Bochy, Belt get tossed; Giants drop se­ries fi­nale

The Tribune (SLO) - - Sports - BY KERRY CROW­LEY

At the be­gin­ning of the week, man­ager Bruce Bochy spoke about savoring his time dur­ing his fi­nal visit to the na­tion’s cap­i­tal as the San Fran­cisco Giants man­ager.

Bochy, how­ever, did not make it to the end of Thurs­day’s 4-2 loss in the Giants’ se­ries-fi­nale against the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als. Nei­ther did his start­ing left fielder, Bran­don Belt.

Home plate um­pire Ryan Ad­di­ton ejected Bochy dur­ing the top of the fifth in­ning for ar­gu­ing balls and strikes af­ter Ad­di­ton called Belt out on a pitch that missed the zone off the out­side cor­ner.

“That zone was too big,” Bochy said. “Belt had no chance. Even the two be­fore that, they were close, but it got wider there, and that’s enough. Come on.”

Belt lasted two more in­nings, but when Ad­di­ton rang him up on strikes again in the sev­enth, the Giants’ cleanup hit­ter flung his hel­met into the ground and was im­me­di­ately tossed from the game. Giants bench coach Hens­ley Meu­lens, third base coach Ron Wo­tus and first base coach Jose Al­guacil all darted to­ward home plate fol­low­ing Belt’s ejec­tion to pre­vent fur­ther con­fronta­tion be­tween their hit­ter and Ad­di­ton, who drew the ire of the vis­it­ing play­ers through­out Thurs­day’s game.

“As big lea­guers, we make ad­just­ments. He’s got to do the same thing,” Belt said. “We put too much into this game to go out there and just have at-bats taken away. That’s a tough pill to swal­low. He had called way too many pitches off the plate.”

The ejec­tion was the first of the year for Bochy, the 42nd of his Giants ca­reer and his 75th in 25 sea­sons as a ma­jor-league man­ager.

The Giants brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the top of the ninth in­ning, but Na­tion­als closer Sean Doolit­tle stranded a pair of run­ners to send San Fran­cisco to its fifth se­ries loss in six tries.

“We’ve got to find a way to get things go­ing early again,” Bochy said. “That’s our is­sue. You love the way we’re com­ing back and fight­ing and what­ever, but it would be nice like that first game to get some early runs.”

Ad­di­ton’s strike zone was ex­pan­sive in Thurs­day’s se­ries fi­nale, but Na­tion­als starter Pa­trick Corbin likely would have had lit­tle trou­ble mow­ing through the Giants lineup any­way. No team was hap­pier to see Corbin leave the Na­tional League West and sign a six-year deal with Wash­ing­ton in the off­sea­son than the Giants, who faced the left-han­der six times last year and strug­gled mis­er­ably in nearly ev­ery out­ing against a pitcher who lives on the corners.

“When he’s get­ting those, he’s re­ally tough,” Belt said. “When you start ex­pand­ing off the plate to the point as base­ball play­ers, we think it’s not even close. In a game of cen­time­ters, when you’re off by an inch or two, it’s not close. It’s tough.”

Corbin was in top form through­out Thurs­day’s game as he faced the min­i­mum through four in­nings and gave up just one run in 7 2⁄3 in­nings. Af­ter Evan Lon­go­ria broke up a no-hit bid by Colorado Rock­ies right-han­der Ger­man Mar­quez in a shutout loss Sun­day, it was Lon­go­ria who recorded the Giants’ first hit Thurs­day and first run as he came home from sec­ond on an Erik Kratz eighth-in­ning dou­ble af­ter reach­ing on a hit by pitch.

Corbin out-pitched Giants left-han­der Drew Pomer­anz, who lasted just 4 2⁄3 in­nings and al­lowed 3 all four runs he sur­ren­dered to score with two outs. Pomer­anz has yet to log more than five in­nings this year, and his 4.82 ERA is the high­est of any Giants starter.

NICK WASS AP

San Fran­cisco Giants' Bran­don Belt, sec­ond from the right, ar­gues with home plate um­pire Ryan Ad­di­ton (67) af­ter he was called out on strikes dur­ing the sev­enth in­ning of a base­ball game against the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als, Thurs­day in Wash­ing­ton. Belt was ejected. Giants first base coach Jose Al­guacil (17) looks on.

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