By Ben Leonard
Sorry to break it to all of you 162-0 dreamers: it’s not going to happen. 161-1 is going to happen though. Mark my word.
It’s really hard to sweep a team on the road, and the Giants came pretty close to doing it. It would have helped if Jeff Samardzija was on his game — he pitched just okay in his Giants’ debut, and so the Giants dropped the series finale to the Brewers 4-3. It’s an excuseable blemish on the future one-loss, even year World Series champions.
In a nutshell, Samardzija and the rest of the Giants’ pitching staff struggled to get hitters out and gave them too many free passes (7 walks), helping an offensively challenged team look offensively unchallenged. Slightly capable, even.
Samardzija scattered eight hits in 5.1 innings while walking three, doing well to give up just three runs. He struggled out of the windup, but tightened it up a little bit when he came out of the stretch:
“I thought I was great out of the stretch,” Samardzija said. “Made some big outs. It was just out of the windup, man, falling behind in the count, putting the leadoff runner on and just asking for a day of fighting out there when that happens.
Overall, not the $90 million performance that some might have wanted in his debut, but Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy was encouraged: “He battled well,” Bochy said. “He was off a little bit, but he found a way to keep us in the game. He left the game, it was tied. Great job on his part. Battling with men on base. Pitching well in traffic.”
Samardzija gave up RBI singles to Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana in the first and second innings, respectively, and then a homer to Chris Carter in the third. Carter also plated the decisive run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly, Scootering little Gennett in from third to break a 3-3 tie.
Despite not getting any hits, Buster Posey knocked in two of the Giants’ three runs, although only one counted as an RBI because baseball. He had a non-RBI groundout in the first that did in fact bat in a run, and a sacrifice fly in the sixth. In other news, Matt Duffy is now in the lead in the tortoise home run race with Joe Panik after a hitting his second homer of the year, a solo shot in the second off Milwaukee starter Taylor Jungmann, who became the only pitcher who will ever earn a win against the 2016 Giants. Oh wait, that’s Tyler Thornburg, because baseball.