SEATTLE Would it elicit too many groans to say the Giantswent up in Smoak in a 2-1, walk-off loss to the Mariners Sunday afternoon?
Yes, of course it would. And we apologize in advance forthat.
So lets use one of Bruce Bochys favorite clichs, instead.
Buzzards luck, the manager said, leaning back in hischair.
RECAP: Baggs' Instant Replay -- Mariners 2, Giants 1
Seattle first baseman Justin Smoak made the defensive playof the game Sunday, diving to stop Hector Sanchezs hot grounder with two onand two out in the eighth inning. Then Smoak won the game for the Mariners inthe ninth, lacing a single to left field that scored pinch runner MunenoriKawasaki from second base.
The Giants dropped two of three to one of baseballs worstteams. They lost their first road series since May 7-9 at Dodger Stadium. Goodteams dont just take that result and shrug.
Of course, it must be pointed out that left fielder MelkyCabreras laser throw wouldve beaten Kawasaki to the plate by the length ofthree jet skis. It was buzzards luck that the ball hit the runner in the backwhen he was barely two-thirds of the way down the line.
And it was Bochys further misfortune that Smoaks defensivesave in the eighth came after the manager pinch ran Justin Christian for BusterPosey, his cleanup hitter and DH for the day.
I didnt think hed get to that ball, and Christians goingto score on that, Bochy said. No question, weve got to run for Busterthere.
Want more from the buzzard? Poseys spot came up with thebases loaded in the ninth inning. Bochy had to pinch-hit Nate Schierholtzinstead, who grounded out on a 3-2 pitch from hard-throwing closer TomWilhelmsen.
Nate, you know, he threw out a pretty good at-bat, Bochysaid. He got it to 3-2 there against a tough pitcher.
The Giants ended up losing on a day that Madison Bumgarneryielded a run on four baserunners in eight innings.
He was really, really good, said Sanchez, the catcher. Hethrew all his pitches down in the zone, especially his cutter. It was down andaway, down and in. Hes pretty amazing.
The Giants offense was less so. Their hitters were 1 for 8with runners in scoring position and stranded 12. They couldnt make their ownluck after the first inning against Felix Hernandez, who still has Cy Youngstuff even if his 3.70 ERA didnt inspire the same fears.
But Smoak snuffed out Sanchezs grounder in the eighth andCabrera, who can grow hits without a watering can, struck out on three pitcheswith the bases loaded in the ninth. Then came Schierholtzs jammed grounder.
The Giants couldnt make their own breaks. In the bottom ofthe ninth, the beleaguered home team finally received one.
We had em at the end, Bochy said. If that ball doesnthit the runner, hes dead. It's just, it's ...
Wait for it ...