That was, of course, until Kirk Rueter took the wheel Saturday evening in Detroit and drove the Giants mini ride into a screeching halt an 8-2 loss at Comerica Park.
His stuff has been kind of flat, manager Felipe Alou said. Woody always throws with the same velocity, anywhere from 84 to 87 mph. At times there's a little sink on his fastball. I haven't seen that the last couple of starts.
Alou also has not seen a win in those last six starts either, prompting us to believe Rueter (2-6) missed the memo that San Francisco actually had designs on making a run in the NL West race.
The Giants spotted their starting pitcher with an early 2-0 lead in the first frame, only to see him give it right back in Detroits half of the inning. Brandon Inge and Rondell White took Rueters soft tosses deep to the tie the score at 2-2.
Detroit would later tack on single runs in the second and third innings, before blowing the game open in the fifth with a four-run burst to send the left-hander to an early shower.
After seeing the score balloon to 8-2 in the fateful fifth inning, Brandon Puffer, the latest pitcher to make his Giants debut, retired the next 11 batters in a row to highlight the only bright spot of the evening for San Francisco (28-38).
Tigers starter Jason Johnson scattered nine hits, while allowing just two runs over eight stellar innings to pick up the victory for Detroit (32-33).
My arm feels really good this year, and I'm confident throwing everything in my repertoire, said Johnson (5-5). The way we're pitching into the seventh inning every night with our starters is terrific, and it's going to help us win more ballgames.
Right-hander Jesse Foppert (0-0, 3.18 ERA) will try to stop the Tigers from doing so Sunday morning as he will oppose lefty Mike Maroth (5-7, 4.23 ERA) in the finale of the three-game set in Detroit.
Game Notes: Lance Niekro, who has been nursing an injured big toe, is expected to be in the lineup Sunday. Mike Matheny will get his routine day off with an expected game time of 10:05 a.m. EDT. The Giants bullpen is sporting a 1.45 ERA (4 ER, 24 2/3 IP) over the last seven games. Tyler Walkers impressive performance Friday night found its way into the record books. Since the save became an official stat in 1969, Walker became the first player to strike out the side with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and not allow a run, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Phil Delacruz was a transplanted Giants fan, buried in the Southland. After four strenuous years in College, studying (read: partying), he's back in the beautiful "City by the Bay" – San Francisco. Do you think he should move back to LALA land? Or do you like him where he is now and appreciate the good reads? Either way, send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to air out your frustrations or, more likely, songs of praise.
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