing away on a 3-0 count, scored them both with a double into the left-center gap. Burrell also singled for his first multi-hit game since April 24.Cautionary tale: Word during Tuesday's presume show that it was a regularly scheduled day off for Freddy Sanchez, but it was a little more than that. Yes, Bochy wanted to get Fontenot into a game after sitting him in three of the past four; yes, he wanted Miguel Tejada back at shortstop because -- hot-hand alert! -- Tejada had two hits Monday and was 4-for-12 lifetime against Jimenez; and yes, Bochy wanted to play Mark DeRosa again in hopes that back-to-back starts for the first time this year would help DeRosa find some sense of rhythm. (It didn't; DeRosa went 0-for-4 and is 0-for-22 over his past nine games.) But it also has to be noted that Freddy Sanchez is 9-for-30 (.300) against Jimenez and batting .390 lifetime at Coors Field; so much for the hot-hand thing. Bottom line: Sanchez's left knee is bothering him again, so Bochy gave him a blow."Good" Sanchez: In his second start since a closed-door meeting with Bochy to discuss his focus, Jonathan Sanchez put together another pretty solid start, and for seven innings this one was quite a bit better than the previous. After allowing a leadoff double in the third, Sanchez allowed one hit and hit a batter while cruising into the eighth. His arm slot was consistent, which helped him do what any pitcher hoping to succeed at Coors Field has to do: keep the ball down and limit free passes. Sanchez was as efficient as he's been in a while, holding the Rockies to three hits, that one hit batter and zero walks on 81 pitches through the first seven innings."Bad" Sanchez: After allowing consecutive singles to open the bottom of the eighth, Sanchez picked up a sacrifice bunt and threw wildly past first base to bring in a run and put runners at the corners with nobody out. That was it for him, and the inning snowballed from there. Javier Lopez, one of the Giants' most reliable bullpen arms all year, came on and was greeted by a ground-rule double by Dexter Fowler that tied the game. Two batters later, Carlos Gonzalez broke the tie with the two-run single that chased Lopez and stuck Sanchez with the loss."Tulo" untracked: Previously slumping Troy Tulowitzki had a big two-run single off Tim Lincecum on Monday, and the confidence boost it provided appeared to carry over to Tuesday, when he yanked a slow-breaking, down-and-away slider from Sanchez into the left-center bleachers to tie the game at 1-1. Then again, Tulowitzki likely had plenty of confidence heading into the short series' finale, anyway. He entered the contest 7-for-20 (.350) with a double, triple and home run in his career against Sanchez.