Giants Misplay Grounder in Shift, Can't Recover Against Braves - NBC Bay Area

Giants Misplay Grounder in Shift, Can't Recover Against Braves

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    SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants did not take batting practice on Wednesday or run through any pregame drills on the field, but even with a six-hour workout they probably would not have practiced the play that helped put them in a deep hole. 

    Jeff Samardzija should have been out of the second with the game still scoreless, but the Giants botched what looked to be an inning-ending double play. Ozzie Albies hit a one-hopper back to the mound and Samardzija spun to throw, but there was a shift on, and third baseman Evan Longoria, playing short, did not cover the bag. Shortstop Brandon Crawford, playing where a second baseman usually would, also did not cover. 

    After a 9-2 loss, Samardzija called it a "freak thing," "unfortunate" and something the Giants hadn't really worked on. 

    "I turned around and really just saw center field," Samardzija said. "I tried to lead one of them to the bag and obviously at that point it was too late. There are a lot of great things about the shift, but sometimes it does get guys out of position."

    The Braves ended up with two on and one out, and Dansby Swanson blasted a flat cutter into the left field seats for a three-run homer a few batters later. Freddie Freeman made it 6-0 two pitches after that with a solo shot to right-center. Samardzija mixed a costly wild pitch into the rally, too. 

    Manager Bruce Bochy said the miscommunication in the shift was something the staff and players would discuss. 

    "They're not set up like that very often, but it's all about communication and knowing who has got it," Bochy said. 

    In Cincinnati or Denver, perhaps the Giants would have rallied. But this being Oracle Park, the rest of the night was a slow crawl to loss No. 27.

    All six runs on Samardzija's line went down as unearned. He said he was happy with the way he battled after the early mistakes. But that second inning was all it took. 

    "You've got to be on your game the whole time and can't give them extra chances, and if you do, you've got to shut the door," Samardzija said.