In the top of the first inning on Opening Day against the Padres on March 28, Evan Longoria ripped a two-out single to center.
Why is that notable?
That’s the only hit the Giants have gotten in the first inning all season.
In 10 games so far this season, the Giants are 1-for-31 with no walks (one hit-by-pitch) in the first inning. That’s good for a .032 batting average which is … not very good.
It might not need stating, but the Giants have scored no first inning runs.
That trend continued in Sunday’s series finale against the Rays, as Steven Duggar, Joe Panik, and Evan Longoria went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first. The Giants went on to lose, 3-0 — the second time they have been shut out so far this year.
Getting off to slow starts has been a theme for San Francisco all season long, as the Giants (3-7) have only scored once in the first three innings so far in 2019. In games like Sunday’s, Giants pitchers Drew Pomeranz, Trevor Gott, Nick Vincent, and Mark Melancon did well to hold the Rays (7-3) to only three runs. But when the offense is consistently being shut down in the early innings, it puts extra pressure on the pitchers to match zeros.
Ten games is too early to make wholesale changes, but manager Bruce Bochy might want to consider a new lineup – — or a different pregame strategy — to infuse some life into the offense in the early-going.
The Giants (3-6) look to win a three-game home series with the Rays (6-3) on Sunday.
Below are the starting lineups for both teams:
Giants’ lineup vs. Rays: pic.twitter.com/HvFVCkxbdE
— Maria I. Guardado (@mi_guardado) April 7, 2019
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 7, 2019
Drew Pomeranz is looking for his first win as a Giant. The lefty is 4-3 with a 3.98 ERA in 11 games.
Here’s how you can watch Giants vs. Rays on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming online.
When: Saturday April 6, at 1:05 p.m. PT (pregame at 12:00 p.m.)
TV channel: NBC Sports Bay Area
Live stream: MyTeams by NBC Sports app
Connor Joe’s infectious smile could be noticed a million miles away. He had just gotten his first Major League hit and he appeared to be on top of the world.
In the bottom of the fifth inning of the Giants’ 6-4 win over the Rays on Saturday, Joe singled to left and the Rays made sure to roll it into the dugout for the 26-year-old to have a keepsake.
Following the game, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Amy Gutierrez spoke to Joe about the hit and how he was feeling after a frustrating start.
“I just stuck to my routine — it’s what got me here, the things I did,” Joe said.
He added he was stubborn with the way he is in his performance and he tries to stay persistent.
Throughout the process, the outfielder sought guidance from his teammates — mainly the veterans who made sure to calm his nerves. He even had a teammate say they weren’t sure if he smiled — that how serious he had been through it all.
“There are a lot of veterans in this room who have a lot of experience, and for them to reach out to me at this time and during this opportunity is huge for me,” Joe told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic earlier in the week. “It shows that they care a lot about me and they want the best for me and the best for the team.”
As for the veteran guys that have been good to him, Joe made sure to give them credit as he finished up the interview. They told him to stay confident and it would come.
And — veteran in his own right — shortstop Brandon Crawford made sure to celebrate with Joe in true first-timer fashion: with a Powerade bath.
Welcome to the club, Joe.