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Giants’ bats awaken from slumber, avoid getting swept

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Milwaukee Brewers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Ah, avoiding the sweep. It’s a tale as old as time and one that the Giants were faced with this fine Sunday. Allow me to set the stage for you: Milwaukee has outscored the Giants 17-7 in the first three games and a sweep by the Brewers today would be only the second time in team history since September of 2006. Meanwhile, the trade deadline looms large.

Enter Andrew Suarez and the womp-womp Giants offense.

In Suarez’s last outing, he got a no-decision in Seattle allowing three runs on eights hits and two walks over 5.2 innings. The fact that the Giants’ best outings usually revolved around the starts of two rookies in Suarez and Dereck Rodriguez tells you all you need to know about this season which I’m still jokingly referring to as “2018 - The Season of 6-8 weeks.”

The Giants offense entering this game was, well, hella bad. The Giants ranked 10th in the NL with runners in scoring position at .251 this season, and in this three game set was just 4-for-21 (.190) with RISP.

I face-palmed almost immediately when Suarez allowed a single to Christian Yelich, followed by a home run to Ryan Braun to put the Brewers up 2-0 in the first inning. TWO RUNS? YOU KNOW THE GIANTS CAN’T SCORE TWO RUNS PROBABLY.

This of course meant that the Giants had to prove me wrong. In the third inning, Brewers starting pitcher Junior Guerra got himself into a major pickle by loading up the bases with three consecutive walks with one out to Gorkys Hernandez, Suarez (he didn’t have to bunt!!!), and Andrew McCutchen. Buster Posey, bum hip and all, laced a double to left, clearing the bases and driving in three runs, Giants 3-2. Brandon Crawford then singled, moving Buster to third, who eventually scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat off Evan Longoria, Giants 4-2. The inning ended with a ground out from Pablo Sandoval but hey, RUNS! Productive at-bats! The heart of the line-up produced! This inning truly had everything.

But no! It doesn’t stop there. In the fourth inning with two outs, we got officially Gorked. A loud home run over the head of Lorenzo Cain padded the Giants lead, 5-2.

But because this is a Giants game, you don’t get to walk away without some drama. The Brewers answered back in the fifth inning when Suarez issued a lead-off walk to Orlando Arcia, followed by a single to the pitcher to advance Arcia to third. That run eventually scored despite Suarez retiring the next three batters and the top of the line up in order (Cain, Yelich, Jose Aguilar), Giants 5-3.

At this point, I kind of assumed the Giants would not be able to score more runs but they proved me wrong yet again. With Junior Guerra officially out of the game and Matt Albers on the mound for the bottom of the inning, Posey lead-off with a single, Longoria worked a walk, and after a nine-pitch at-bat, Sandoval tripled down the right-field line, scoring both Posey and Longoria, widening the lead to 7-3. Steven Duggar contributed to the score by popping out to cash in on a sacrifice fly to drive in Sandoval, 8-3.

To touch on Suarez, after giving up the home run in the first, he was pretty solid - a couple of hits but the contact looked fairly soft and he seemed to be able to work his way out of jams despite giving up hits. In the sixth inning after retiring the first two batters, he gave up another homer, this time to Hernán Pérez, Milwaukee inches their way back, 8-4.

Suarez came out of the game in the seventh with a final line of 6.0IP, eight hits, four runs, one walk, one wild pitch, and two home runs. He was replaced with Sam Dyson who faced pinch-hitter Travis Shaw as his first hitter and immediately gave up a home run, which was the last run the Brewers would get, final score 8-5.

Neverrrrrr easy, is it, Giants? I’m not complaining. Just an observation.

Odds and Ends:

  • Pablo Sandoval exited the game in the sixth after scoring on the sac-fly, grabbing his hamstring. He was replaced with Austin Slater. This season is ridiculously injury-prone.
  • Joe Panik got a day off from his rehab assignment
  • Buster Posey is officially hot. He is 10-for-his-last 22 at-bats (.454)
  • Brandon Crawford who was 12-for-74 (.162) entering today’s game went 2-for-5. Maybe he’s heating up?