Greek Giant

This was a very interesting win by the giants. With their 3-1 win yesterday afternoon at Fenway the Giants were able to avoid the sweep and grab their first win of their East coast road trip. There were many key players in the game but I want to start with Kyle Harrison. He pitched five innings and allowed one run. That one run was the key to the Giants win because Harrison was not his best on this day, walking five Red Sox and hitting another. He only gave up three hits and was able to pitch around traffic, as they say. The Red Sox had nine men on base in Harrison’s five innings. They had ample opportunities to break the game open but Harrison’s ability to get strikeouts on his high fastball (seven of them in the game) got him out of trouble. Harrison’s stuff on the surface may not look like a power pitcher’s arsenal but it plays very much in that way. WIth Harrison struggling a bit with control issues he was able to get the big K when he needed it. That’s the mark of a mature, gutsy performance and I was very impressed.

The game was scoreless until the top of the third inning when Yaz came to the plate to lead off and hit a high, arcing home run to right center that woke up the Giants and even garnered some applause from the Red Sox fans. It was great to see a homer by Yaz at Fenway, home to many of his grandfather’s heroics. It was also great that the home run came in a winning effort.

Yaz also gave this fan a great birthday gift:

In the bottom of the third Harrison allowed a game-tying double off the Green Monster but limited the damage thereafter. Both teams held firm until the top of the seventh when the Giants demonstrated something we have not seen much of in the past two seasons: Exceptional clutch hitting and exceptional situational hitting. The winning rally started with a Patrick Bailey single to left followed by a Matt Chapman single up the middle that Bailey was able to advance to third base on. With runners on first and third and nobody out Thairo Estrada singled against the shift past second base on the right side of the infield. Had Red Sox second baseman Tyler O’Neil been playing the standard position that would have been either a force out at home or a double play. Instead it gave the Giants the lead.

Bravo Thairo. If you watch the replays you can see Estrada was obviously taking that fastball and trying to go the other way.

That’s a fantastic job of professional hitting. After Austin Slater struck out swinging Nick Ahmed hit a sac fly to left center that would score Chapman, who had advanced to third on Estrada’s single earlier in the inning. That’s another example of great situational hitting. I want to mention Chapman’s base running here too. The Giants have been much better so far this season at taking the extra bases and challenging outfielders. In this case it lead to a much-needed insurance run.
Jung Hoo also made a diving catch to prevent a run with a runner on second and two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. He made this spectacular grab after losing a ball in the sun earlier in the game. It was a huge play!

With Walker, Miller and Tyler Rogers each pitching a scoreless inning in relief of Harrison Camilo Doval was able to get the save with a scoreless ninth inning and the Giants were able to get a much-needed win after two dismal losses in Boston. The win went to Ryan Walker who was the pitcher of record when the Giants rallied in the seventh.

Tonight’s Game

The Giants begin a three-game series tonight against the Phillies in Philadelphia. First pitch is at 6:45 PM. The starting pitchers are Jordan Hicks and Aaron Nola. It should be a good one. Note that the game will be televised on Apple TV+.