Someone needs to remind Giant hitters that patience is a virtue.
Its something theyve apparently forgotten, as the Giants fell to a journeyman pitcher, Victor Santos, giving him his first complete game by not making him work hard at all. Santos threw only 97 pitches to 31 batters for the complete game, a ridiculous 3.13 pitches per plate appearance. Santos gave up 5 hits and, predictably, no walks.
"We just can't put it all together right now," said Mike Matheny , who had a late double. "We all realize we're better than we're playing, but talk is cheap."
The key seems to remain the patience of Giant hitters. A few nights after doing a similar performances against the San Diego Padres Brian Lawrence, where they averaged 3.27 pitches per plate appearance, the Giants were swinging at the first pitch again too often.
One can understand why at least one hitter was eager. Moises Alou was activated off the 15 Day Disabled List on Friday, and in his first at bats since opening week, he flew out on the first pitch twice in a row, and swung and fouled off the first pitch in his third at bat of the night. Alou ran well in the outfield, and made a spectacular sliding catch in the 5th inning, but he was taken out in the 8th after missing a diving catch attempt. He wasnt injured, but it was more caution for his health, considering it was his first night back.
Also returning was J.T. Snow, who had missed three games since leaving Mondays game with a strained groin muscle. Snow, who pinch hit and flew out in Thursdays game, went 0 for 4.
Meanwhile, the game left people feeling bad about Kirk Rueter, despite what was overall a solid start. Rueter was charged with 5 runs in 7 innings pitched, but two came in in the 8th when Rueter started that inning despite having over 100 pitches. The bullpen, which saw every pitcher used in last nights 13 inning win, needed a break, and Alou pushed Rueter as far as he could go.
Rueter did well, except for the second inning, when he allowed 4 straight hits, one a home run, that score 3 runs. Outside of that inning, he allowed only 3 hits and 4 walks, and left the game with the Giants in a position to win, if they could score some runs.
They, of course, couldnt. The only run they managed came in the second, when Feliz tripled to lead off the inning, Alfonzo grounded out to score him, but the rest of the team went quietly. The Giants missed another golden opportunity in the third, when Rueter hit a one out double, and got to third on a Vizquel single, but Deivi Cruz hit into a double play to strand Rueter at third.
Player of the Game: Kirk Rueter. Rueter, who has been dogged a little early this season, was asked to go as deep as he could to help rest a tired bullpen. Rueter came up with a solid start, despite looking like he didnt have his best stuff. Rueter had problems locating both his fastball and curveball all night long, but still pitched a mostly Woody-like outing, getting out of the few spots he got into. Despite taking the loss and the bullpen letting two extra runs score, he did his job.
Game Notes: To make room for Moises Alou, the Giants designated outfielder Tony Torcato for assignment. Torcato, a talented left handed hitter, has not been able to find a position he can play regularly, and only saw pinch hitting duties this season as a Giant. Since he is out of options, he could be claimed by any team. If he clears waivers, he will be sent to Fresno Barry Bonds made news by showing up at the park on crutches, despite having not used them the past week. The Giants, as usual, remained mum on the issue.
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