Here is a link to my Monday column about the Dodgers sweep of the Giants. The full text runs below:
Righthander Jake Peavy did reasonably well in his Giants’ debut on Sunday. But enough about him.
The Giants lost the third time in a row to the rival Dodgers, got swept. At home. They began the game in second place and, by virtue of the 4-3 loss, fell further behind the Dodgers – they now are a game and a half out of first place.
A game and a half, you may think, is no big deal. The Giants have six more games against the Dodgers and those games will decide a lot. But it’s never good to get hosed at home especially in front of the usual big crowd. If the Giants had won – they didn’t – they would have taken back possession of first place. They would have shown they can compete with L.A. And they would have played like champions, something they used to be.
None of the above.
If you don’t think Sunday’s game was important listen to what Bruce Bochy said before the game when asked if he needed a win: “I think it’s critical, there’s no getting around that.”
You read it here.
Here are a few numbers courtesy of Giants’ public relations to put things in perspective. At home, the Giants have won six of their past 25 games. That is stinko.
The Giants have won just one their last eight series at home. Stinko to the max.
Beginning in early June, the Giants have averaged fewer than three runs a game at home. Totally stinkerama.
But none of that explains what happened Sunday. When things became serious, the Giants fielded like Little Leaguers. For starters, Dan Uggla, one of the Giants’ pseudo basemen, committed two errors. The first led to an unearned run. Is the word “Uggla” a variant of “ugly,” as in ugly fielder?
But the Uggla errors had nothing on the Dee Gordon Play. You’ve never in your life seen anything like it.
Top of the fifth. The Giants led 2-1. Gordon, the Dodgers’ speedy second baseman, came to the plate with one out. He struck out swinging. Except he didn’t. The ball skidded away from catcher Buster Posey and Gordon ran safely to first base. Peavy wild pitch No 1.
Yasiel Puig walked. Runners at first and second. One out.
Peavy threw wild pitch No. 2. Runners moved up to second and third. One out. The runner at third was Gordon. Remember that.
Adrian Gonzalez struck out swinging. But Posey did not hold onto Strike 3. Posey had to record the Gonzalez out by throwing to first base. Unfortunately, Posey was not alert enough to remember who was at third. The speedy Gordon. As Posey threw out the slow-footed Gonzalez, the quick-footed Gordon took off toward home plate where he scored.
On the radio, Mike Krukow pointed out that, because Gonzalez runs like a tortoise, Posey should have looked Gordon back to third base and then thrown out Gonzalez. Posey had plenty of time. But he did no looking. After that, the Dodgers scored two more runs – three total in the inning. And that was the game. A bad way to lose. A bad look all around.
After the game, I asked Bochy about the Dee Gordon Play. “(Posey) had Gonzalez running there, so he had time to check him,” Bochy said in a sad voice. “He threw to first without looking. Gordon’s got that kind of speed.”
Here is Gordon on the Dee Gordon Play: “It was on my own,” he said of his dash to home.
When did Gordon decide to go for it?
“As soon as he (Posey) snapped his head and didn’t look at me. I didn’t think he could get me and Gonzo. That’s when I decided to go.”
Good for Gordon. Bad for Posey.
The Giants have lost four in a row. That’s a lot of losses in a row, especially as we round into August. Why have they lost four in a row?
They have half a team. They have no center fielder and several poseurs at second base. They depended too much on Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro. Everyone could see Pagan and Scutaro were headed for bad injuries. Scutaro never again will be a serious major leaguer. Pagan’s future remains unclear. He has not even begun a rehab assignment. His backup, Gregor Blanco, is strictly a bench player.
Matt Cain is hurt and, according to Bochy, “We don’t have a target date when he’ll start throwing.” That’s why Peavy is on the roster. Brandon Belt and Hector Sanchez suffered head injuries and are not ready to play.
Half a team.
So I ask: Can a team that is half a team win a whole division? You tell me.
For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn firstname.lastname@example.org.