If the Giants thought things were not bouncing their way recently, well, this might have been a little on the nose.
The Giants were both sloppy (again) and unlucky Tuesday, catching neither balls nor breaks. In the fifth inning, Steven Duggar lifted a long fly that bounded directly off the top of the left-field wall and caromed back, as if he had just bricked a jump shot. Two scored on what would be a double, but not Duggar, who was stranded at second, which is the way things have been going for the Giants.
Coors Field is rarely kind to visitors, and the Giants weren’t kind to themselves in a 5-2 loss to the Rockies.
The Giants added three more errors to their ledger and now have committed a major league-worst 16 in 12 games. Gabe Kapler and his staff have stressed playing clean games more than anything — more than slugging, more than pitching — and the early returns must be frustrating.
For the Giants (5-7), two of the three errors were costly, a third catcher’s interference by Tyler Heineman — the most stunning stat of the year — helping the Rockies (8-2) blow open the fourth inning and Conner Menez throwing errantly on a pickoff in the seventh on a play that would burn them. These matter greatly in a game decided by three runs.
The play that will live on, though, is Duggar’s fifth-inning blast that made a 3-0 game a 3-2 game, but Duggar did not score the tying run because physics took the night off. Those would be the only two runs the Giants scored, German Marquez stifling their bats for 7 1/3 innings.
This is the greatest home run call of all time even though it wasn't a homer. pic.twitter.com/XzOgNCueez
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 5, 2020
Kevin Gausman was electric if not perfect, although he did not get much help from the defense behind him (and, in Heineman’s case, in front of him). With a fastball that maxed out at 97.6 mph, he had excellent stuff that helped him strike out seven in 5 1/3 innings. But the quality of the pitches was not reflected in the statline, which featured four runs. It was not the start Gausman, from nearby Centennial, Colo., envisioned in his first career outing in Denver after a scheduled start last year was snowed out.
For the Giants, the defense was off right from the onset. Rockies leadoff man David Dahl lofted a fly ball that kept Mike Yastrzemski drifting back, the Coors air wanting a home run. Instead it bounced near a scrambling Yastrzemski and went for a triple, Dahl scoring shortly.
Colorado struck again in the fourth, Gausman allowing two to get on before Daniel Murphy flew out — but was then gifted first base because his swing hit Heineman’s glove. It’s Heineman’s third catcher’s interference of the year, as the Giants have moved the 29-year-old forward in an attempt at better framing.
After a fielder’s choice scored one, Sam Hilliard singled in another. Nolan Arenado’s leadoff homer in the sixth would make the deficit 4-2 and be Gausman’s last mistake.
The Giants weren’t done making them, though, as Menez, who has mostly pitched well, tried to pick off Trevor Story but grounded it past Brandon Belt at first. Charlie Blackmon then knocked Story in.
The bounces are not going the Giants’ way. Or into their gloves.