SAN FRANCISCO -- Some days a pitcher's got it, and some days he just doesn't. Saturday was a "don't got it" day for pitcher Brad Hennessey, whose early exit against the Dodgers was a large part of a 14-7 Giants loss at AT&T Park. The right-hander was near-flawless in his previous start last Sunday against the Padres. He did not allow a run in nearly six innings of work. But Saturday night was a different story as he surrendered three quick runs and four hits in the first inning.
"Everything I threw, they just seemed to hit," Hennessey said. "At least I wasn't walking anybody. That's been the trouble in my last starts where I've walked six or seven guys." Walks aside, nothing seemed to go Hennessy's way at all, as the Dodgers pounded base hit after base hit to any spot a San Francisco position player wasn't occupying. After his poor first inning, the Dodgers didn't let up, as Hennessey's opponent, Greg Maddux, led off the second with a double to the left-field wall, setting up a sacrifice-bunt attempt for leadoff man Rafael Furcal. As the speedy Dodger laid down the bunt, an errant throw from Hennessey allowed Maddux to score, and a pitiful throw from Ray Durham to third base to get Furcal chased the Los Angeles shortstop home. A few batters and a couple of base hits later, Hennessey was taken out of the game as manager Felipe Alou gave his pitcher an early shot at the showers. "I can't even start to explain it," Hennessey said. "I'm as frustrated as I've ever been. I took it out on the treadmill for about half an hour and burned it off that way." Alou said that although Hennessey was not walking any batters -- he only walked one -- he did not see his pitcher make any of the pitches that made him successful in his scoreless effort last Sunday. "He was up, his sinker was -- actually, I didn't see any of his good pitches tonight," Alou said. "He did not have the heavy sinker that we saw in San Diego." Alou also noted that most of Hennessey's poor games have come on the shores of McCovey Cove. In 13 home appearances this season, Hennessey, who has been a reliever most of the season, has a mild 0-2 record with one save. His 3.77 home ERA entering Saturday's game is surprisingly low, but pales in comparison to a 2.08 road ERA and 5-1 road record this season. "I've seen that, too, but I can't explain that either," Hennessey said of the home/road disparity. "My mind-set's the same, my mentality is the same, I prepare the same, I felt the same ... I don't know. It is what it is, I guess." The pitcher was also asked if he felt that he may have been a little too pumped up before the game in anticipation of pitching in the storied division rivalry with Los Angeles. "It wasn't the first time facing the Dodgers," he said. "Going into L.A., I didn't have a problem there." "Overexcitement is nothing. I can't blame it on anything. It's just one of those days." Hennessey's replacement, Jamey Wright, didn't fare much better in the second inning as well, as the Dodgers ended up plating a total of seven runs in the frame to jump to an early 10-0 lead over San Francisco. But the large Dodgers lead began to dwindle as Wright settled down and the Giants' offense picked up where it left off Friday night, smacking a number of base hits and a pair of home runs off future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux and former Giant Brett Tomko. "It was good to see the offense go out there and still be able to fight back and keep us in the game for a while," Hennessey said. Moises Alou's fourth-inning, three-run home run was perhaps the biggest jolt to San Francisco's confidence, as he slapped a towering drive just out of the reach of Andre Ethier's glove. The Giants continued to fight back, as Eliezer Alfonzo's seventh-inning home run gave the Giants their final run of the game. As the Dodgers removed two of their veterans -- former Giants Jeff Kent and Kenny Lofton -- in the second and third innings, respectively, the Giants found themselves in a similar situation in the fourth, when veteran slugger Barry Bonds was taken out of the game due to tightness in his back. According to Alou, Bonds had been questionable before the game because of his back, but decided to play. With the game stuck in an early 10-0 blowout, the player opted to come out of the contest, the manager said. Alou also said Bonds was doubtful for Sunday afternoon's game and is listed as day-to-day.
Coley Harvey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.