SAN FRANCISCO — Picked-up pieces while the Red Sox play the most historic franchises in hardball history (Yankees, Giants, now Dodgers) back-to-back-to-back.
■ The Giants were an embarrassment in their spectacular ballpark this week. Wednesday’s 12-1 loss underscored the nagging notion that the Sox should have swept the defending world champions. Bruce Bochy’s team simply can’t score, which is why Tuesday’s 3-2 Sox loss is especially painful.
I’ll forever be in favor of Shane Victorino letting Buster Posey’s eighth-inning fly ball drop into foul territory. The Sox were leading, 2-1, and the Giants had runners on first and third with one out in the eighth.
When Victorino caught the deep foul ball, Marco Scutaro tagged up and scored the tying run. Posey is San Francisco’s best player and he might have come back to haunt you with a three-run homer, but the Giants at that moment had scored one run in 16-plus innings and Posey had two strikes on him.
John Farrell contends that you might let the ball fall if the game were tied, but not with a one-run lead. I’d let it drop every time, especially given the Giants’ struggles at the plate. In three games, the Giants scored four runs, including a bases-loaded walk and the cheesy sac fly. They went 0 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
It’s weird to think that the Giants and Red Sox have won four of the last nine World Series.
■ Brayan Villarreal’s appearance in the ninth Tuesday gave talk radio its best crack at Farrell this year. Seeing Koji Uehara brought into a 12-1 game Wednesday only made it worse. Wonder if Villarreal knows that Darrell Brandon lost a game during the 1967 pennant race by walking home a run with the bases loaded against the White Sox?
■ Not much of a debut for Xander Bogaerts. He left five men on base in his first two big league at-bats Tuesday and almost hit into a double play when he batted in the eighth Wednesday. He was spared an error when the official scorer ruled “base hit” on Posey’s hard hopper to third in the seventh.
The 20-year-old Bogaerts might need a chauffeur when the Sox come home next week. He still doesn’t have his US driver’s license.
■ Will Middlebroooks played second base in Wednesday’s rout.
“I thought I misunderstood him [Farrell] when he told me,’’ said Middlebrooks. “I had to go back and get a different glove.’’
Middlebrooks turned a nifty double play on Hunter Pence’s grounder to short in the seventh.
“I haven’t turned a double play since I was 18 in Texarkana,’’ said Middlebrooks, who also hit his 11th home run of the season. He said the double play was a bigger deal than the homer.
■ Anybody worried about Big Papi? He went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts Monday, didn’t play Tuesday, and went 0 for 3 with another pair of strikeouts before he was pulled from the game Wednesday with a lower-back tightness. “General soreness,’’ said Farrell.
■ Under the radar, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is having a pretty good year. We always wait for him to slouch in the second half, but it’s not happening this year. He’s at .272 and has hit in nine consecutive games.
■ I e-mailed John Henry and Larry Lucchino to get a statement regarding Ryan Dempster’s suspension. Nothing. Crickets. And here I thought we’d be toasting one another on John’s boat and swapping secrets now that Henry is buying the Globe.
■ Dennis Eckersley said he didn’t have much history throwing at hitters, even though he broke in under manager Frank Robinson, the all-time eye-for-an-eye guy.
“The only guy I put on his butt was Rod Carew, but that was because he hit a line drive off my wrist and then didn’t even acknowledge it when he was at first base. I figured he would have winked at me or something. It ticked me off.’’
■ Weird to see Lars Anderson, out of baseball, wearing street clothes, visiting with former teammates near the Sox dugout.
■ A 3-foot-tall cigar store Indian appeared in the Sox clubhouse before Wednesday’s game. The wooden statue rested in a coffin-like equipment bag while the Sox dressed for travel after their big win against the Giants.
“I don’t know who bought it, but it’s coming with us,’’ said clubhouse boss Tommy McLaughlin. “It’s going to be sitting next to me on the flight.’’
“I’ve got a passport for that thing,’’ said Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick. “I can tell you his date of birth.’’
■ No doubt we’ll see Scott Boras at Dodger Stadium. Even without great power numbers, it’s looking more and more like Boras will be able to get $100 million for Jacoby Ellsbury. The Spray Tan Guy had three more hits Wednesday (his 14th three-hit game), is at .299, and stole his 46th base. That’s 46 for 50 and only twice has Ellsbury been thrown out by a catcher. I’m thinking he ends up with the Phillies, Mets, or Mariners.
■ Saturday we see if Jon Lester can snap his 0-for-28 career-long batting slump. Lester has 16 K’s and one walk. Take heart, Jon. Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax was another lefty hurler who was not much of a hitter. Koufax went 75 for 776 for an average of .097 with two homers and 386 strikeouts.
“I hit three home runs in my career,’’ said Eckersley. “I never knew how to run them out. I know I was pumping my arms too hard and high the first time. I went with flaps down after that.’’
■ Architect Janet Marie Smith, who may someday be in the Hall of Fame, will greet the Red Sox at Dodger Stadium. Smith and Lucchino had the vision for Camden Yards, which changed the way ballparks are built. Smith was in charge of the Fenway renovation and is now rebuilding the ballpark at Chavez Ravine. The Cubs should have hired her to put some polish on crumbling Wrigley Field.
■ Can’t wait to exchange pleasantries with Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Seeing the Boston media no doubt will be a party starter for Crawford and the Cooler.
It’ll also be great to finally see Yasiel Puig. From a distance, Puig looks like one-third Albert Belle, one-third Roberto Clemente, and one-third Wilt Chamberlain. Wish the Dodgers would take infield just so we could watch Puig throw it from right.
■ Could the Red Sox be just a little more cautious with Clay Buchholz?
■ The Sox are 17-17 over their last 34 games.
■ Happy 74th birthday to Yaz, the greatest living Red Sox player.