Duffy comes close to cycle for 2nd straight day
Needing a single, Giants third baseman hits reviewed foul ball
SAN FRANCISCO -- At 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, Matt Duffy's figure is far from imposing. But that doesn't stop him from competing on the same level as some of the best players in the game.
For the second straight day, the Giants third baseman came up one hit short of the cycle Sunday. On Saturday, Duffy came a triple shy of the rare feat, but in a 6-3 win over the Rockies in the series finale, he just needed a single in his fourth at-bat to complete the cycle.
Duffy stepped to the plate in the seventh inning -- having already tripled in his first appearance, doubled in his second and homered in his third -- and smacked the first pitch he saw down the right-field line.
The ball bounced off the glove of Rockies first baseman Wilin Rosario and landed in foul territory behind the first-base bag. Giants manager Bruce Bochy challenged the call, but the replay officials could not definitively determine whether the ball made contact with Rosario's glove in fair territory.
"Even if they do say that ball is fair ... do they put me at first or do they put me at second?" Duffy said.
Duffy grounded into an inning-ending double play on the next pitch in what was his final at-bat of the game.
Had Duffy accomplished the feat, he could have marked one more achievement off his bucket list, but his falling short cannot take away from what has been a remarkable start to the season for the infielder.
When two-time All-Star Pablo Sandoval departed for Boston in free agency this past offseason, he left the Giants searching for a full-time third baseman. Bochy penciled Casey McGehee into the Giants' starting lineup on Opening Day, but Duffy changed things in a hurry.
"He played so well you couldn't take him out," Bochy said.
He not only won the job by mid-May, he became one of the most integral pieces to the Giants' lineup.
"I'm a very confident player," Duffy said. "I feel like I have to be with my body type. I'm not going to outmuscle anybody ... so I have to be confident."
San Francisco is without leadoff hitter Nori Aoki and middle-of-the-order guy Hunter Pence and it is 8-4 in its last 12 games. During that span, Duffy leads the Giants in hits (19), extra-base hits (nine) and home runs (three).
"He's a ballplayer," Giants ace Madison Bumgarner said. "He's a grinder; he sticks his nose in there every pitch. You play like that and you're going to have success at this level."
Still a rookie, Duffy has gone from hitting in the eight-spot in the order to the three-hole. He's tied for third on the team in batting average (.303), third in RBIs (37) and fourth in home runs (eight) even though he's seventh on the team in at-bats (218).
"I hate to think of where we'd be without him," Bochy said.