Baseball

Giants are playing .500 baseball, but it hardly feels that way

San Francisco Giants center fielder Andrew McCutchen can’t get to a ball hit for a triple by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor during the third inning of Sunday’s game.
San Francisco Giants center fielder Andrew McCutchen can’t get to a ball hit for a triple by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor during the third inning of Sunday’s game. Associated Press

The Giants are in an odd spot heading into Tuesday’s home opener at AT&T Park.

They should feel good about a 2-2 road start against the defending National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

But San Francisco became the first major league team since the 1988 Baltimore Orioles to total no more than two runs in the first four games of a season.

It’s the first time the Giants have failed to score more than one run in each of their first four games.

Manager Bruce Buchy took the half-glass-full approach after Sunday’s 9-0 loss: “If you’d told me we’d only score two runs and get a split in this series, I’d have been elated.”

But the statistics show that there’s more to worry about than missing starting pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija and closer Mark Melancon.

Joe Panik was the highlight of the Giants’ offense in LA, hitting homers in each of the first two games for 1-0 victories. He was 6 for 15 in the series and it fell off from there.

Most notably, new additions Andrew McCutchen (1 for 16) and Evan Longoria (0 for 15) were no help.

“I’m getting some good pitches to hit, I’m just missing them,” Longoria said. “Those things happen. They’re just a little magnified right now.

“The opening series against the Dodgers on the road, a lot of people looking for me to come out of the gate hot – including myself. Obviously I’m not happy with the way that went, but it is what it is. We go back home and start over.”

Samardzija (strained pectoral) is scheduled to throw bullpen sessions Tuesday and Friday in preparation for a rehab assignment, but there is still no schedule for the return of Melancon (elbow strain), and Bumgarner (fractured left pinkie) isn’t expected back until mid-May.

Taking advantage of Monday’s off-day, the Giants are on a four-man rotation with opening day starter Ty Blach taking the ball for Tuesday’s home opener against Seattle. He pitched five scoreless innings against LA on Thursday.

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