Greek Giant

Keaton Winn Excels

Keaton Winn pitched six super innings, dominant innings in which he allowed only a solo homer, to earn his second win of the year against three losses. The 5-2 win gave the Giants momentum after a loss yesterday and propels the team forward into the series against a Mets team that has often given them fits in years pst. In fact this season, after an 0-5 start the Mets had won 12 of 16 heading into last night’s game. Winn’s split finger fastball was dynamite for most of the night, the exception being a mis-placed splitter floating in the inside corner hammered by Pete Alonso. That ball was hit so hard it caused permanent damage to the roof of the ambulance in the passageway down the left field line. But I digress..

This night was about a Giants team that played very well overall, despite a ninth inning hiccup by Camilo Doval, to ge their 11th win of the season. Winn started the game facing the minimum twelve batters through four innings, despite giving up two hits on those innings. The Mets had some weird things going on in this game and did not play a clean game. Let’s start with Marte’s bunt hit that was fielded by Winn but thrown past the first baseman Wilmer Flores. Because Austin Slater was alertly covering the play behind the line he was able to easily throw out Marte who mis-read the play and tried to advance to second base. In a way I like the aggressiveness, but I like Austin Slater’s hustle and smart sense better.

The Giant Runs

Winn would exit the game with a 4-1 lead thanks to some clutch hitting by the Giants. First, with two outs in the bottom of the second inning Nick Ahmed single up the middle to score two runs. The ball was knocked down by Francisco Lindor who made a valiant attempt to prevent the hit from entering second. But the carom was far enough away for Michael Conforto to score from second. That made it 2-0 Giants with Winn Cruising.

The Giants scored their third and fourth runs on a double with one out and down the left field line by Matt Chapman. With Flores on second and Lee on first that hit should not have scored Lee but the ball was misplayed by left fielder Brandon Nimmo who allowed the double to roll past him. That difference meant another run, a big run, for the Giants as Lee read the play the whole way and just sailed home.

Speaking of Jung Hoo I have been watching Lee run the bases and he is so fundamentally sound, always at full speed, always making precise turns, not too wide, not too short and always looking in front, never turning to see what is happening. He is a textbook, ballplayer’s ballplayer and I love watching him play. Anyway, those two runs made it 4-0 before Alonso’s homer. The Giants would then counter in the bottom of the sixth inning with a first pitch smash laser beam home run off the bat of Michael Conforto. That ball was rocketed off Mets Starter Jose Quintana. It was a slowish slervy pitch that Conforto was sitting on to begin the at bat. No taking a pitch for a pitch’s sake there.

Bravo Michael!

Doval’s Nervy Ninth

It’s interesting that Bob Melvin brought in Camilo Doval for the ninth in a 5-1 game. Well unfortunately, the Mets would score one run and threaten more in that ninth and that made the game a little edgy. Doval would drop a throw from Flores while covering first to record an out. That error lead to a run that scored on a wild pitch. It was not Doval’s best game but in the end, with two runners on, he recorded the final out to preserve the win, but did not get the save.

Doval did, however make a grand entrance as the Giants extinguished all the lights at Willie Mays Field and offered their reliever a spotlight, primed for Broadway as he entered the field and made his way to the mound. It was weird, frankly and I am not sure how to feel about it. My first impression is that it sucks and is a bit goofy. I prefer the way the Mets do it with live musical accompaniment.

The Giants Are Still Getting Caught Looking Too Many Times!

Speaking of Taking pitches… The Giants struck out three times while looking at the third strike with their bats on their shoulders. I won’t name names but in all three cases I saw a strike three thrown by Jose Quintana on the inside corner of the plate. This simply should not happen! Well, i need to name one name because Matt Chapman was victimized in his first at bat on a border line but too close to take strike three fastball on the inside corner. In his next at bat he swatted a slider down the left field line, also on the inside corner, to score two runs. That’s a veteran adjustment.

A Word About the Giants Backup Catching Situation

So the Giants jettisoned Joey Bart for this?!!!? I hate to pile on a player but Tom Murphy is not the answer for the Giants as the backup catcher. With Joey Bart having an excellent Spring and then being traded to the Pirates and doing quite well for them, it’s hard not to say hindsight, whatever. I mean if you wanted evidence for the theory that Farhan Zaidi does everything he can to undermine draft choices from the previous regime, like Bart was, then here it is. Murphy has not played well defensively or offensively and signing him during the offseason appears to show that Zaidi had already decided Bart was gone before he even had a chance in Spring Training. It’s a miscalculation. I mean the Giants could have promoted Bart to backup and signed someone else as insurance but that’s not the way Zaidi rolls.

Tonight’s Game

The Mets and Giants play game two of their series tonight at 6:45 PM. It will be Severino facing Webb on the mound.