The San Francisco Giants’ already depleted rotation took a scare Thursday night after starter Chad Gaudin was struck by a line drive in the fifth inning. The veteran right-hander was able to throw out the Marlins’ Derek Dietrich, but was incapable of continuing the rest of the game.
Gaudin left after allowing no runs on just two hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. This latest start was a continuation of his success after being promoted to the fifth spot in the Giants’ rotation. Gaudin does not believe the injury to be serious, but will not know for sure until at earliest Friday. He expects to be healthy enough to pitch his next scheduled start on Tuesday, June 25.
Since filling in for injured starter Ryan Vogelsong, Gaudin has brought stability to the back end of the rotation. He currently sports a 2-1 record with an impressive 2.60 ERA on the season. The X-rays came back negative, but there is still a cause for concern surrounding the status of Gaudin’s elbow.
Reliever Sandy Rosario replaced Gaudin and pitched 2 2/3 innings before surrendering a leadoff walk to Justin Ruggiano in the eighth. Skipper Bruce Bochy then gave the ball to lefty Jeremy Affeldt to close out the inning. Affeldt prompted to hit Dietrich, placing runners at first and second. After a successful sacrifice bunt, the Marlins had two in scoring position. Affeldt responded by striking pinch hitter Jeff Mathis out on four pitches. In the game’s most crucial at bat, right fielder Marcell Ozuna singled off Affeldt to plate two runs, giving the Marlins a 2-1 lead. This proved to be the difference as Marlins’ closer, Steve Cishek, finished off the game for his eleventh save on the season.
The Giants cannot afford to lose another starter from the pitching staff, especially considering the health concerns facing the rest of the team. The offense is already missing Pablo Sandoval and Angel Pagan, two crucial components towards the club’s success. Without a dependable fifth starter, the Giants risk falling further away from the NL West leading Arizona Diamondbacks.