Leading Off

Leading Off: Still early, but Giants are digging deep hole

San Francisco Giants' Nori Aoki, of Japan, falls while at bat against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 19, 2015, in San Francisco.
San Francisco Giants' Nori Aoki, of Japan, falls while at bat against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 19, 2015, in San Francisco. AP

Yes, it’s early in the baseball season. But should Giants fans be concerned by what they’ve seen from their reigning World Series champions in the first two weeks?

Considering the Giants lost free agents Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse, two of their top sluggers last season, and Hunter Pence is out for the first month because of a broken forearm, fans might have expected a rough start.

But nobody would have guessed a 4-10 record that included an eight-game losing streak, the longest since Bruce Bochy’s first season managing the Giants in 2007.

Having lost nine of their past 10 games and already six games behind the first-place Dodgers, the Giants begin a three-game series Tuesday at home against their rivals from Los Angeles. The series features a showdown between World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner and National League MVP Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday night.

While that’s certainly a matchup of heavyweights, the Giants might be better off against Kershaw with rookie right-hander Chris Heston on the mound. Heston, who would be with the River Cats if Matt Cain was not on the disabled list, is 2-1 with an 0.87 ERA. In 202/3 innings, Heston has allowed two earned runs and struck out 16 batters. Bumgarner is 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA and 10 earned runs allowed.

Victor Contreras

vcontreras@sacbee.com


What to watch

NBA playoffs, Pelicans at Warriors, 7:30 p.m., TNT: Stephen Curry and Golden State look to take a 2-0 series lead against New Orleans.


Twitter chatter

@RealSkipBayless

“Tim Tebow was just signed by the one NFL coach who will give him a real chance to do what he does best. Thank you, Chip Kelly.”


On this date

2004: Brad Miller’s basket with 34.1 seconds left breaks a 79-79 tie with Dallas en route to an 83-79 win at Arco Arena as the Kings take a 2-0 lead in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.


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