SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy knew his players needed a day off after playing 20 consecutive games. He knew it would refresh some bodies and minds heading into the All-Star break.
And yet, he really was concerned about the Giants sitting out on the Fourth of July instead of building off a powerful sweep of the Padres. He also might have been worried about another factor Friday night.
The Giants actually are pretty competitive on the road, where they had been thoroughly walloped the previous two seasons. Their lineup has finally kept pace with others and the pitching has done enough that the team left Petco Park with a 21-22 record on the road. The Dodgers, who have already wrapped up the NL West, are 23-20 on the road.
But Oracle Park is where the real issues have been, and on Friday night the Giants returned home and lost 9-4 to the Cardinals. They're 18-26 at a ballpark they know better than anyone. Asked about the home-road splits, Bochy said "some things are hard to explain," but he did pinpoint his main culprit.
"We haven't scored as much here," Bochy said. "The offense hasn't quite clicked here like it has on the road. You can look at maybe even the pitching, and the offense just hasn't quite been good enough here at home."
The same lineup that embraced platoons and favorable matchups while scoring 30 runs over the previous three games returned to Oracle and scattered seven hits. The Giants entered the night dead last in the National League in runs scored at home (143 in 43 games) and were hitting just .226 at home.
Of course, both teams play with the same dimensions, and the Cardinals made the park look small from the start. Drew Pomeranz gave up two homers in the first and four runs in his four innings. Any momentum that survived the off day died early on.
"I put us in a hole early," Pomeranz said. "You don't want to feel like you're fighting (uphill) the whole time. I've got to do a better job in the first inning of getting us back in the dugout and not giving up runs."
Pomeranz ended his up-and-down first half as a Giant with a 6.42 ERA.
"The first part of it sucked," he said. "These last few (starts) I've been throwing good, but this is obviously a frustrating one to go into the All-Star break with."