Giants lament missed chances across board
ST. LOUIS -- On a night filled with several missed offensive opportunities, the biggest miss came in the field from one of the Giants' best defenders in a 2-1 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
With the game tied at 1 in the bottom of the eighth, the Cardinals had runners at first and third with one out. Mark Reynolds hit what looked to be a potential inning-ending double-play ball to shortstop Brandon Crawford.
Instead of flipping it to second baseman Kelby Tomlinson, Crawford decided to take it himself. He stepped on the bag, but with Brandon Moss bearing down on him, Crawford sailed his throw wide to first allowing Stephen Piscotty, who hit a one-out triple, to score the eventual game-winning run.
"I thought I was close enough to the bag to take it myself, but I didn't get a great grip on it because of the short hop, so with my momentum going that way, I didn't' get all the way around it," Crawford said.
Moss' presence affected the play.
"The ball wasn't hit super hard so he was able to get going right off the bat there," Crawford said. "He was close to second, he would have been bearing down on with me or Kelby if I got rid of it. It was a tough play."
"He's the best in the game I think," manager Bruce Bochy said of his shortstop. "He just made a nice play on a tough hop and the throw just got away from him, pretty simple. The hitter hit it at the right guy, that's who we want it hit to, I'll take that every time."
It was a fitting end to a night filled with what ifs for the Giants.
After a successful hit-and-run with pitcher Chris Heston, the Giants had runners at first and third with one out in the third. But Gregor Blanco popped up his bunt attempt and Matt Duffy grounded out.
Duffy and Brandon Belt reached on back-to-back singles to start the sixth. But Hunter Pence grounded to second and Kolten Wong was able to tag Belt before throwing out Pence.
"Ideally you don't want him to run into a tag, at least make it tough on him," Bochy said. "I don't know how much a difference it would have made had he stopped and got into a rundown, but at least you're putting a little pressure on them. A lot of pressure on the runner there, because he knows if he stops he's in a rundown."
The double play minimized the damage of Crawford's RBI double that followed. Instead of possibly giving the Giants the lead, the game remained 1-1.
Buster Posey nearly put the Giants ahead in the ninth. His fly ball with a runner on sent Peter Bourjos to the center-field-wall, but the ball landed in Bourjos' glove a few feet short of the bleachers.
"I knew I hit it good, but it was also high," Posey said. "It didn't really have that feel that it's a no-doubter."