Greek Giant

Ok, so by now you all know I hate the idea of relievers starting games. I mean I really HATE IT and I will never accept it and if it continues to be a trend it is quite possible I wills top watching baseball. But last night the Giants TBD did very well against the Cubs and their starting pitcher Kyle AKA “Giant Killer” Hendricks in their 5-1 victory at Willie Mays Field to win the second game of the series. This was a pitcher’s duel from the start right up until the Giants scored three runs to break the game open in the bottom of the eighth inning against? you guessed it!, Colten Brewer, a reliever who came into the game after Kyle Hendricks was pulled upon throwing 100 pitches and completing seven innings generally flummoxing and perplexing the Giants hitters.

But this time the Giants relief corps of Rodriguez, Hjelle, Taylor Rogers, Ryan Walker, Tyler Rogers and Camilo Doval (basically half the pitching staff) would shut down the Cubs by allowing only that single run and four hits while walking four and striking out 11. If I’m a Cubs fan I ain’t too happy with my hitters right now. After a rough few recent outings Randy Rodriguez, who started and pitched 2 1/3 innings pitched quite well despite allowing one run that scored after a stolen base and a single. I think he should be converted to a starting pitcher.

The Giants scored first with a two-run bottom of the second inning that began with a Soler single and a Chapman walk. Conforto drove in Soler with a single to right and then David Villar (remember him?) came through with a sac fly that was a bullet and should have been a double. Instead it was caught in left because Villar hit it right at the Cub outfielder. Nevertheless the Giants were up 2-0 against Kyle Hendricks, a guy who has a career 7-2 record with an ERA of 2.30 in 13 appearances against our Giants. To say he dominates our team is putting it lightly. His combination of big curves, slow fastballs and general precision with location create big frustrations for San Francisco hitters and last night was not much different, apart from that bottom of the second inning. In fact at one point Hendricks retired 11 batters in a row.

When the Cubs answered with a single run in the top of the third inning (another non-shutdown inning by Giants pitchers if you’re keeping score at home) it appeared things might get a bit dicey for TBD but, fear not (as the Brits say), TBD was up to the task the rest of the way. Things were getting tense until the bottom of the eighth and the Giants rallied. It went this way: Matos singled, for his second hit of the day. Then Brett Wisely hit a monster shot to deep right center field that is a homer in any other Major League ballpark. In fact it was so majestic a drive that Brett Wisely decided to spectate it, admire it, contemplate his future and think of a special high-five celebration when he crossed home plate.

The only problem was the ball was hit in San Francisco which means Willie Mays Field and Triples Alley. It was played off the wall perfectly by Cody Bellinger and because Wisely became a spectator to his own hit, he ended up on second instead of third with a triple. Heliot Ramos then walked to load the bases. Then Patrick Bailey hit into a force play where an out was record at home by Dansby Swanson, who was playing in. Thankfully Soler then came through with a sac fly to deep right to get that important third run home. With two outs Matt Chapman hit the first pitch he saw through the left side of the infield between short and third to score two more runs and make the game 5-1. From there Camilo Doval took over and pitched a drama-free ninth for the W!

The Highlights

Tonight’s Game

Game three of the series takes place tonight at 6:45 PM with a pitching matchup of Wesneski vs.Birdsong.