A gorgeous night and a strong start from Ryan Vogelsong were derailed by a potentially simple play at the plate as the San Francisco Giants fell to the Atlanta Braves 5-0 on Tuesday night.
The night started with a temperature of 79 degrees at first pitch, as Vogelsong gave up just three hits and one run through his first five innings on Tuesday night. Trouble arose, however, with a replay opportunity in the sixth. Freddie Freeman singled to right field, where Hunter Pence fielded the ball cleanly and threw a rocket to what should have been an easy out at the plate. In spite of the ball beating Jason Heyward by several feet, the Braves’ right fielder was able to dodge Buster Posey’s tag and score a second run for Atlanta.
“You do all you can to get the glove on them. It’s pretty simple,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “These slides are getting creative, it’s not the first time we’ve missed the tag.”
Posey’s non-response said enough to the fact that he missed the tag, but Bochy went out and asked for a review. It took just 35 seconds for the challenge to be denied.
“We had a view that might have had him out. Like yesterday, we had nothing to lose,” said Bochy.
Things escalated from there. After a grounder up the middle and another to left, the Braves had a 4-0 lead in the sixth inning. Freddie Freeman went 2-for-4 on the night with two runs scored and two RBI. Vogelsong was lifted in the bottom of the inning, ending his night with seven hits and four earned runs. His eight strikeouts matched his career high, the last of which happened in April of 2012 against the New York Mets.
“He threw the ball well,” said Bochy. “He got the ground balls. The guy pitched well and we really didn’t do anything offensively.”
A second review occurred in the next inning, when Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez challenged a double play that led to a cut off version of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” After the seventh inning stretch buzzkill, the play was overturned and the Giants returned to the field, only to have David Huff strike out Evan Gattis and end the inning officially.
Mike Minor bounced back from a rough, 4.1 inning start against the St. Louis Cardinals. He lasted 6.2 innings, giving up just three hits and no runs while striking out six. After a first inning double to Pence, Minor didn’t allow another base runner until the bottom of the sixth inning. The Giants slightly threatened when Angel Pagan walked and Pence hit his second double of the night, but they weren’t able to capitalize as Posey struck out to end the inning. His punchout marked the first since April 29, ending his streak of 51 plate appearances without a striking out.
Tomorrow the Giants face the Braves for a day game to end their series at AT&T Park. Madison Bumgarner will take on Julio Teheran, who has been solid for Atlanta this season. In his past 39 innings, the Braves’ righty has given up just five runs: all solo blasts. Three of those runs came in his last start against the Giants, where he allowed three runs on four hits while striking out seven through seven innings of work.
Bumgarner’s 5.87 ERA at home hasn’t shown the pitcher friendly advantage of AT&T Park, yet the southpaw is 3-1 with a 1.39 ERA on the road. In his May 4th start against Atlanta, Bumgarner allowed three hits while holding the Braves scoreless through six innings.
First pitch at 12:45pm.