SAN FRANCISCO — Ty Blach was sitting at his locker when the clubhouse opened Tuesday, his eyes focused on a spot a few feet in front of him. When reporters asked him about a tough-luck night, Blach said it’s just one of those things.
“You’ve got to flush it,” he said.
Unfortunately for the Giants, they’ve made a habit of flushing the wrong results. An 8-1 loss to the Royals on Tuesday continued a remarkable and baffling stretch. The Giants have scored 46 runs in their past five wins. In the five games that followed those wins, they have scored a total — TOTAL — of six runs.
Sure, they faced one of the American League’s hottest starters — Jason Vargas — but this run of ineptitude includes all comers. They have lost to Ervin Santana and Tanner Roark in those five games, but also to Ben Lively and Tyler Anderson.
The Giants scored 13 runs on Sunday and came back 48 hours later with a familiar performance. Blach was on the wrong end of this one, getting charged with seven earned on a night he was BABIPed to death. The Royals placed a few balls well, took advantage of some sloppy San Francisco defense, and came up with hard-hit balls when needed.
“That’s hard to believe he gave up those runs,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Blach’s line. “They placed the ball just out of reach three to four times. It’s a shame because Ty threw the ball well.”
Blach said he would try to shake it off. He does not believe there’s a book out on him. It was just a weird night.
“This game can humble you in a hurry,” he said.
--- An opinion on those “cheap” hits. The Giants have given up a lot of flares in recent weeks, but watching day in and day out, it sure seems like a fair amount of that can be placed on the players in the field. Two of the singles in the two-run third should have been outs, and that’s on infielders. Hunter Pence couldn’t quite come up with a three-run triple.
The new advanced defense metrics are great, but sometimes you don’t need them. Watching this team every night it’s pretty clear, the defense is a step slower than it was a year ago, and that’s responsible for a lot of these balls that are dropping in.
--- Let’s take a minute to talk about inherited runners. Cory Gearrin entered with the bases loaded and got a fly ball to deep right that could have been an out. It went for a triple. There was some bad luck involved there, but the result is part of an uglier trend. The Giants bullpen has allowed 37 percent of inherited runner to score, third-worst in the majors. It’s particularly glaring because of how much of an emphasis that has been in recent years. The bullpen led the majors each of the last two seasons, allowing just 22 percent of inherited runner to score last season and 21 percent in 2015.
Gearrin has allowed 12 of 19 inherited runner to score, putting him in a tie for second. Heath Hembree, who could have been part of this bullpen, has cashed in a major league-leading 13 of 23 inherited runners.
--- The math is the math. The Giants are now 14 1/2 games behind the Dodgers and Rockies and 14 games behind the Diamondbacks. When the draft is over, the front office will have to confront what comes next.