Here is all you need to know to understand the Giants’ current state of affairs:
Madison Bumgarner threw his first complete game in 44 starts Tuesday night. And he lost.
Even at Coors Field, the Giants offense remains a flooded engine. Hunter Pence’s home run was all the offense they could muster and the Rockies nullified that with solo shots by Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado as the Giants lost 2-1 Tuesday night.
The Giants were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and 1 for 19 in the series. Over the last five games, they have exactly one hit – Angel Pagan’s two-run single in San Diego – that drove in a baserunner.
It was almost a thumb in the eye when Brandon Crawford drew a pinch walk and Gregor Blanco hit a pinch single with one out in the ninth, creating one more opportunity to waste. Pinch hitter Hector Sanchez fouled off two tasty pitches from La Troy Hawkins before striking out. Then Angel Pagan, who looked like he was hitting on one leg all night because of a sore knee, grounded out to end it.
It was the Giants’ fifth loss in six games and ensured a losing road trip.
Starting pitching report
Bumgarner had some of his best stuff all season, but paid for a pair of 2-2 cutters, first to Tulowitzki in the fourth and then to Arenado in the fifth. Both pitches missed Buster Posey’s glove and ended up in the left field seats.
Otherwise, Bumgarner did exactly what the Giants needed. He threw 10, nine and 11 pitches in the first three innings and ended up needing 97 pitches to finish eight innings while notching his first complete game since Aug. 14, 2012, vs. Washington.
Eight-inning complete games are seldom satisfying for a pitcher, though.
One day after the bullpen logged 7 1/3 innings and lost David Huff to the DL, Bumgarner gave the relievers a much-needed rest.
At the plate
Pence went down and dug out a pitch for his second home run of the season, tying the game in the fifth. But once again the Giants were unable to collect any clutch hits.
Pablo Sandoval had a better approach while hitting a one-out double in the fourth but the rally died with the bottom of the order. In the eighth, with two aboard, Sandoval grounded into a double play. And … it really isn’t that hard to understand the Giants’ current state o affairs.
It was a bit against the book when Bumgarner hit for himself in the seventh inning down 2-1. But the bases were empty with two outs, Bruce Bochy wanted to rest his bullpen as fully as he could, and it’s not like the bench choices were too appealing. So Bochy let the big lefty hit for himself and he lined a double down the left field line.
But Pagan, who has been playing with a sore right knee, swung like he was standing in concrete all night. He bailed out while swinging at a third strike to end the inning.
You just can’t get much through the left side of this Rockies infield. Tulowitzki ranged up the middle to make a diving stop, then quickly got to his feet to throw out Joaquin Arias in the fourth inning.
Brandon Belt dropped a throw at first base to extend the fourth inning and load the bases, but Bumgarner got Brandon Barnes to line out.
The Giants and Rockies finish their three-game series at Coors Field on Wednesday. Matt Cain (0-3, 2.88) takes the mound against right-hander Tyler Chatwood (1-0, 2.77).