Whoa, boy. This weekend is probably going to be filled with roster moves and it all starts tonight. Let’s just get them out of the way, shall we?
For now, we have:
- Kelby Tomlinson was optioned back to San Jose to make room for Joe Panik to come off the DL
- Jose Valdez was reinstated and DFA’d for Mark Melancon to make room on the 40-man roster, while the corresponding 25-man move was made earlier in the week with Tyler Beede being option back to Triple-A
- Hunter Pence will be activated tomorrow - corresponding move TBD
- Madison Bumgarner will be activated Tuesday - corresponding move TBD
Also, what I’m about to tell you will probably anger you. Just as the gang was getting back together and everyone was getting healthy, Brandon Belt left the game after the first inning (where he had one at-bat and struck out) with a stomach illness. I saw him before the game and he didn’t look great:
Of note, Belt didn’t take BP on the field earlier and he was taking BP in the cages. He was sitting by the cage and he looked really exhausted and pale.— Carmen Kiew (@carmenkiew) June 2, 2018
According to the Giants, Belt left the game to go to the hospital and is currently being evaluated for appendicitis. Appendectomies can have a two to three week recovery time (thanks, WebMD) so this sounds like a DL-stint is on the horizon for Brandon. Bochy mentioned in his press conference that the outcome of treatment could impact tomorrow’s roster moves, so it will be curious to see how the Giants handle this one. My guess is they play Pablo Sandoval at first until Belt is ready to rejoin the club.
Oh and let me get ahead of all the Belt-haters out there who love to point to how injury-prone he is by saying that your appendix almost bursting is not something you can control, just like getting hit in the hand or head.
But enough housekeeping and bad news, let’s talk about the game.
In short, Chris Stratton was absolutely fantastic tonight. The achilles heel of this young pitching staff has definitely been going deep into the game — prior to this start, the Giants’ starters have only logged six-or-more innings just five times in the last 23 games and have just three quality starts during that stretch.
Stratton cruised through 6.0 IP using 95 pitches, giving up up four hits, one walk, and fanning seven batters. His curveball was looking crisp with command - something that had been missing from his repertoire in his previous outings. Bochy was very encouraged by what he saw from Stratton, quoting that he had everything working for him tonight - his breaking ball, curveball, slider, along with his fastball and probably could have gone another inning if he needed to.
The Phillies’ starter Nick Pivetta, didn’t seem to have the same command and only lasted 4.0 IP with five hits, three walks, and three runs. The Giants’ offense was able to get guys on, move the line, manufacture runs and best of all, contributions came from up and down the line-up.
The most encouraging thing from the game was definitely Panik’s strong return. Despite a short rehab stint where he went 4-for-13 with a double and two RBIs, his re-entry into the big leagues was impressive. Panik ended the night getting on base four-of-five times with two singles and drawing two walks.
A few other notes from tonight’s game:
- Buster Ain’t Havin It: Buster Posey got hit in the elbow and was pretty mad about it. He was also HBP in last year’s Philly series so I’m guessing he assumed it was intentional. Retaliation in the books? I’m hoping not because the Giants can’t afford to lose another player to injury.
- The Bullpen: Sam Dyson is starting to look like old-Sam Dyson again. He’s gotten his ERA down to 2.39 and he logged a clean inning and three strikeouts.
Hunter Strickland was also able to close out the game, but not before he gave me anxiety by allowing a single and double to put runners in scoring position. But then my blood pressure went down when he retired the rest of the batters in order to secure the win.
- Stay Hot, Brandon Crawford: All-star voting is upon us and Brandon Crawford is certainly making a case for himself to secure a starting position if he keeps this up. He went 2-for-4 in today’s game and is hitting .415 in his last 28 games.
I told y’all. Lots of stuff is gonna happen this weekend and it’s already started.