SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants took the field on Tuesday without Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan, and with Albert Suarez making a second spot start in place of Matt Cain. That wouldn’t leave much margin for error against a middling team. Against the Red Sox, the highest-scoring team in baseball, there was even less breathing room.
So it wasn’t surprising to see Bruce Bochy look so annoyed during a short post-game press conference. His team had a chance for one of the better wins of the season, but instead fell 5-3 because of so many little things that went wrong.
The list is long, starting with Gregor Blanco hitting into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth. Trevor Brown had his roughest night behind the plate, throwing a ball away during a seventh-inning Sox rally that tied the game. Two different Giants relievers walked batters in that inning. Santiago Casilla walked a pinch-hitter on four pitches in the 10th as he tried to bunt. The next batter, Mookie Betts, reached on a bunt.
“The whole game, the walks hurt us,” Bochy said. “Those little things catch up with you and they put down a great bunt and we didn’t handle that. It’s a tough game to let get away because Albert threw great.”
The loss ultimately went to Casilla, who had a night that neatly summed up his bizarre season. He was dominant in the ninth, striking out two of the three he faced in such a quick fashion that Bochy sent him back out for the 10th. That inning went: double, walk, bunt single, groundout, two-run game-winning single. Does Bochy still have faith in his closer?
“He went out and gave us a great ninth inning,” Bochy said. “We just put him out there again. He had thrown 10 pitches and felt fine.”
If there was a positive on this night other than Suarez, it was the four-out contribution from Hunter Strickland. Bochy said over the weekend that some of his relievers will need to graduate from matchup duty to full-inning-plus status. Strickland, who could be a fit in the ninth if the Giants do ever make a change, had one of his better nights of the season. He said the outing gave him confidence.
The rest of the night left the Giants rather deflated. The three-game losing streak is their first since May 8-10.