SAN FRANCISCO–Before the Chicago Cubs arrived at AT&T Park this week, the Giants listed right-hander Johnny Cueto as the probable starting pitcher for Tuesday night’s contest.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said his plan since last week was to build in an extra day of rest for Cueto and reward Derek Holland with a spot start, so Cueto will indeed start Wednesday’s series finale.
Bochy apologized for the communication mistake, but that error wasn’t the one that ended up hurting the Giants.
Instead, it was their inability to hit and a miscue in the field that took place after Holland left that proved to be the Giants’ downfall in a 2-0 loss to the Cubs.
After Holland allowed a one-out double to Cubs shortstop Addison Russell in the top of the seventh, Bochy removed his starter and brought in reliever Sam Dyson.
The fourth pitch of Dyson’s outing landed well in front of Nick Hundley, allowing Russell to dart toward third base. The Giants catcher retrieved the ball and tried to throw out Russell, but his throw rolled down the left field line and allowed Chicago to take a 1-0 lead.
Later in the inning, a double from Victor Caratini made it 2-0, making it harder for Holland to leave the park with anything but a loss in tow.
The Giants received the standout outing they desperately needed from a player willing to adjust his role for the good of the club, but the team’s offense supported him with just three hits in its first seven innings.
Holland was sent to the bullpen last week to make room for Cueto and right-hander Jeff Samardzija in the Giants rotation, but the left-hander picked up his fork and knife and ate 6 1/3 innings Monday.
With a slider that induced 12 whiffs and a sinker that routinely touched 93 miles per hour on the radar gun, Holland did ease the burden on an overworked bullpen and kept Bochy from having to turn to Samardzija or rookie Dereck Rodríguez, who were both told to wear spikes in case they were needed in relief.
Bochy said the Giants wouldn’t set their rotation for the upcoming Bay Bridge Series until they finished their three-game set with the Cubs. After needing five relievers to navigate an 11-inning win Monday, the Giants hoped Holland could provide more length than he did in his last start, when Bochy pulled him after 3 1/3 innings in Arizona July 1.
Though Holland nearly doubled his output Tuesday, the Giants couldn’t scratch across a run against Cubs lefty Jose Quintana.
San Francisco entered Tuesday’s game having lost 10 of its past 15 against left-handed starters during a stretch that has largely coincided with third baseman Evan Longoria’s injury absence. While Longoria’s fractured hand may not keep him out past the end of July, the Giants are scrambling for solutions against southpaws and coming up empty.
The Giants had leadoff runners reach base twice against Quintana, but in both the fourth and sixth innings, the Cubs left-hander induced double play balls. The 6-4-3 double play Chicago …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports