by
Greek Giant

With their 3-0 win over the Blue Jays in Toronto last night the Giants won their tenth straight road game in June and have not yet suffered a loss while wearing the grey uniforms. You read that correctly!

On paper things did not look good for the Giants going into last night’s game against the Blue Jays. For San Francisco it was Ryan Walker listed as the starter which means it was a game in which a different reliever was scripted to pitch throughout the game. Giant Manager Gabe Kapler has had the habit of using the second pitcher in the second inning and riding him for three, four or five innings to bridge the gap to the sixth and seventh inning guys. Last night that innings eater was Alex Wood.

Your 2023 Giants: Never Look at the Matchups!

For the Blue Jays, Kevin Gausman, their ace and former and forever Giant was the starter. True to form he was fantastic, going six innings and allowing only one run while striking out 12 Giants. Many Giants looked helpless against Gausman. Go back and Watch Pederson’s swing in his strikeout. Watch LaMonte Wade Jr. look stunned at a 96 MPH sizzler on the black. There were others. In fact Gausman retired the first 11 batters he faced and looked dominant in doing so.

But for the Giants, Gabe Kapler threw a surprise. Instead of a pitcher like Keaton Winn or Taylor Rogers, he elected to bring in Alex Wood to pitch the second inning. The strategy worked as Wood would pitch five innings to go with Tyler Rogers’s 1 2/3 innings and Camilo Doval’s scoreless ninth. In all the Giants pitchers struck out 17 Blue Jays and shut them out! The pitchers did not walk anyone!

WOW!

This Toronto team is not known for their strikeouts but they are known for scoring runs, 361 in all going into last night’s game, good enough for fifth in the Junior Circuit. The Giants must like the cooking in Toronto.

Alex Wood Pitches With Passion

Wood was unquestionably one of the stars of the game. His fastball was especially effective down in the zone and he was able to get ahead in the count and avoid the walks that killed him in his previous start. He earned the win for his efforts to raise his record to 3-2.

Ryan Walker’s Big First Inning

But on this night the Giants pitchers were too good for Toronto. There were a few scares along the way, however. In the bottom of the first, George Springer doubled down the right field line and was moved to third on Bo Bichette’s single. That made it runners on first and third with nobody out and Brandon Belt at the plate. Walker struck Belt out and then struck out Guerrero Jr and Matt Chapman to preserve the zero to start the game. It was an impressive bit of pitching from the young right-hander and it set the tone for the rest of the game.

Ode to Patrick Bailey

The Blue Jays, wearing their baby blue uniforms (those should only be worn on the road) and ready to mash, were instead humbled in front of a big crowd at Dave Stieb Stadium in downtown Toronto. The Giants? Well they finally broke through in the top of the fifth inning when after Sabol flied out Thairo Estrada singled. A balk moved him to third and with a 3-2 count Patrick Bailey rifled a double off a splitter down the right field line to score Thairo. Bailey’s was a superb bit of hitting. He changed the position of his hands and choked up to be quicker and quick he was.

Bailey also threw out Whit Merrifield trying to steal second base in the bottom of the third with one out. The call was first ruled safe but was overturned upon review. Thairo Estrada made a great tag on a sidearm throw that was placed perfectly. Estrada was able to tag Merrifield’s backside just a smidge before the Blue Jay’s hand touched second base. The pitch on which Bailey made the throw was low so the Giant catcher had to make an especially quick transfer and release. He did so and showed why he has the second fastest pop time (glove to glove) in the Big Leagues. Bailey is an example of a baseball player who may not have the best arm, the fastest feet or the strongest bat but because of his skills and his smarts he is able to achieve superlative baseball objectives. He has an uncanny ability for accurate throws to second and his throws to third are just lightning quick. Bailey’s release is so quick as to be electric. Blink and you may miss it.

The Shutout Preserved

The Blue Jays would only have four more base runners from the sixth inning on and the Giants would add two runs in the ninth inning off a booming double to left right off the top of the wall by Thairo Estrada with two runners on. Estrada missed a homer by about 14 inches. It was his second hit of the game.

The hit changed the tone of the game and allowed Camilo Doval to exhale while earning his 23rd save.

The Blue Jays are still shaking their heads and asking: “Who are these Giants?”

San Francisco is now 45-34, 2.5 games behind the Diamondbacks who also won last night.

Tonight’s Game

Tonight’s game will take place at 7:07 PM in Toronto. Logan Webb will start for the Giants against an as yet undisclosed starter for the Blue Jays. It seems the Toronto Manager wants to use those Bush League tactics of not announcing his starter until the very last minute. It’s a bit lame, to be honest.