In game two of this double-header, the Giants came out ahead, 8-3. It was an entire day of baseball for most of the players, and one would expect there to be a little less energy in the second game. Which was kind of true, it was much faster than the first game, and fewer runs were scored by the Dodgers (which is always important). But the Giants were able to keep up the pace of their offense between the two games. This time, with timely hitting.
One of the usual complaints about the Giants is the lack of hitting with runners in scoring position. Not tonight.
Austin Jackson had his first hero moment of the season when he came up to bat with the bases loaded in the fifth. He hit a base-clearing double to an empty left field. That was not the last time this would happen in this game.
With two outs in the seventh and Daniel Hudson pitching, Hudson walked two to load the bases and Evan Longoria knocked in two runs with a double to left where there was, once again, no one there. The Giants weren’t done piling on yet, with the bases loaded yet again after Brandon Belt was intentionally walked (off-camera, during a pitching change), Kelby Tomlinson singled to center field, scoring two more.
The odd-man-out tonight (aside from Gorkys Hernández’s 0-for-5) was Brandon Crawford. Though he singled and scored on Jackson’s double in the fifth, he came up with two outs and two on twice in the game. He swung at the first pitch each time for easy outs, stranding four.
Johnny Cueto struggled early, allowing two runs to the first two batters, after a home run given up to Cory Seager. Two hits/runs is struggling for Cueto, he’s been that good this year. He settled down after that until the fifth inning, where he walked the first two batters.
Then came one of the odder plays I’ve seen. It was eventually ruled a sacrifice bunt by Alex Wood, but the bunt went down and bounced into the glove of Buster Posey, who tagged Wood before throwing to Crawford at third to get the force out, then over to Belt at first to complete the double play. However, because Posey tagged Wood, the force out was no longer in play and Crawford (who did not see the tag) didn’t realize he needed to tag Alex Verdugo out at third. Wood was out, but Verdugo was ruled safe, after a lengthy review.
Cueto ended up pitching six innings, allowing two runs on three hits, with two walks and three strike outs. It was his worst outing of the year, which says a lot more about how his year has gone.
Reyes Moronta came in to pitch the seventh and, whoo, he did not have it tonight. With two walks and a single, he’d loaded the bases for Austin Barnes, and the first pitch wasn’t close, so he was pulled during the at-bat.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Sam Dyson entered and induced a textbook double play between Tomlinson, Crawford and Belt that couldn’t have been fielded any better. The double play scored a run, but Dyson struck out Taylor to get Moronta most of the way out of the biggest jam he’s faced this season.
D.J. Snelten made his major league pitching debut (stealing Pablo Sandoval’s thunder) and couldn’t have asked for a better first inning. He got Seager to ground out on the first pitch, struck out Yasmani Grandal, then won a 10-pitch duel with Bellinger on a fly out to center field.
HE ALSO GOT TO BAT.
D.J. Snelten joins Roberto Gomez, Derek Law and Pablo Sandoval as relief pitchers who have gotten at-bats today. This is the best day of my career.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) April 29, 2018
Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well when he came back out to pitch the ninth. Snelten walked Joc Pederson and allowed a single to Verdugo, and was pulled for Strickland who closed it out (though it was not a save situation).
The Giants face the Dodgers once more tomorrow (at the later start time of 2:05 pm) and the worst they can do at this point is split the series.