The Milwaukee Brewers dropped the San Francisco Giants into second place in the NL West thanks to a strong pitching performance by Yovani Gallardo and a poor defensive decision by 3B Pablo Sandoval.
Gallardo held the Giants to one run on five hits over seven innings, but received an offensive boost on a fourth inning force out that ended up costing the Giants both Brewers runs. The Brewers loaded the bases with one out when Alcides Escobar hit a fairly sharp ground ball to Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval caught the ball on the hop and hesitated a moment before throwing Prince Fielder out at the plate. Sandoval had a potential double play set up if he simply stepped on third and then through Escobar out at first. Sandoval was either concerned about Escobar’s speed, or just wasn’t prepared for a ball to come at him. Throw in what looked to be a slightly tricky hop and he took the safe force out at home to prevent a run from scoring.
The decision cost the Giants as the next batter, catcher Jonathan Lucroy blooped a single into right field that plated two runs. Although the Brewers did not score again, the two runs were all they needed. In the fifth inning the Giants put men on second and third with one out and pitcher Tim Lincecum heading to the plate. As he got onto the dirt behind the catcher, manager Bruce Bochy called Lincecum back and sent up pinch hitter Nate Schierholtz.
Up to that point Lincecum had given up the two runs in five innings of work and was looking fairly solid. Needless to say Tim was pretty pissed off by the decision as he had only thrown 72 pitches. Bochy seemed to just shrug his shoulders as if to say, “I had no other choice.” Schierholtz did manage a walk followed by a run-scoring fielder’s choice by Mike Fontenot, but that was it as Juan Uribe popped out to short to end the inning.
The Giants did a superb job holding the Brewers to one walk and no hits over four innings of work, but the Giants offense couldn’t get any more runs across and lost 2-1. The loss combined with Padres and Braves wins dropped the Giants to one half game out of first in the West and two back of the Braves in the wild card.