It took almost two games worth of baseball, but the Giants finally beat the Marlins and all it took was Ty Blach going full Yusmeiro Petit but with much, much, much lower stakes. Alen Hanson was almost the hero twice. In the 11th, he hit a double that Brandon Crawford could have scored on if he were as fast as Andrew McCutchen. In the 16th, he hit a single that Andrew McCutchen could have scored on if he weren’t so sure Lewis Brinson would catch it like every other ball hit to Brinson.
This set up a bases-loaded, nobody out situation, and, on the broadcast, Javier Lopez spit in the face of fate and said, “You’re not going to get upset with bases-loaded, nobody out.”
Really dude? Have you been watching this team?
But Pablo Sandoval saved us all with a two-run single.
Quality starts have been hard to come by for the Giants. Before today’s game, they had thrown just 23 all year. Today, they threw two. Blach’s quality start won’t be recorded into the illustrious annals of quality start history because of a technicality (He didn’t start the game), but it many ways he pitched better than the guy who did, Dereck Rodriguez. Rodriguez and Blach combined for 13.1 IP of two-run baseball.
Blach’s 6.2 IP was the longest relief appearance by a Giants since 1995.
Ty Blach becomes the first Giants pitcher to throw 6.2 innings in relief since Jose Bautista on 8/12/1995. https://t.co/3mC9z63yOb— Kazuto Yamazaki (@Kazuto_Yamazaki) June 14, 2018
Blach’s outing was impressive, but you gotta give credit to Jose Bautista doing that at 14-years-old.
Dereck Rodriguez had everything going today. He pounded the strike zone with his fastball. His curveball looked sharp. His changeup worked well off his fastball. His most impressive inning by far was the fourth in which he struck out the side. He got Brian Anderson, Justin Bour, Starlin Castro all swinging on fastballs at the letters.
Third time through the order, he benefitted from the spacious outfield of Marlins Park. The Marlins, in an imitation of the Giants on Monday night, sent several balls to the warning track, but all were caught. Well, except for JT Riddle’s homer and JB Shuck’s double.
If you imagine a spectrum with “Outfielder name” on the left and “Oyster Restaurant Name” on the right, JB Shuck is as far right as you can get. It’s past Bar Crudo, Tadich Grill, and Hog Island. It’s past even Shaw’s Crab House and Olympia Oyster Bar. This dude is an oyster restaurant the Marlins have disguised as a baseball player. I don’t know how they did it. I don’t know how they shoved an entire oyster restaurant into a shambling, double-hitting automaton. But you can’t tell me JB Shuck is not an oyster restaurant.
Rodriguez almost gave the Giants just what they needed: a day to save the bullpen. Bochy used six different pitchers last night, and while none of them threw a ton of pitches, the cumulative effects of being used so often seemed to be wearing on just about everyone.
Everyone except for Tony Watson that is. Watson was the only relief pitcher to throw a scoreless inning last night, and Bochy went to him again in a high leverage situation. The Marlins had the tying run at second with two outs when Watson entered the game. He had to get through JT Realmuto who had been tearing the Giants apart all series. A bloop single meant the Giants would have lost their eighth lead in the last four days. But Watson struck him out on three pitches.
Watson pitched a perfect eighth inning, too. He’s thrown 33 pitches in the last two days, so we’ll see if he’s available tomorrow in Los Angeles.
It would not surprise me if in two years, Lewis Brinson is the best player on the Marlins. He’s having a bad season because the Marlins sold everyone in their outfield (which is how they got him in the first place) and they have no one else to play. He just turned 24, so he could have benefitted from another year in AAA. Baseball Prospectus had him in the top 20 prospects the last two years, and at-bats like the one he had against Hunter Strickland are evidence of why.
Strickland threw everything at him: fastballs on the hands, sliders down and away, sliders inside, elevator fastballs. Brinson kept fouling them away until Strickland challenged him with a fastball at the top of the zone, and Brinson nearly hit a walk-off homer. The Giants were lucky that was just a sacrifice fly because Brinson nutted it.
That run was made possible by an uncharacteristic error by Joe Panik. Starlin Castro popped up along the right field line and it looked like there was some miscommunication between him and Andrew McCutchen which distracted Panik into dropping the ball.
The error really capped off a discouraging series for Panik. Including his 0-for-5 today, he was 1-for-15 in the series. The one time he hit the ball hard today, it went right to an outfielder.
After sitting on the bench for two days, Mac Williamson homered in his first at-bat today. He had gone 57 plate appearances without a dinger despite hitting three in his first 18. It’s more than a relief to see the power come back at least for one swing of the bat. Hitters don’t have to be the same after a concussion, and one home run doesn’t necessarily prove that he’s back. But his ability to put the bat on the ball looked a lot better today than it has recently.
It’s a shame the rest of the Giants have been so lousy, because Andrew McCutchen had a great series. He went 7-for-20 with two dingers and a double. I didn’t write a lot about him because I had to allocate my words to tearing down the dudes playing like bozos. Without McCutchen, the Giants would have looked more dreadful than they were.
I hope you’re appreciating McCutchen. He got off to a slow start, which I think has painted the fan’s perspective of him. McCutchen has been overshadowed by Brandon Crawford’s hot streak, but since the beginning of May, McCutchen’s hit .297/.360/.503. That’s good for a 137 wRC+. He’s on pace for a three-win season, and the Giants haven’t gotten one of those from their outfielders since Hunter Pence in 2014. He’s not lighting the world on fire, but he’s been good. Better than average!
Evan Longoria left the game after getting hit by a pitch on the hand. This happened like six hours ago, but there have been no updates on whether his hand is broken. It would be a very 2018 Giants thing for his hand to be broken just a scant few days before Brandon Belt is set to return. The fellowship is destined to be broken.