Greek Giant

The Call

Let’s begin with the call at home that was overturned in the middle of the four-run fifth inning that saw the Giants wake from the dead and take a lead they would never relinquish. It was a correct call by New York. The call was simple: Padre catcher Gary Sanchez was blocking Blake Sabol’s path to the plate. It does not matter that Sabol was out by ten feet. It does not matter that the throw was up the line a bit. It does matter that Sanchez had planted himself in the baseline and there was no way Sabol could reach the plate without colliding with the Padre Catcher.

Result: Call overturned, run scores. Instead of a 1-0 game with the Padres in the dugout, the Giants went on to add two more runs on two-out RBI singles by Yaz (who later pulled his hamstring running the bases) and J. D. Davis. That call was a three-run over-turn in favor of the Giants. And, no, it did not mean the Padres would have won the game if it was not overturned. It just meant the score would have been 1-0.
Here is the Davis RBI hit:

Let’s move on to the decision by Mark Hallberg to send the runner on Joc Pederson’s base hit: I 100% agree with it. It does not matter that Fernando Tatis Jr. has a cannon for an arm, perhaps the best in baseball for an outfielder. Let’s look at the situation: The Giants were in desperate need of runs with. Yu Darvish dealing. There were two outs and Blake Sabol can fly. The decision was a solid one. It’s just that Tatis made an all-world play. Too bad about his catcher breaking the rule though…

The Bullpen Games Keep Working

I want to go on record as stating that I hate seeing relief pitchers start baseball games. It’s Un-American and it reeks of a kind of pseudo-thinking that flies in the face of 150 years of baseball history. Throw in the fact that the Giants are doing it in part because they are manipulating the service time of pitchers like Kyle Harrison by delaying their inevitable and much-needed promotions to the big club, and you get a process built in part on cynicism and avoidance. HOWEVER, the Giants keep doing it and they keep winning. I don’t have an official stat but my guess is they are about .600 when a reliever starts a game and it is hard, especially with a ten-game winning streak, to argue with those results. I do, however, want to mention one thing: The Giants relief corps are pitching like studs. Between Ryan Walker, Sean Hjelle and Camilo Doval, you have three guys who can blank any team. Throw in improved performances from Taylor Rogers and a consistent, despite a hiccup last night, Tyler Rogers and you have one of the most reliable pens in baseball.

Camilo Doval would end up earning his 20th save! That’s just a fantastic season by the young righty, who has only blown one save in 2023.

There were key moments throughout the game last night for the Giants pitching corps but for my money it was Sean Hjelle’s strike out of Fernando Tatis JR. with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the fifth inning that gave the Giants a little extra momentum.

Hjelle pitched four shutout innings and was terrific in allowing only three hits. He earned the win, deservedly so.

The Giant Bats

The Giants, once again, figured out a way to get runs in the middle innings, or more or less through their third time in the order. They have been consistently scoring in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings in this winning streak, making adjustments at the plate, getting big walks and those BIG two-out base hits. It’s uncanny now and If I have learned one thing in life is that when the same patterns keep emerging in baseball it must be more than uncanny, credit must be given to the Giants hitters and braintrust for making mid-game adjustments. Even Casey Schmitt is drawing walks. J. D. Davis continues to hit the other way and drive in runs.

I need to mention Luis Matos and his two infield hits and run scored last night. The young center fielder has yet to lose since playing his first game in the Major Leagues last Wednesday! I like that 1,000 winning percentage when he is in the line up. It’s no coincidence either. Matos has played a rock-solid center field while finding ways to get on base and score runs. He has been better than advertised so far!

Darvish in San Francisco

As I mentioned, Darvish was pitching like his life depended on it last night. Through the first four innings the Giants could barely muster two baserunners. They appeared at a complete loss and that happens when a supremely talented hurler has a night like Yu-know-who was having. In fact, it appeared Darvish was motivated by his career 10.13 ERA at Willie Mays Field. I could see a little extra “oomph” in his body language after every pitch. As I wrote many times before, for my money Yu Darvish is one of the most talented pitchers in baseball and his Major League career has been a conundrum with incredibly inconsistent performances in the regular and postseason.

Ten In a Row!

The Giants have won ten games in a row for the first time since 2004! The Giants are the hottest team in baseball with a record of 42-32 and have now climbed a season-high 10 games over .500, matching their best mark last year.  They’ve been the hottest team in baseball for over a month, going 25-9 since May 15, the best record in the Majors in that span.

Today’s Game

Yesterday I incorrectly wrote that the game played last night was the finale of the series (I since fixed that). Today is the finale of the four-game series with the Padres and the game begins at 12:45 PM with Alex Wood pitching for the Giants against Blake Snell. It should be a good one. The Giants are going for the sweep and their 11th consecutive victory!