The Giants were one out away from a 1-0 win Monday night. Then, with two walked baserunners on first and second, Will Smith left a fastball over the middle of the plate and Marwin Gonzalez sent it hurtling over the left-field fence. The Giants (57-57) lost to the Astros 3-1 and fell back to .500.
Smith’s blown save followed a seven-inning, seven-strikeout, no-run pitching performance from Dereck Rodriguez. Following the loss, Smith was blunt about how he felt after wasting Rodriguez’s game.
“I just didn’t have the control I usually have tonight,” Smith said. “D-Rod pitched his ass off. Nobody feels worse than me right now, giving that great start up. But you know, I just didn’t have it today.”
Smith said he knew Gonzalez had hit a home run as soon as contact was made.
“I kind of knew it off the bat,” Smith said. “He got it good. I mean it was right down the middle, and as a pitcher, you know that sound. He got it, yeah. Homer.”
Rodriguez chalked Smith’s outing down to the nature of baseball.
“That’s baseball,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes you’re dominant and then sometimes it’s just one bad pitch, you know. Everybody is trying. The great thing about this sport is tomorrow he’s going to get the ball again and we’re going to lead in the ninth inning. So that’s part of the game and that’s why we play it.”
Manager Bruce Bochy said he trusted Smith – who entered the game with a 1.27 ERA – after a string of quality performances. In his previous 4 1/3 innings, Smith hadn’t relinquished a run.
“I think it’s fair to say his command was off a little bit,” Bochy said. “The walks, you know that’s not like Smitty. He was just off a touch and he just made a mistake there. He’s been so good, so solid and you know you’re going to have an off night occasionally. It’s a tough night to have it because we played well. We found a way to get a run off a very tough pitcher. You’re an out away from a win, so that’s always a tough game, but they played well.”
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