Bay Area baseball: A look at the week for the A's and Giants
After a dreary loss to cap a dismal week, the Giants headed toward a reminder of happier days.
They will open a series in Kansas City on Tuesday, returning to the site of their 2014 World Series glory. The champagne hurricane of that night was a far cry from the gray and persistent drizzle that fell upon a 4-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
“It’ll be fun to go back there and relive the moments from a couple of years ago,” Giants first baseman Brandon Belt said. “At the same time, we definitely have job to do. We definitely have to turn this around.”
The Giants (5-9) endured a rough week for reasons that extended beyond the scoreboard. Buster Posey sustained a concussion on Monday; Jarrett Parker suffered a broken right clavicle Saturday.
Beyond even that, there was a pervasive sadness in the wake of two deaths within the Giants’ family: Mirian Cepeda (wife of Orlando, the Hall of Famer) and Jennifer Pippin (sister-in-law of Brandon Crawford).
“There’s a lot going on right now,” Belt acknowledged. “There are some things that we’ll never forget, but you try to do the best you can and move on.”
With a cold rain falling Sunday, and umbrellas speckling the crowd, the game had an odd vibe from the start. Charlie Blackmon led off the game with a home run against Jeff Samardzija, driving one through the gray mist and over the center-field fence.
D.J. LeMahieu followed with a single, Carlos Gonzalez a double and Nolan Arenado another double. Just like that, the Rockies led 3-0. It was four batters into the game.
“I’m not going to make any excuses,” Samardzija said, when asked of the weather affected his warm-up.
The Giants countered with a three-run first inning of their own, as Hunter Pence, Crawford and Nick Hundley drove in a run apiece against Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela.
Samardzija rebounded to strike out eight over seven innings, but he wobbled one last time – LeMahieu’s run-scoring single in the second – and the Giants never recovered. About the only remaining drama was whether the teams could avoid a rainout.
In talking about his outing, Samardzija might as well have been referring to the Giants’ season to date: “It doesn’t matter how it goes early. … You have to put it behind you and move on.”
The Giants went 3-4 on this homestand, totaling only seven runs in the four losses. The lineup could get a boost Tuesday with the expected return of Posey, who is in line to serve as the designated hitter.
“It’s definitely going to change a lot for us,” Belt said. “I can definitely say with a lot of confidence that it will give us more confidence when he’s back in there.”
The Giants needed another big hit Sunday. Hundley led off the seventh with a double, but the inning quickly fizzled. Aaron Hill led off the eighth with a pinch-hit single but advanced no further.
“We had some pretty good at-bats there, but it comes down to executing at the end of the game,” Manager Bruce Bochy said. “The (Rockies) have a tough bullpen. That bullpen is throwing as well as any team in baseball.”