Giants can't wrap forgettable trip on high note

Giants can't wrap forgettable trip on high note

NEW YORK -- As if the Giants were being mocked by irony or coincidence, the double play that halted their eighth-inning rally in Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Yankees was scored 4-1-5.

That's San Francisco's area code, of course.

However, geography may have had little to do with the malaise that descended upon the entire team as the Giants finished 1-7 on their three-city trip.

"I don't think it really mattered where we played these last eight games," shortstop Brandon Crawford said. "We didn't play good baseball like we were before the [All-Star] break. Making too many errors, myself included, and just not really getting the big hits when we needed them. And then giving up a lot of home runs -- that doesn't help on the pitching side."

Mirroring his infield range, Crawford covered considerable ground in his analysis. The Giants, who continue to lead the National League West, created their own version of a triple crown with their shortcomings at the plate, on the mound and on the field.

Their most basic lapses during the trip materialized on offense. San Francisco averaged 2.9 runs per game, scored two runs or fewer in five games and batted a collective .240.

The Giants also received scant contributions from their 3-4-5 hitters -- Brandon Belt, Buster Posey and Crawford. In fairness to them, they're under implicit pressure to produce more while second baseman Joe Panik, third baseman Matt Duffy and right fielder Hunter Pence remain absent with their respective injuries.

"We'll go as they go," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of his remaining top regulars.

Almost everything went poorly for them on the trip, as they hit a combined .156 (15-for-96). Individually, none of the numbers looked good. Belt batted .061 (2-for-33) with zero RBIs and 17 strikeouts. Posey hit .233 (7-for-30) with four RBIs and two extra-base hits. Crawford batted .182 (6-for-33) with zero RBIs and 12 strikeouts.

Posey's two-run single

Fresh off making his first NL All-Star team, Belt was exceedingly hard on himself.

"I can attribute, I feel like, a lot of these losses that we've had to me," Belt said. "I've had plenty of chances to drive in runs. I didn't get the job done."

Pitching and defense, the timeless combination that every successful ballclub relies on, betrayed the Giants. Starting pitchers surrendered 13 home runs in 43 innings on the trip, including the round-trippers by Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira off Jeff Samardzija in Sunday's first two frames that immediately knocked the Giants off balance.

Crawford's impressive snag

Defensively, the Giants committed 11 errors in the trip's eight games, an unacceptable rate.

Bochy made no excuses, though he stated that receiving scheduled off-days in unusually close proximity last week (Monday and Thursday) upset the players' equilibrium.

"Those days off made it tough for us to get in a rhythm," Bochy said.

Said Samardzija: "I'm looking forward to getting back on a normal schedule. ... The fact of the matter is that we're creatures of habit."

The Giants must make sure that the traits they displayed on this trip don't become habits. They face the formidable Nationals seven times in the next 13 games. Moreover, San Francisco's next trip is another challenging three-city sojourn. The endurance test has begun.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.