Rewind: Scutaro offers wisdom after another Giants shutout

Rewind: Scutaro offers wisdom after another Giants shutout
July 12, 2014, 5:30 pm
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(We've got to) start playing as a team, work together and we'll see results.
Marco Scutaro

Programming note:D’backs-Giants coverage starts Sunday at 12:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO -- For a team that is struggling to score, having speedster Gregor Blanco sent off the basepaths twice in Saturday's 2-0 loss to the Diamondbacks was torture. 

Nothing could be done about the replay review that removed a one out, bases loaded situation in the seventh inning, but Blanco -- who was visibly upset after the game -- knows he let the team down in the fifth.

"The pickoff hurt," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We can't get picked off in that situation."

The Giants were shut out for the fourth time in 12 games this month, and Ryan Vogelsong has been on the mound for three of those losses.

[RECAP: Diamondbacks 2, Giants 0]

"It's got to be a little frustrating," Bochy said. "He threw the ball so well today. What a great job he did."

Vogelsong, who pitched through what he described as a significant cold, became the first Giants starting pitcher to receive no runs of support in four consecutive outings in a single season since Lynn McGlothen in 1977. Vogelsong delivered quality starts in three of those four losses. 

"It happens," said Vogelsong, always the good teammate. "It's kinda crazy it keeps happening to me. But you keep fighting and come out the other side."

"He pitched good," said Michael Morse, who had one of the Giants' four singles. "We didn't score any runs."

Not even Marco Scutaro's return to AT&T Park could kickstart a Giants offense that seemed to be nurturing a sparked tinder on Friday night, only to see Wade Miley extinguish it on Saturday.

The Giants have lost 13 of their last 19 games, and they will turn to the veteran presence of Scutaro to help the team rise from their current funk.

"(We've got to) start playing as a team, work together and we'll see results," Scutaro said. "Stay strong, stay together as a team and keep fighting. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Still a long way to go."

Scutaro, who described the pregame standing ovation he received from the sellout crowd as a "nice moment," played a full nine innings in his first major league game this year and finished 0-for-3 with a walk.

"I thought he looked fine," Bochy said. "Looked like he saw the ball well. We can't expect too much."

That could be an understatement. Expecting results at the MLB level is a tall order when Scutaro's balky back can't make it though a full game without proving a burden.

"It got tighter later in the game," Scutaro acknowledged. "My back is not 100 percent. I'm just trying to fight through and take it day by day."

It's unclear if he'll be in the lineup for the series finale on Sunday, when the Giants will look to ride the momentum of their first home series victory since early June into the All-Star break.

Though the team looks like it could use some rest, no one would admit the struggling squad is looking ahead toward the time off. 

"We've got 25 guys in here coming in every day playing to win," Morse said. "There's no stopping that. That's what we do."

"I hope they want to play, and fight their way out of this," Bochy said. "A break doesn't always fix things.

"Big game tomorrow. Our focus better be there and not the break, and come out and play hard."

Playing hard is part of it, but at some point the Giants need to wake the bats and score some runs if they hope to make the playoff push interesting.

Though he might not say it, even Vogelsong knows that.

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