PHILADELPHIA — Giants postseason darling Cody Ross
hit another home run, broke up another no-hitter in that dramatic
fashion and took another lonely trip around the basepaths.
This has to change. Not on Ross’ part, but by those hitless
wonders ahead of him in the lineup.
The problems atop the Giants’ batting order were amplified
in Sunday’s 6-1 loss to the host Phillies in Game 2 of the National
League Championship Series.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy vowed
that change is coming as his team takes a 1-1 series tie back to
AT&T Park, with Games 3, 4 and 5 slated Tuesday through
That better mean at least a temporary reprieve from anymore
Andres Torres strikeouts. His horrific Sunday linescore in the
leadoff spot: K-K-K-K. Translated, he struck out four times, seeing
only three pitches in each of his final two at-bats.
“I need to be patient. I’m going up there thinking too much,”
Torres said. “In this game, you have to make adjustments and always
And you thought you would never see the day where Giants fans were clamoring to see
Aaron Rowand return to the top of the lineup.
The Giants’ problems trickle down their
lineup, however. The top four hitters are a combined 5 for 29
through two NLCS outings.
“There’s no question (Torres) is struggling, but other hitters
are, too,” Bochy said.
“We’ve got to find a way to get going, get on base, take our
singles and get better at-bats,” said first baseman Aubrey Huff,
who went 0 for 4 Sunday after a 1-for-4 showing in Saturday’s
Huff bats in the No. 3 slot, by the way. A 1-for-8 start to the
NLCS is not a good one.
Batting cleanup is Buster Posey, who went 0 for 3 before a
ninth-inning walk Sunday and was 1 for 4 Saturday.
The numbers elsewhere are not much better. No. 5 hitter Pat
Burrell went 0 for 4 Sunday, and No. 2 batter Freddy Sanchez had
two singles in four at-bats to modestly rebound from Saturday’s
0-for-5 NLCS debut.
It’s no wonder that Ross is breaking up no-hitters with his home
runs. No one is hitting well in front of him.
“This is a great pitching staff. Give them credit,” Huff said of
the Phillies. “We hit balls good tonight, and we just don’t get any
The balls they hit well either went foul or were snatched by the
Phillies’ outfielders. That included Posey’s first at-bat Sunday, a
400-foot fly out to deep center field.
After a game-changing, four-run uprising by the Phillies in the
seventh inning, the Giants launched countermeasures in
the eighth. A walk by Pablo Sandoval — He lives! He walks?! — and
a two-out single by Sanchez set the stage for Huff.
Huff responded with a promising liner to center field. He
thought it was going over center fielder Shane Victorino’s head.
The Giants would be back in this game.
Huff claimed he has produced that hit a million times and it
creates enough topspin to carry into the outfield’s deepest
Instead, “it was a moot point,” Huff said. Victorino caught
Huff’s ball. Rally killed.
The top of the Giants’ lineup needs to change
course and make those positive adjustments that Torres
After all, Ross is not going to hit a home run every playoff
game. Or is he?
For the third consecutive game, he broke up a no-hitter with a
solo home run into the left-field seats. Sunday’s came in the fifth
inning, after Burrell led off by popping up in foul ground.
Ross was batting in the No. 6 slot, instead of No. 8, because
Juan Uribe was a late scratch with a bad wrist. Uribe also had a
bad batting average, so include him in that bungled bat
As Ross’ home run ball amazingly took a familiar flight plan to
left, he dropped his bat and did a one-legged hop before embarking
on his solo run around the diamond. The legend of Hopalong Cody was
“He’s getting pitches to hit, and he’s not missing them,” Huff
said. “He’s locked in. Hopefully he keeps it up and we all start
Keep it up? OK, we’ll think positive and advise fans to bring
gloves if they’re sitting in the left-field bleachers at AT&T
Park this week.
Ross’ teammates ahead of him in the order better bring better
at-bats to the party before it ends in sour fashion like it did
Contact Cam Inman at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him at