It was a great start for the San Francisco Giants, as Andres Torres reached first base on a single, stole second on the first pitch served to Freddy Sanchez, was advanced to third, and then eventually home as both Sanchez and Aubrey Huff ground out. To close out their half-inning, Buster Posey flew out to center field, but he made good contact on the ball and showed that Aaron Harang was hittable.
After that happened, the Giants apparently stopped playing baseball (perhaps wasting all of their runs on Matt Cain?) on offense and Madison Bumgarner struggled in a three-run third inning that the team would never recover from. The struggles at PETCO Park continued, as the Giants have always struggled at the home of the San Diego Padres. Bumgarner pitched three innings, gave up five hits and three runs with three walks and only two strikeouts.
He started out very well, striking out the first batter he faced, Jason Bartlett, and retiring the other two on groundouts. His second strikeout came in the second inning where he allowed his first hit, but ultimately he looked on point and all the batters struggled. Meanwhile, in the second inning, Pablo Sandoval drew a four-pitch walk for what must be the first time in his career, but found himself thrown out trying to steal a base. Not sure what he was thinking there, but the inning proved fruitless for the Giants.
Then the third inning came along, and fruitless is exactly what the Padres weren't. After the Giants threatened runs when Miguel Tejada hit a double and had what must be the best slide so far this season, reaching for the far right side of the plate to avoid the tag, and Madison Bumgarner himself hit a single to left field and advanced him. But with men on the corners, Andres Torres and Freddy Sanchez struck out, followed by an Aubrey Huff walk and a Buster Posey fly out, the Giants don't get anything out of it.
But yeah, then the Padres happened. Nick Hundley started things off with a single to center field, and Aaron Harang bunted him over to second. Bumgarner then walked Bartlett, and gave up a single to Orlando Hudson. At that point, Bumgarner lost his composure. Jorge Cantu hit a sacrifice fly to left field and Hundley scores, followed by yet another walk, this one to Ryan Ludwick on 11 pitches. Chase Headley then drew a walk of his own and picked up an RBI, before Chris Denorfia came up and, well, things got even worse.
Denorfia hit a ball right to Bumgarner, but he failed to make the throw to first to end the inning. He probably should have tossed it to Buster Posey in front of him, but Posey was already off of home plate and motioning to first, where Bumgarner turned and lost his grip and let the run in.
After that, Guillermo Mota came in for the Giants and pitched three solid innings in relief. He was spotty at times, but got the job done, and Ramon Ramirez finished the game off with two innings with no hits and no runs. So the bullpen is solid, as it should be, but once again, the Giants find themselves losing a close game.
The defensive miscues are to blame once again. Bumgarner's bobble and Posey's lack of direction on the play in the third inning is a damning situation. Sandoval also missed a tag at third base that he absolutely should have made. It's sloppy play, and a lack of consistency on offense. You can't play a first inning like that, and then do absolutely nothing the rest of the game. Stranding runners on the corners with no outs and two out rallies will not get things done.