The Giants won 4-1! The Giants beat the Twins in a game that saw the boys score four first inning runs before they recorded an out. Talk about an auspicious beginning! But that’s not the whole story of the game because the Giants pitching staff allowed one run in nine innings by using a variety of arms to hold down the fort and get their team six wins out of their last seven contests.
The Giant Runs
That excellent first began this way: a walk on eight pitches by LaMonte Leadoff Wade Jr., a walk by Yaz and a double by J. D. Davis over the left fielder’s head. A wild throw put runners on second and third with a run in and nobody out for Michael Conforto, the fifth batter of the inning. He hit a 93 MPH belt-high fastball from Twins pitcher Bailey Ober that was tailing towards the outside corner. Conforto took it to deep left center field, just over the wall and the leap by Byron Buxton.
“This is the Michael Conforto everybody expects to see…”
Literally one second later: pic.twitter.com/x9jJyM0rhE
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) May 22, 2023
Conforto is now heating up in a way. That dinger was his ninth of the year. He now has 22 RBIs as well putting both numbers on a pace for a fine season, despite the batting average in the low 200s.
I want to get back to J. D. Davis for a minute. That run batted in in the first inning to start the scoring was his 26th of the season. He is easily the Giants best run-producer and has shown a tremendous leadership presence in the lineup, no matter where he plays or if he is the designated hitter, as he was again last night.
Credit to the Giants for giving Casey Schmitt a chance to take over the third base role and keeping Davis’s bat in the line up.
It’s a good thing the bullpen was on last night because the bats went down quietly for the other eight innings against the Twins.
Manaea and CO.
The bullpen heroes on this night were John Brebbia, the starter who pitched one inning by design, Tristan Beck, who gave up the only run, a solo homer, in 2 2/3 innings of work, Tyler Rogers and Scott Alexander who got the save. The big contribution and the majority of innings came from Sean Manaea who used a consistently 94-96 MPH fastball up in the zone to crunch the Twins into weak fly balls and strikeouts. In watching the replay of the game it looked like Manaea was kind of pitching on a mission, like his career depended on it. He had good movement on his pitches and quite a bit of anger and aggressive body language into his mound demeanor. The results were superb, one of his best outings on the season. His total line went like this: 3 2/3 innings, three hits, eight strikeouts and three walks on only three hits and ZERO runs. He set the tone for the game after taking over for taking over for Brebbia in the bottom of the second inning.
Maybe Sean’s been reading my posts about sending him packing.
Also, the defense played well last night. Brett Wisely made a beautiful play demonstrating great range, athleticism and a spring to his step. Notice how gracefully he bounces up and throws after diving to his left on this ball that sure looked like a hit off the bat:
Light work for Wisely 🥱 pic.twitter.com/VhnH8uVPG1
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) May 23, 2023
The Giants take on the Minnesota baseball club at 6:40 PM, Twins time with Alex Cobb facing Sonny Gray. It will be game two of the series. The Giants are now one game under .500 at 23-24, six games behind the Dodgers who are peeling off wins like they are going out of style.