By Morris Phillips
SAN FRANCISCO–Gabe Kapler immediately turned his focus to Friday’s doubleheader, and the biggest 14 innings of the season for his Giants.
And what of Thursday’s agonizing 5-4 loss to the Rockies that could have had his club in the driver’s seat regarding the postseason heading into the weekend?
Kapler simply avoided any reflection–emotional or analytical–involving the Giants.
“They got the job done, and you have to kind of tip your cap to them,” Kapler said of the Rockies. “They did pull out all the stops. They put the five-man infield out there. They extended Bard, I’m guessing, probably beyond the most comfortable space. That was a good effort by their ballclub.”
What the Giants hope to achieve with 14 flawless innings on Friday, they basically failed to achieve in 11 uneven innings Thursday afternoon. The Giants jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings, only to trail 4-3 after seven. Brandon Belt’s homer got the Giants even after eight. Then the Giants put themselves on the precipice of victory with a bases loaded, one out situation in the tenth, only to stall and then see the Rockies take control in the 11th.
Kevin Gausman essentially admitted what Kapler would not regarding the frustrating affair.
“We don’t really have the luxury of sitting around and feeling bad for ourselves,” Gausman said. “We’ve got a doubleheader tomorrow against the Padres. If we can win both those games that would be huge. Just try to forget about it.”
The Giants’ offense wasn’t as decisive as its been at Oracle Park. After their early flurry, the Giants scored one run over the game’s final nine innings. They failed to fully capitalize on five extra-base hits, and the bases-loaded failure in the tenth could have given them control of the game. The team’s improving bullpen held up, but allowed the game-winning run in the 11th.
The out-of-town scoreboard provided some good news; some bad on Thursday. The Marlins bounced back, beating the Braves to remain over .500 and ahead of the Giants. Meanwhile, the Brewers fell to the Cardinals, keeping them behind the Giants, and along with the Phillies, saddled with a losing record.