Greek Giant

The Giants lost there second consecutive game to the Guardians in Cleveland yesterday by a score of 5-4, the same score with which they lost on Saturday. Things were looking rosy for the Giants and a possible series win with Hayden Birdsong cruising with a 3-0 lead entering the bottom of the fourth inning and the Clevelanders looking a bit perplexed. But the second time through the order for the Guardian left-handed hitters proved to be too much for the Giant rookie making his second Major League start. That inning, along with the bottom of the sixth, proved to be the difference-maker in the game. The Bottom of the fourth inning started with a Martinez single and a Ramirez ground rule double. Then a single by Naylor and a double by Schneeman plated two runs, Each of the Guardians who reached base with knocks were lefties seeing Birdsong the second time in the game. It goes to show you what smart, veteran hitting can do against a young rookie, even one as promising as Birdsong. The inning could have been much worse but Matt Chapman threw a runner out at the plate on a routine grounder. It was a mistake for the Guardian runner to go on that play and it helped the Giants. Then Birdsong picked off Tyler Freeman and the inning was over.

The Giants were still in the lead, 3-2.

But with Birdsong tiring after 85 pitches and Giants Manager Bob Melvin playing it safe with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning by bringing in the usually reliable Sean Hjelle the game took another turn. Though Hjelle did not give up a run in the fifth, it was the bottom of the sixth that saw him come undone, thanks to a three-run homer by Bo Naylor. That put Cleveland up 5-3. I wonder why the Giants and Melvin elected to go with Hjelle with Cleveland’s lefty-staked line up. It is a fair second guess, particularly the way they were swinging the bat against Birdsong. We will never know.

From there the Giants scored a run with two outs in the top of the ninth thanks to a ground out. They were given new life when the game should have ended on a routine grounder with two outs by Luis Matos but Angel Martinez sailed the through way beyond the reach of any human first baseman. Suddenly with two outs Matos was on first and Brett “Mr. Clutch” Wisely was at bat. But Wisely would ground out to second and the game was over.

The big hit for the Giants was a two-run homer by Michael Conforto off a Carlos Carrasco curveball in the top of the second inning. It came with Patrick Baiely on first, courtesy of a single. Heliot Ramos drove in Nick Ahmed with a two-out single in the top of the third inning. The Giants had seven hits in the game.

The series was an interesting one as the Giants went toe-to-toe with the Guardians, the hottest team in baseball. They were bested by veteran Cleveland bats.

Giants Trade Austin Slater to Reds

In a move that seemed inevitable given the rise of Heliot Ramos and the continuing promise of Luis Matos, the Giants announced a trade with the Reds that sends Austin Slater to Cincy for LHP Alex Young and cash considerations.
Slater had a classy Twitter post to Giants fans:

I have always believed Slater’s career was badly mis-handled by the Giants, who kept jerking him around, first as a bench player and later as an on-again, off again utility player then as a platooner under the Zaidi regime. I believe had he played everyday earlier in his career he would have likely produced enough to become a much more valuable player, injuries aside. Oh, yes, those pesky injuries. For whatever reason, Slater had many of them and they were also a big reason he could not get any traction as a regular player.
So long Austin, you were a good Giant.

Logan Webb and Heliot Ramos Are All Stars!

Congratulations to both of them! They are well-deserved honors.

The Highlight