Last night, the Giants came back from an 8-0 deficit to win 12-11 in extra innings. Tonight, they were not so lucky.
For the second night in a row, the Reds knocked around a Giants starting pitcher for eight earned runs. This time it was Dereck Rodriguez who got the honors, allowing eight runs on eight hits with four walks, four home runs with one strike out in five innings of work.
You have to feel for Rodríguez, though, as all but one run in this game came after two outs had been recorded, many with no runners on. That second out started to feel like a curse early on in the game.
There were some highlights, though, so we can start with those. The greatest moment of the game for the Giants came when Nick Senzel was at the plate. Senzel made his debut for the Reds last night and looked poised to have his first career home run in the third inning. But Kevin Pillar said “Not today,” and made an absolutely astounding catch over the wall.
As many of the broadcasters and beat writers noted, Pillar almost over-reached for the ball, but had time to stop, readjust, and make the catch. Senzel would, of course, hit his first career home run in this game, but Pillar at least made him wait a couple more innings to do so.
Outfield defense was on display in this game, with Mike Gerber making a few great plays, none quite as significant as when Yasiel Puig (who was picked off in the first inning) tried to stretch a single into a double, and was thrown out on a strike from Gerber to Panik to start the same inning as Pillar’s great catch. It was noted on the broadcast the Giants now lead all of baseball in outfield assists, so at least they have that going for them.
Also noteworthy in this game was the debut of switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, who was called up earlier today to replace Ty Blach. Venditte threw a mix of low 70mph sliders and mid-to-high 80mph sinkers and nearly had two clean innings under his belt, before allowing a solo shot to Puig in the seventh.
Things started off promisingly enough for the Giants. After allowing a run in the first on a single from Puig, the Giants came back to tie it up in the second on a Steven Duggar single that scored Pillar, who had singled and stolen second. Duggar knocked in both runs for the Giants, going 2-for-2 with a walk.
Unfortunately, the wheels started to fly off in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Rodríguez walked José Peraza with the pitcher on deck. With Tanner Roark batting, Peraza took off with the pitch, expecting a bunt, but Roark smacked it into left field and advancing Peraza to third. Tucker Barnhart hit into a fielder’s choice that Belt was lucky to be able to get a piece of, as he knocked it down and threw out Roark at second, but Peraza was able to score easily.
Rodríguez then walked Joey Votto, setting up Eugenio Suárez for a three-run bomb to give the Reds a 5-1 lead. And that was not the last home run they’d give up! With two outs in the fourth, Barnhart hit a solo shot. Then with two outs in the fifth, Rodríguez allowed back-to-back home runs to Senzel and Derek Dietrich, noted Giant slayer. And, as noted above, Puig rounds out the bunch with his in the seventh inning.