Coming into yesterday’s game the Cardinals had the worst record after 25 games (10-15) in the past fifty years of their history. To make matters worse,Cardinals starter Miles “Mustache” Mikolas came into yesterday’s series-ending game against the Giants with MLB’s worst batting average (.366) to opposing hitters and a 10.05 ERA through his first three starts of the season. But, unfortunately for the Giants he had begun to turn things around in his previous two starts and continued that trend shutting out the hometown San Franciscans yesterday while pitching six 1/3 innings. It is my force of habit, since this is a Giants blog, to rarely write about opposing players, especially opposing pitchers. On this day my quasi-journalistic credentials would merit revocation were I to ignore Mikolas’s performance, because, despite Logan Webb’s super start, the Cardinal pitcher was just better against our Giants, who were flying high on a five-game winning streak.
The first run of the game, scored by the Cardinals, came on a rising Logan Webb fastball towards the outside corner of the plate that looked unhittable. But, Cardinal lefty slugger Burleson smoked it over the right field wall in the top of the seventh to initiate the festivities of Cardinals run. It had been, to that point, a classic pitcher’s duel on a bright and shiny San Francisco afternoon.
Webb’s Excellent Afternoon Not Enough
Logan Webb pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs. The key play for him was the last out of the top of the seventh that he nearly recorded but did not when a close play at first was overturned upon replay review. Thairo Estrada made a great play to range to his right on a grounder by Edman who stretched to step on the bag a microsecond before Estrada’s throw arrived. It was the right call. Webb would be lifted but unfortunately John Brebbia would allow two of his own runs and one of Webb’s.
Paul DeJong would hit a homer in that top of the eighth inning that barely cleared the wall. Why am I mentioning it? Because LaMonte Wade Jr. never saw the ball. He was in left and was protecting his eyes from the sun. If that ball doesn’t go out I am writing about another shaky Giants defense. As it stands, the Giants were just undone by a better starting pitcher. It happens.
Tristan Beck did the same thing with his work in the top of the eighth and ninth innings and the ball game was over, 6-zip. Webb deserved better but unfortunately he suffered his Major League-leading fifth loss of the year with only one win.
If Estrada’s throw arrives one millisecond faster we are talking about a 1-0 game in the bottom of the seventh and the hometown heroes ready to stage another big win.
It did not happen and it is nobody’s fault. No, it’s not Crawford’s fault either. Yes, he made a key error on a sure double play by throwing wide of first base. It was clear that he never got a good grip on the ball. There was another interesting defensive play that hurt the Giants when, with a routine, fairly slow roller to third, David Villar elected to try for a double play with one out and Cardinals on first and third. The ball was not hit hard enough and in that situation the throw should have gone home to get the runner at the plate. The result was another run scoring as the dp was not made.
Giant Bats Come Up Empty
The Giants’ best scoring chance came in the fifth inning when they loaded the bases with one out. But when Estrada hit a short dribbler in front of home plate Cardinal catcher Andrew Knizner was able to grab the ball and tag out David Villar at home. Joc Pederson would then line out. No Dice.
It was not the Giants day. They now have a record of 11-14 and are 7-7 at home.
Let’s be real here folks and remember that the Giants went 5-3 on this eight game home-stand against the Mets and Cardinals. I will take that every time, and so will you!
The Giants are off today and travel to Mexico to play two games against the Padres. That’s cool.
Finally, the Mainstream Press Wakes Up!
I want to add a few links to articles critical of Giants ownership and management. Finally, the mainstream press is waking up and in the wake of the news of the Athletics eventual departure to Las Vegas, have started to sharpen the pens and point them towards Charles Johnson and Farhan Zaidi. It’s about time and their lack of honesty and insight is one reason you read TWG. We’re not beholden to anyone!
My thanks to BSTDFA for providing the links, and the idea, in a recent comment.