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Giants' offense stays muted in LA finale

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

LOS ANGELES -- The Giants produced zero runs other than Joe Panik's pair of homers during their four-game, season-opening series against the Dodgers. Their .192 batting average for the series (25-for-130) included a 1-for-28 skid with runners in scoring position and an aggregate .047 average (2-for-43) from the team's valued newcomers, Austin Jackson, Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen.

According to the team's media relations staff, it marked the first time in franchise history that the Giants failed to score more than one run in any of their first four games.

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- The Giants produced zero runs other than Joe Panik's pair of homers during their four-game, season-opening series against the Dodgers. Their .192 batting average for the series (25-for-130) included a 1-for-28 skid with runners in scoring position and an aggregate .047 average (2-for-43) from the team's valued newcomers, Austin Jackson, Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen.

According to the team's media relations staff, it marked the first time in franchise history that the Giants failed to score more than one run in any of their first four games.

View Full Game Coverage

Logic dictates that the Dodgers, 9-0 winners on Sunday, should have swept the Giants. The Giants instead emerged with a split, on the road against the reigning National League champions. That was the product of those 1-0 victories in the series' first two games that now seem like a mirage.

The last team to score two runs in its first four games was Baltimore in 1988. Those Orioles lost their first 23 games of the season.

"If you told me [before the series] that we were going to score two runs and split this series, I would have been elated," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Within the Giants' clubhouse, the belief that this team can be a postseason contender permeates like steam from a postgame shower. So it should come as no surprise that the Giants felt optimistic -- and fortunate.

"To start this year 2-2, the way we've been hitting the ball, it could have been a lot different," said right-hander Chris Stratton, who absorbed Sunday's decision while allowing three runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Video: SF@LAD: Stratton K's Puig to end the 1st inning

Dodgers starter Rich Hill, who worked six innings, sounded as if he maintained a simple plan against the Giants.

"Keeping those guys off-balance is a big part of tonight," Hill said. "We executed breaking balls and timely fastballs. Just make them swing the bats."

Video: SF@LAD: Hill fans five across six scoreless innings

There seemed to be no doubt which Giant took this weekend the hardest. That would be Longoria, the third baseman who went 0-for-15 in his first series as a National Leaguer.

"I'm putting way too much pressure on myself," Longoria admitted. "Get one [hit] out of the way and let it snowball from there. ... I'm getting some good pitches to hit. It's a little magnified now with the opening series against the Dodgers on the road. A lot of people [were] looking for me to come out of the gate hot, including myself."

Bochy diagnosed Longoria's hitting woes as a combination of poor timing at the plate and extreme overanalysis right up until the point when he launches his swing.

"He probably is trying a little too hard," Bochy said.

Regarding his ballclub in general, Bochy was willing to remain patient.

"It was a rough series for the boys," Bochy said. "The Dodgers put up a lot of zeros against us. But you know what? They'll get clicking. It's a matter of time. ... They're too good. We know that. Hopefully [during] this day off, they'll get a chance to relax."

However, the Giants face another left-hander, Seattle's Marco Gonzales, in Tuesday's home opener. They faced three lefty starters in the Dodgers series. Bochy hinted he will consider tweaking the batting order for that game.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Fundamental lapse: The Giants didn't quite execute a fourth-inning rundown properly with Yasiel Puig trapped between first and second and Corey Seager on third. Seager scored while Panik could not tag out Puig, who beat everybody to first base.

"We didn't quite execute that," Bochy said. "Give them credit. I'm sure Joe, if he had to do it over, wouldn't have held the ball quite as long."

Video: SF@LAD: Seager hustles home as Puig escapes a rundown

Puig in the field: Two innings after helping the Dodgers score with his baserunning, Puig helped keep the Giants from scoring with his glove, making a sliding catch of Brandon Belt's sinking liner in right field with two outs and the tying run on third base.

Video: SF@LAD: Puig runs down a liner to rob Belt

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This Dodgers-Giants series was the first time in MLB history that a team began a season with four shutouts in an opening series, according to STATS. The Dodgers also became the first team in MLB history to hold an opponent to two runs or fewer in a season-opening four-game series and matched the 1915 Phillies for the fewest runs allowed through the first four games of a season. For the first time in Giants history, they failed to score more than one run in their first four games of the season.

WHAT'S NEXT
Following Monday's scheduled off-day, the Giants will launch an eight-game homestand with Tuesday's home opener against Seattle starting at 1:35 p.m. PT. Left-hander Ty Blach, the Opening Day winner at Los Angeles with a five-inning effort, will receive another high-profile assignment.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Chris Stratton