Greek Giant

Casey Goes Deep!

There was a buzz in Willie Mays Field and in the Giants blogsphere when the news reached the fans that San Francisco had promoted Casey Schmitt to make his Major League debut before last night’s 4-1 victory over the Nationals of D.C. It turned out to be quite a debut as Casey went 2-4 and hit a solo home run during his second at bat with his family watching and celebrating in the stands.

Schmitt would later single and play a flawless shortstop. It could be that this game marks the beginning of an era for the Giants with Brandon Crawford’s career winding down and J. D. Davis nailing down third base for the foreseeable future.
The Giants did this to celebrate Schmitt’s debut:

Logan Webb’s Excellence Continues

Logan Webb pitches seven strong innings working in and out of jams with a variety of strikeouts on offspeed stuff, especially the change-up, perhaps his best pitch of the night. He allowed only one run on nine hits and seven strikeouts against one walk for those seven innings in which he threw 105 pitches with 85 of those going for strikes. That’s an exceptionally high percentage for any pitcher. Webb was able to wriggle out of trouble thanks to his veteran savvy (combined with Joey Bart’s battery work) by making the young Nationals hitter, including rookie Jacob Alu, to flail hopelessly at those aforementioned change-ups. It was an example of a mismatch and a veteran using his arsenal and experience to get the better of his opponents, a Nationals team more talented than their record shows.

The big inning of trouble for Webb was the top of the second when Washington put runners on second and third with nobody out. Webb then struck out the next three batters. Job Done!

The one run he allowed came on a superb piece of hitting by Dominic Smith. The savvy lefty served a single into left field on the first pitch by Webb, a sinker below the knees on the outside corner, with a National on third in the top of the sixth inning with one out. It was clear from Smith’s swing he just wanted to make hard simple contact and shorten his swing against Webb. It’s a simple hit and a simple trick that should be on the video lessons for hitters both of the Little and Major League varieties.

Webb would earn the win and raise his record to 3-5 while lowering his ERA to 3.46 after starting the season uh-oh for 5. Boy has he turned it around!

The Giant Runs

The Giants opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on a sizzling hot hot double Mitch Haniger with Austin Slater and Thairo Estrada on base.

Slater reached on a throwing error by the Nationals shortstop. That play was originally called safe by the first base ump but it was later corrected, in fact quickly corrected by his umpire teammates as the Nationals first baseman Dominic Smith bobbled the scoop attempt. It was a key play in the game.

Haniger’s ball looked like a hard hit single to right center but it was hit deceptively hard, at least 101 MPH and got past the Nationals outfield to roll to the wall. It came on a Patrick Corbin fastball on the inside part of the plate. Patrick Corbin was not terrible on this night but it appears he has lost a bit on his heater. The Schmitt homer created the third run of the game for the San Franciscans and that knock too came on a Corbin fastball on the inside corner that Schmitt laced over the 391 sign in left center.

The fourth Giant run came on a single by J. D. Davis in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs to score Thairo Estrada.

Speaking of Estrada, Thairo made a diving stop and throw to get Nationals shortstop C. J. Abrams in the top of the sixth inning with runners on first and second. The play saved a run and was one example of Estrada’s value as a player with exceptional athleticism and smarts. In fact, he may have been robbed of a homer in the bottom of the first inning when a blast he hit was ruled foul and the Giants for some strange reason, did not review the play. The Giant announcing team of Fleming and Miller were certain the ball grazed the fair pole. Oh. well….

Doval Saves the Win

Camilo Doval earned his eighth save of the year with a three-up three down and dominant inning in what was an illustration of a mismatch. He struck out the first two batters he faced before inducing a weak grounder to Thairo Estrada to end the game. Doval was fantastic and looks to be settling in nicely into that closer role with the new pitch clock.

Today’s Game

The Giants and Nationals play the decisive game of the series today at 12:45 PM. Sean Manaea pitches for the Giants. He will face Josiah Gray of the Washingtonians.