Pagan shaken up on dive, but shakes it off as Giants lose to Marlins

Published: Saturday, May. 17, 2014 - 11:14 pm

SAN FRANCISCO -- Angel Pagan dove for Garrett Jones’ sinking liner in the sixth and grimaced almost immediately. As the ball bounced past Pagan and Jones sprinted around to third base with an RBI triple, the Giants’ center fielder stayed down a few moments, favoring his left shoulder.

Pagan spent the rest of the inning flexing and reaching for the shoulder, but stayed in the game as the Giants lost 5-0 to the Marlins but apparently avoided a potentially damaging injury to their leadoff hitter and sparkplug.

"Something hurt … but I was able to shake it off right away and just keep playing," said Pagan, who got treatment on his shoulder after the game but said he didn’t require tests and that he checked out OK by team doctors. "(Tomorrow) will be more realistic of how I feel. Right now I have the adrenaline of the game."

Manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants checked on Pagan "a few times" after the sixth, but "he was good to go."

"We’ll evaluate him tomorrow and see where we’re at," Bochy said. "I think he’s going to be OK, but we’ll see tomorrow."

It wouldn’t be the worst time to get Pagan a day off, with the Giants at the end of a span of 17 games in 17 days and getting a team off-day Monday. Pagan also ran into the wall making a nice catch Friday night and said he was "a little sore" from that.

"I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be a little bit more sore," Pagan said. "This one, I got banged up pretty good."

Jones’ hit was a big one, giving the Marlins a 2-0 lead against Tim Lincecum. He scored on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s subsequent sacrifice fly to give Miami starter Tom Koehler a three-run cushion -- more than Koehler and the Marlins would need, as the Giants were shut out for the third time this season.

How close did Pagan come to making the catch? "I nicked that ball," he said. "I usually roll over, but my shoulder just got stuck on that one. I gave my best effort. It was really painful."

Pagan said he didn’t think about the shoulder while hitting, though, and for now it looks like the Giants lost nothing more Saturday night than a game in which they looked like a team that could use a day off.

* Part of that was due to Koehler, who mixed a fastball in the mid-90s with a sharp slider and recorded his fourth start this season of seven innings or more with no runs allowed. The Giants looked to have the makings of a rally in the second inning, but it was quashed by replay.

With one out and Hector Sanchez on first, Brandon Hicks doubled off the right-field wall. The Marlins appealed to first base thinking that Hicks had missed the bag, but Hicks was ruled safe. Miami then challenged the play, and after a review it was ruled Hicks actually hadn’t touched the base, so Hicks was called out and the Giants were left with a man on third and two outs instead of second and third with one out. Brandon Crawford then flew out to end the inning.

"That was costly," Bochy said. "And I’ve looked at it -- it’s hard to tell. They may have a different angle, but I couldn’t tell (it was conclusive) to where they could overturn that. But it’s obvious they saw it."

Replays in the press box showed Hicks’ left foot landing near the bag, but at an angle that made it difficult to tell whether he’d actually touched it. Hicks said he did think he hit the bag.

"I felt like I did a little bit, but I looked up at the same time, I was trying to find where the ball was at," Hicks said. "I guess that’s just how it goes. Nothing you can do about it now after the fact."

Bochy termed it a "huge play" -- if the call stands, Crawford’s fly ball likely scores a run and Lincecum isn’t left leading off the next inning. But that’s a lot of hypotheticals. One thing Bochy did say: It seems like the crews at the MLB replay command center in New York are becoming a little more willing to overturn calls that aren’t blatantly obvious.

"Our report, when I checked on it, was it was close, it’s hard to tell," Bochy said. "But I guess the bottom line is you shouldn’t be that close. Hit the bag. I’m sure Hicksy was watching the ball in right field, watching where it went and took his eye off the bag. He still felt like he nicked it. But it should be hitting the bag where there’s no question."

* Lincecum finally put together a 1-2-3 first inning -- his first of the season -- but got into trouble in the second by issuing back-to-back two-out walks before an RBI single by Adeiny Hechavarria. He did finish with a quality start -- six innings, seven hits, three runs allowed, six strikeouts.

"I thought Timmy was all right," Bochy said. "The way we’re swinging the bat you take your chances with that (outing). But we just got shut down offensively."

Lincecum said he fought his command most of the game, and his slider that worked so well his last outing against Atlanta was spotty. The first inning was his lone 1-2-3, and featured a strikeout of Giancarlo Stanton in which he got ahead with off-speed pitches and finished Stanton swinging through a fastball out of the zone.

"I’m the kind of guy that’s going to set you up for pitches out of the zone, not necessarily in the zone," Lincecum said. "I’ve got to pitch on the edges a little better and elevate my fastball consistently, and I think I can do better at that."

* After Lincecum departed, David Huff did a decent job of saving the rest of the Giants’ bullpen, eating 2 2/3 innings while allowing a couple of runs, one of them unearned. Juan Gutierrez did need to come in to get the last out in the ninth, but the bullpen should be pretty well-preserved for the finale Sunday.

* Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder received an injection for a herniated disc in his neck Saturday and did not play, snapping his consecutive games streak at 547. So your new active leader in consecutive games played: Hunter Pence, at 215.

Bochy had said this spring he might need to get Pence some days off this year, but so far that hasn’t happened. Pence, meanwhile, values what playing every day means and hasn’t showed signs of fatigue yet -- he was 10 for his last 19 entering Saturday and tripled in the third inning.

* Teams sometimes shade their outfield at AT&T Park to guard against balls getting into Triples Alley, but the Marlins really go to an extreme, with Stanton standing nearly at the entrance to the gap and center fielder Marcell Ozuna shaded far towards left-center.

That’s why you saw Stanton making a catch in almost straightaway center field Saturday night, and Pence getting an easy standup triple on a ball just inside the first-base line, as Stanton had to run so far just to pick it up. Then again, Stanton has also made a couple of catches in the gap much easier than if he’d been playing straight-up, and Ozuna was in perfect position to catch a Lincecum line drive that probably otherwise falls for a single. So it has its merits.

* We’ll see if Pagan is well enough to play in the finale Sunday afternoon. Regardless, the Giants have one more game to play before a much-needed off day. They’ll try to split the series behind Ryan Vogelsong (1-2, 4.22), while the Marlins start right-hander Jacob Turner (0-1, 6.75). First pitch at 1:05 p.m.


Call The Bee’s Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015. See his baseball coverage at sacbee.com/mlb. Follow him on Twitter at @matthewkawahara.

Read more articles by Matt Kawahara



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