Rewind: Giants at A's; Game 3

The boys in Orange and Black have finally hit rock bottom. Just when you thought it couldn't get any more painful than watching Saturday's defensive debacle, the Giants suck you back in and come up with an entirely new way to… well, suck.

It wasn’t enough to humiliate themselves by committing five errors, three of which were made by outfielders dropping flyballs. No, this sad group had to follow that doozy up with an even more embarrassing defeat, a 16-0 drubbing at the hands of the cross-town rivals Sunday afternoon at the McAfee Mausoleum.

To make matters worse, the lopsided thrashing – the worst shutout loss in San Francisco history – was one Deivi Cruz bloop-hit shy of a no-hitter. The G-Men had just three baserunners the entire game against A’s starter Rich Harden (4-3), who was brilliant in only his second start off the disabled list

“I'd say it's just one of those days,” said Harden’s counterpart Brett Tomko. “But it's been a few games in a row where things have been rough. This game, I got beat pretty quick, not like the other games."

Tomko (5-10) and the Giants got beat as soon as A’s leadoff hitter Jason Kendall drew a walk to start the first frame. Oakland would score three runs in the inning before chasing Tomko away with a 6-0 advantage in the third.

“We're not getting many outs early and we don't have enough firepower to overcome [deficits]," said manager Felipe Alou, whose team has now dropped 22 of their last 29 contests.

The A’s (35-40) tacked on five runs apiece against relievers Brandon Puffer and Jason Christiansen in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, before finally letting the foot off the accelerator.

“We're going out and giving everything we've got,” Christiansen said, after watching his ERA balloon to an even 6.00. “Nobody likes to come in here and lose 16-0 and give up 24 hits. But it's freakin' happening. We're not happy about it. The day off could not have come at a better time.”

The Giants (30-44) lost their fourth straight and bottomed out to a season-low 14 games below the .500 mark. They have an extra day to reflect on what has become a disastrous season and what exactly ails them, but not to necessarily suggest there is a real cure on the horizon.

“We have seen a lot of games like this, all of us,” the skipper said. “We have been trailers. We've been trailing here forever, playing catch-up forever. There are lots of threes and fours in the first inning. The majority of our games have been like that.”

The 70-year-old manager has seen his share of implosions from a pitching staff that now sports a 5.19 team ERA.

Jason Schmidt, the one bright spot for the Giants of late, will toe the rubber in Arizona on Tuesday night. The right-hander (5-3, 4.83 ERA) has stringed together two consecutive starts of eight scoreless innings each and figures to continue his hot streak against lefty Brad Halsey (4-6, 4.23 ERA).

“You have to move on,” said Tyler Walker, who pitched a welcome scoreless inning. “It's only one game out of 162. We've got more to play. The sooner we forget about this, the better.”

Then again, that’s what some Giants fans were saying after Saturday’s game. That was, of course, until San Francisco had to play the finale of the three-game series on Sunday and got swept - convincingly.

Will it get worse before it gets better?

Hopefully there’s no level lower than “rock bottom,” but with these Giants, one can never be so sure.

SFDugout.com player of the game: Deivi Cruz for saving the team from even further embarrassment – a no-hitter to compliment the worst shutout defeat in SF history. Now, that would have been ugly.

Game notes: Cruz lost a pop-up in the sun (surprise) during the second inning that was actually scored a hit. … Moises Alou remains four homeruns short for 500 between father/son (Felipe hit 206). ... Nick Swisher became the first A's player to homer from both sides of the plate in a game since June 7, 1994, when Ruben Sierra accomplished the feat. … The Giants are now 24-26 versus the A’s in interleague play. … San Francisco has been swept in four of their last eight three-game series. … The Giants really suck



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 phildelacruz@aol.com to air out your frustrations or, more likely, songs of praise.

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