Over the last week, the San Francisco Giants and Seattle
Mariners had two of baseball’s best pitching performances of
How they’ve followed those historic efforts has been a
San Francisco hopes to regain focus after following the euphoria
of Matt Cain’s perfect game with a loss, while Seattle looks to
avoid a sixth consecutive defeat since its no-hitter in Friday
night’s series opener at Safeco Field.
Cain pitched the first perfect game in Giants history in
Wednesday’s 10-0 win against Houston, striking out 14 as the
offense scored its most runs since plating 14 against Miami on May
San Francisco, though, seemed lethargic in Thursday’s 6-3 loss
to the Astros, trailing 5-0 through three innings before Brandon
Belt’s two-run homer in the fourth.
“It was hard to get any sleep, and I think it was the same for
everybody,” Belt told the team’s official website. “It might have
played into today, but we’ll get them tomorrow.”
Manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants (36-28), who have lost nine
of their last 11 meetings with the Mariners, need to keep moving
forward no matter the previous day’s result.
“You have to put the really good games, just like the tough
ones, behind you,” Bochy said.
It’s something Seattle has had even more trouble doing.
The Mariners (27-37) had six pitchers combine to hold the Los
Angeles Dodgers hitless in a 1-0 win last Friday, marking the
team’s first no-hitter since Chris Bosio beat Boston on April 22,
Seattle, though, has dropped five straight since after falling
6-2 to San Diego on Thursday. It has been outscored 28-11 during
“We’ve got to get out of this funk here at home,” manager Eric
Wedge told the Mariners’ official website. “We’ve got a lot of home
games here. Obviously we know what we’re capable of doing
offensively, that hasn’t left us. But we’ve got to get over that
hump here at home and break out. I think once we do, we’ll hit the
ground running from there.”
The Mariners’ offensive struggles may not get any better with
the Giants sending Ryan Vogelsong to the hill.
Vogelsong (5-2, 2.26 ERA) had another outstanding performance
Saturday, allowing one run and three hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 5-2
win over Texas. He’s allowed more than two runs only once as the
Giants have won his last seven starts, with Vogelsong going 5-0
with a 1.64 ERA in that stretch.
“He’s got a maniacal focus that you love,” Bochy said.
The right-hander has pitched at least into the seventh inning in
10 of his 11 starts, and his ERA is the fifth-best in baseball.
Vogelsong is 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA in his five starts against the AL
as a member of the Giants, though he hasn’t faced the Mariners
since 2004 with Pittsburgh.
Seattle will counter with Jason Vargas, who has struggled since
posting a 2.79 ERA in his first eight outings.
Vargas (7-5, 3.90) has a 5.40 ERA in his last six, and tied a
season worst by allowing five runs in six innings of an 8-3 loss to
the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.
The left-hander allowed one run and two hits in seven innings of
Seattle’s 2-1 win in 12 innings May 22, 2009, his only start
against the Giants.
This will mark the fourth consecutive series between the teams
that has taken place at Safeco Field. They haven’t met in San
Francisco since 2000 – AT&T Park’s first year – meaning the
Giants are the lone major league team Ichiro Suzuki has never faced
on the road.