Instant Replay: Giants come alive late, but still fall short

Instant Replay: Giants come alive late, but still fall short
August 28, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Brandon Crawford's single broke up Jhoulys Chacin's no-hit bid with two outs in the seventh inning. (AP)

BOX SCORE

DENVER – Sure, the Giants are a last-place club. Still, it’s arresting that they are just 1-7 in Madison Bumgarner’s starts since the All-Star break.

Bumgarner hasn’t just been the Giants’ most consistent pitcher all year. He’s been one of the best in the NationaL League. He entered Wednesday night ranked seventh among NL starters in ERA and third in opponents’ average, wedged right between Clayton Kershaw and Matt Harvey.

A lack of run support explains all the losses, mostly. And on Wednesday night, the Giants took it to another level.

How about no hits of support?

They managed to foil Jhoulys Chacin’s no-hit bid seven outs before the Rockies’ right-hander could complete it. But Brandon Crawford’s single in the seventh came after Bumgarner already had exited after allowing a tiebreaking single in the sixth .

Reliever Jean Machi and a defensive letdown by Crawford conspired to turn that sixth inning into a mess, and although the Giants woke up against the Rockies bullpen, the rally came too late in a 5-4 loss at Coors Field.

The Giants finished 2-7 at Coors Field this season; they were 13-5 here over the previous two years.

Starting pitching report
Bumgarner (11-9) once again pitched well enough to win while maintaining a 1-1 tie into the sixth .

He pitched around Brandon Belt’s error in the first inning but got scratched for a run in the second, when Wilin Rosario singled, Nolan Arenado doubled and Charlie Culberson hit an RBI ground out to shortstop.

The left-hander proceeded to cruise until the sixth, when D.J. LeMahieu led off with a single and Troy Tulowitzki drew the only walk that Bumgarner issued all night. Michael Cuddyer struck out but LeMahieu stole third base, with Pablo Sandoval needing to dive to keep Buster Posey’s offline throw from ending up down the left field line.

Rosario followed with a tiebreaking bloop single to center that fell in front of Gregor Blanco, whose attempt at a deke didn’t fool anyone. That was as far as Giants manager Bruce Bochy cared to go with Bumgarner, who might not miss starts down the stretch but won’t be allowed to load up his pitch count.

Bumgarner threw 70 of 104 pitches for strikes. He ended up getting charged for four runs, three earned, after both of his runners scored.

Bullpen report
Jean Machi got the ground ball to escape the sixth inning. He fielded Arenado’s comebacker, whirled and made a perfect throw to second base that glanced off Crawford’s glove for an error that loaded the bases.

Then Yorvit Torrealba torched the whole works with a two-run double. And Chacin didn’t loaf down the line to conserve his energy with a no-hitter intact. He sprinted to beat out a potential double-play grounder by an eyelash, allowing the fourth and final run of the inning to score.

At the plate
Here’s a nice feather in Chacin’s cap: His 6.2 innings ranked as the longest no-hit bid by a Rockies pitcher in Coors Field history.

It was the third longest at the ballpark, behind Hideo Nomo’s no-hitter and Matt Cain’s bid in 2010, which was broken up with one out in the eighth.

Chacin received a standing ovation after Crawford, with two outs in the seventh, lined a clean single to center field.

He departed after the inning and the Giants found instant life, scoring a three-run eighth in four hits. But Pablo Sandoval grounded out to end the rally, and Rex Brothers retired three batters in the ninth.

At least Chacin didn’t join the Reds’ Homer Bailey as the second pitcher to no-hit the Giants this season. They’ve never been no-hit twice in a season in franchise history.

In field
Nobody would have thought about a no-hitter if not for LeMahieu, the second baseman, who robbed Marco Scutaro of a hit with a diving stop in the third inning. It came after Rosario, who started at first base, opened the inning by making a pair of errors. The Giants couldn’t capitalize on them.

They did score a run when the Rockies made another error in the fourth, though. Belt walked and Buster Posey hit a roller to shortstop that went under Troy Tulowitzki’s glove for an error. Belt took third and scored on Hunter Pence’s double-play grounder.

Attendance
The Rockies announced 27,268 paid.

Up next
The Giants take a day off in the middle of their nine-game, three-city trip before beginning their next series at Arizona on Friday. Tim Lincecum (7-13, 4.55 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound against right-hander Randall Delgado (4-4, 3.87). It’ll be Ryan Vogelsong (3-4, 5.58) vs. right-hander Trevor Cahill (5-10, 4.39) on Saturday and TBA (likely Yusmeiro Petit) vs. left-hander Patrick Corbin (13-4, 2.79) on Sunday.