SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Why don’t they just make the whole game out of starting pitchers?
Here are some takeaways that should explain that bad joke from Scottsdale Stadium, where the Giants lost to the Angels, 10-3, on Saturday in front of 9,131. The Giants are now 5-3-1 in the Cactus League.
Just like they Drew it up
That’s 16 1/3 innings from Giants starters, and 16 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run.
Drew Smyly continued the mostly meaningless but nonetheless encouraging mark, throwing two clean frames in which he allowed a single as his only baserunner. There have been some predominantly minor league lineups in the mix, but not this one.
Smyly had to go through Mike Trout-Anthony Rendon-Justin Upton as the Angels’ 2-3-4, the righties lined up against the southpaw. Smyly and Trout had a lengthy battle, the count running full before Smyly dropped in a gorgeous curve. Trout took it and pivoted right back to the dugout, knowing he had been punched out.
“You want to face those guys, someone who’s going to make me better regardless of the outcome,” said Smyly, who said he’s “always” pumped to see Trout. “There’s no doubt he’s the best hitter in the game, so I love facing him. … Feels like every year I get to face him.”
In reality and in the regular season, the best hitter in baseball is 5-for-18 (.278) with a pair of home runs off Smyly, whose fastball sat in the low-90s.
Smyly said he should be able to lengthen out to three innings in his next outing. Will the starters’ streak still be intact?
“There’s some good competition,” Smyly said. “A lot of good, quality starters on this team. We just feed off each other and try to pick each others’ brains.”
The pretty picture that Smyly left on the mound was set ablaze shortly thereafter.
Conner Menez and Olbis Parra, a righty callup from minor league camp, only escaped the third inning after the Angels posted eight runs, the big blows coming from home runs from Jason Castro and Matt Thaiss and doubles from Upton and David Fletcher.
Menez had thrown a scoreless inning Monday, but had nothing in his second look of camp, walking two and allowing two hits en route to being charged with four runs.
The lefty from Hollister is not a candidate for the Opening Day rotation, but he’s fighting for a spot in Triple-A Sacramento’s.
The San Francisco position players were able to do little off Angels pitching, not getting a hit until there was one out in the fourth, when Wilmer Flores legged out on an infield single.
The Giants finished with eight hits, and Flores (who doubled, too) had a nice day, but Giants big-league batters vs. Angels pitching was lopsided. Dylan Bundy struck out three in two perfect innings.
Another debut, and a first goner
The Giants already have given glimpses at a host of prospects, Heliot Ramos starring a night prior, Hunter Bishop and Alexander Canario getting time again Saturday and Sean Hjelle and Joey Bart in big-league camp.
Saturday’s was Luis Toribio’s turn, the 19-year-old third baseman entering in the sixth and going 0-for-2.
Toribio misplayed a humpback liner from Kevin Maitan in the eighth that looped just over his glove, a quick step back probably enabling him to make the play.
It was Toribio’s debut, but it was Jalen Miller who announced himself. Miller, who replaced Flores, launched a two-run shot to left off Jeremy Rhoades in the eighth. It was Miller’s first hit of camp.