Some say it’s not how it starts but how it ends. But what about the middle? That’s what the San Francisco Giants need to be important.
It’s not what the Giants got.
The San Diego Padres got out to a strong start in Saturday’s game, and they finished with a bang. In the middle, the Giants did some things. Those things don’t really count for much.
Before Anthony DeSclafani had recorded an out, he had given up three runs. It was about the worst opening sequence the Giants could have imagined: Trent Grisham single, Fernando Tatis Jr. walk, and a three-run dinger by certified Giant killer Manny Machado.
DeSclafani then settled down in a big way, and retired 18 of the next Padres batters to get through a solid six innings. He looked good. But the first inning was costly.
Then the Padres put up another three spot in the eighth inning, with a Jurickson Profar dinger and a series of hits against Camilo Doval and José Álvarez.
A three spot in the first inning. A three spot in the last inning.
The Padres didn’t do anything in between, but it didn’t matter. Start strong, finish strong, win strong.
In between, the Giants scored a pair of runs. They surely feel like they should have scored more.
They loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but Wilmer Flores grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Finally they found success in the fifth inning with a pair of runs, but once again left the bases loaded. It wasn’t the heartbreaking situation they created for themselves on Friday, but it wasn’t exactly fun, either.
On the bright side, Mauricio Dubón hit his first homer of the year, and it was a treat.
Dubón only has 9 career home runs, but one is against Blake Snell and one is against Clayton Kershaw. That bodes well for future NL West games.
The Giants have made it clear that their goal is to avoid strikeouts and draw walks when hitting, and avoid walks and throw strikeouts when pitching. They drew only four walks, while striking out 12 times. They issued five walks while only striking out four all game.
Not a recipe for success.
The Padres have now won the series, but the Giants can at least avoid the sweep on Sunday.
Personally ... I think they should do that.