San Francisco Giants closer Hunter Strickland blew a save and took the loss Monday night, and then the Giants lost Strickland for six to eight weeks when he punched a door in anger and broke his hand.
Strickland had surgery on the pinkie finger of his right hand, according to manager Bruce Bochy. The 29-year-old was placed on the 10-day disabled list, with right-hander Pierce Johnson recalled from Triple-A Sacramento in a corresponding roster move.
Bochy, who has dealt with a string of pitching injuries during the season, wasn’t pleased to add Strickland to the list.
“The closer has got to have emotional control,” Bochy told reporters. “We all get frustrated and that’s a tough loss and a gut-wrenching loss. I’m sure he felt full responsibility. He didn’t think before it happened. I’m thoroughly disappointed, trust me. I’m crushed, because this guy has grown as a pitcher and a person. I know Hunter cares deeply.”
The Giants began the ninth inning leading 4-2 against the Miami Marlins. Three hits and two walks later, Strickland was out of the game and the Marlins had the lead. Instead of his 14th save in his 17th opportunity, he took his third loss.
Strickland has a 2.84 ERA in 31 2/3 innings this season.
San Francisco already has starters Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto on the DL. Ace Madison Bumgarner and Mark Melancon also missed significant time to start the season with injuries.
Melancon, who was signed to a four-year, $62 million contract in December 2016 to be the team’s closer, isn’t yet ready to return to the role, Bochy said. Either Sam Dyson or Tony Watson will fill the role while Strickland is sidelined.
“Your closer is somebody who has to be resilient, and I’m not sure that Mark’s at that stage right now,’’ Bochy said.
—Field Level Media