In the third inning of Sunday’s game vs. the Pirates, Giants pitcher Derek Holland stepped into the batter’s box with no outs and a runner on first. Holland’s job was straightforward: lay down a bunt to advance the runner to second base, putting him in scoring position with one out, and the top of the lineup upcoming.
Instead, Holland struck out on three pitches, bunting the last two he saw foul. Gorkys Hernandez promptly hit into a double-play in the next at-bat, ending any hope of scoring after a leadoff single.
Holland’s inability to execute the fundamentals is just one example of a consistant problem the Giants have had this season, both from pitchers and position players. Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow joined Murph & Mac on Monday morning, and slammed San Francisco’s inability to lay a bunt down through 41 games.
“I think if you were to evaluate them, they can get a whole lot better,” Krukow began. “I mean they are the worst bunting team I think I’ve ever seen.
“They need to do the little things better. I mean they are giving up 90-foot increments left and right. The fact that they can’t get a bunt down absolutely ticks me off and I don’t understand that, I really don’t. I mean this is a dead spot in the lineup. If you can’t at least have a productive out off a guy who isn’t a very good hitter, put the bunt down, and it’s across the board. So that has to improve.”
Krukow was then asked to give his evaluation of the team at the quarter pole of the season.
“I think defensively they can improve. They are not a defense that is going to continue to be last in the league, I think they are a pretty good defense as a matter of fact. The home runs I think that’s a part of their identity, I think that they have that power and that’s going to continue, and I think as you go into warmer weather and smaller ballparks I think that’s going to stick around. And I do think they are a capable team in regards to scoring runs.
“You also have to improve in all the other facets of your game. Like we watched (Saturday), (Jeff) Samardzija didn’t cover a base. I mean here’s a guy who’s been around for a long time not covering a base? I don’t know if they’d have gotten the out at first base anyway, but get over there! Their whole game needs to improve in that regard. Right now they are at .500, and they could play a whole lot better, and they’re not doing it.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Krukow on the Giants’ bunting (or lack their of) start from 8:55