Madison Bumgarner turned in yet another quality start, and the Giants offense once again failed him, as San Francisco fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1.
Not surprisingly, the Giants offense got on the board first in an unconventional way. With one out, Buster Posey crushed a double to right-center field for his first extra-base hit in his last 49 at-bats. He advanced to third on a wild pitch, and, one batter later, Pablo Sandoval walked to put runners on the corners with two outs. Roger Kieschnick then blooped the ball into shallow left field to put San Francisco on the board and give Bumgarner a 1-0 lead to work with.
It looked as if this slight lead would be enough for the Giants lefty, but then came the seventh inning and the Pirates offense. Gaby Sanchez and Josh Harrison lead off with back-to-back singles, and, one batter later, both came home to score on a three-run home run by Clint Barmes. Barmes’ 12th home run of the season gave Pittsburgh its 3-1 lead.
“I thought I made a good pitch,” Bumgarner said. “It was pretty much right where I wanted it. He just made a good adjustment and hit it, and that’s why they’re a good team. They seem like they continue to make adjustments, and there’s no one way to beat them.”
Bumgarner threw 117 pitches in his eight innings, allowing seven hits, three earned runs, three walks, and five strikeouts on his way to his eighth loss of the season. Despite the tough-luck loss, manager Bruce Bochy was impressed with what he saw from his starter.
“It was nice to have a starter go eight innings. He pitched well…we only had one run, and that’s not really much of a margin of error there. They just put together some good at-bats here in the one inning. A couple base hits, they executed the bunt, and…it wasn’t that bad of a pitch, he [Barmes] just got enough of it to get it out.”
Bumgarner’s counter-point, Pirates starter Charlie Morton, was incredibly efficient in making light of the struggling San Francisco bats. He threw just 83 pitches – 54 of them for strikes – in his 7 2/3 innings of work. Morton also allowed seven hits, but gave up just the one run, walked only one, and struck out three.
San Francisco is now 1-4 on this seven game home-stand, have lost five of their last six, and are 9-13 in the month of August. Despite these stats, Kieschnick says that they’re trying to take it one day at a time and not get discouraged.
“We’re not winning, that’s the frustration of it. But we’ve got a game tomorrow. That’s the good thing about it.”
The black-and-orange will send Tim Lincecum to the mound against Francisco Liriano Saturday night at 6:05.