As has been made perfectly clear, the Giants would like to get younger.
That does not mean they want to resemble a Little League outfit.
A bumbling second inning set a tone and dug a hole the Giants would not escape from in a 6-3 loss to the Pirates at Oracle Park on Wednesday.
A barely there 26,627 saw a throwing error, two wild pitches and some questionable fielding placement amount to a two-run Pirates inning, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
There was poor clutch hitting. There were adventures in the field. And there were promising glimpses from the call-ups, although not enough for the Giants.
The Giants (70-76) set that tone in the second, when Adam Frazier slashed a hit to left to drive in Jose Osuna. Mike Yastrzemski did a nice job getting to the ball hit into the corner, but then threw wide of second and Frazier advanced on the error. He then went to third on a Logan Webb wild pitch.
In a 1-0 game in the second inning, the Giants played the defense in for Kevin Kramer with a runner on third, perhaps that wary of their offense. Of course, Kramer’s broken-bat single just over Mauricio Dubon’s head scored another run. Webb added a second wild pitch of the inning before escaping.
There was more dark comedy in the eighth. Like a Little Leaguer, Kyle Barraclough has little idea of where his pitches are going.
The righty walked Osuna to begin the frame, which began with the Giants down 5-3, before Frazier laid down a bunt single. Elias Diaz followed with a bunt of his own that caught the Giants’ defense off-guard, with Brandon Belt rushing in and Dubon scrambling to cover first. Barraclough couldn’t lead Dubon and threw it into right field to allow a run to score.
Barraclough loaded the bases before striking out three straight. It was a strange, ugly game.
Even some of the successful put-outs were adventures. Josh Bell’s seventh-inning pop-up was ignored by Sam Coonrod, and Brandon Crawford had to streak in, bobbling it before securing the frame’s final out.
Offensively, the Giants threatened in the first. And then they kindly got tired of threatening until the fifth, when their big inning wasn’t big enough.
Mike Yastrzemski led off the first with a single and advanced to second on a wild throw-over from starter Dario Agrazal. He was left stranded, and the Giants’ next hit came in the fifth.
The three-run rally was not a beauty. A Kevin Pillar infield single was followed by a Brandon Crawford walk before Jaylin Davis hammered a single to right. Corban Joseph grounded to second for a possible double play, but the shifted Pirates bungled covering second, and Crawford scored and everyone was safe. Chris Shaw – notably – worked a walk to load the bases, and Dubon walked himself to force in a run. But Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt struck out and Stephen Vogt popped out for the quietest three-run inning you’ll see. The Giants finished 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, which doesn’t win you games. Neither does recording three total hits.
The Giants’ starter, Webb, did not have great control nor luck. The rookie couldn’t locate his changeup or slider and couldn’t locate where Pirates batters’ batted balls would drop, a victim of several bloop hits that bloated his numbers. In all, Webb lasted 4 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
Webb couldn’t complete the fifth, his 81st and final pitch a ball four to Josh Bell, and Bruce Bochy pulled him for Burch Smith, who escaped the two-on jam.
The relay that followed went Sam Selman to Tyler Rogers to Sam Coonrod to Barraclough to Conner Menez. But it wasn’t an unproven bullpen that was to blame.