For all the attention that the San Francisco Giants’ pitching has gotten during the team’s ongoing slump, allowing a slew of double-digit run totals, the offense has done little to hold up its end of the deal.
That continued on Wednesday night, as San Francisco’s losing streak reached seven games with a 4-2 loss to the Miami Marlins, ensuring a series loss to the team with the worst record in the National League and the third-worst in all of baseball.
Madison Bumgarner put together a respectable outing, but that’s all it was – respectable. Rather than bailing out a team that has scored just 19 runs in its past seven games, he was good enough to keep Miami (19-34) to just one run over the first six innings, coming on a Starlin Castro sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third. Bumgarner set the Marlins down in order just twice and struck out only four while allowing six hits against a team setting records for offensive ineptitude. Miami has just two days left to avoid becoming the first team in Major League history to reach June without hitting a triple.
Singles by Austin Dean and Brian Anderson set up Castro’s third-inning sac fly, and abysmal baserunning by Miguel Rojas helped the Giants turn a double play to close the fourth, but scouts eyeing Bumgarner as a possible trade piece for contending teams saw a pitcher who was satisfactory but not dominant.
Rather than staying in the game at 81 pitches in the bottom of the seventh after Jorge Alfaro’s leadoff single and fighting to get through the inning as he has done so many times over the years, Bumgarner was relieved by Mark Melancon. San Francisco (21-33) got another gift from Rojas as he was called out on batter interference, but a pinch-hit single by Curtis Granderson put men on the corners and Neil Walker doubled to put the hosts in front. A sacrifice fly by Garrett Cooper made it 3-1, and Sam Dyson allowed a run in the eighth as Castro tripled and scored on a Harold Ramirez single.
The scouts who would be looking at Bumgarner would also certainly be looking at the bullpens of both the Giants and Marlins, but it was only the relief arms from the home side that would have impressed onlookers from clubs needing bullpen help. After Pablo Lopez went six innings, allowing just a Brandon Belt solo homer in the fourth, Nick Anderson took care of the seventh and got credited with the win after getting three straight flyouts.
From there, Miami went to another flamethrower and got a strong inning from Tayron Guerrero, a 6-foot-8 Colombian who, like Anderson, hits triple-digits on the radar gun with regularity. Guerrero struck out two of the batters he faced. Former Giant Sergio Romo did make things interesting in the ninth inning against his former team, as Buster Posey led off with a double and Pablo Sandoval reached on an infield hit, but the only run to score in the inning would come when Belt grounded into a force out. Kevin Pillar struck out for the second out of the frame, lowering his batting average to .211 and his OPS to a measly .587, and though Brandon Crawford walked to put the tying run on base, Steven Duggar swung and missed on Romo’s signature slider to end the game.