The San Francisco Giants lost to the San Diego Padres, 4-2, in the first game of their three game series. While Wood put up a gutsy performance, the game was defined by the missed opportunities. Multiple times in this game the Giants seemed to have Padres starter Nick Martinez on the ropes, including opportunities where they had runners at third with less than two outs, but were continuously unsuccessful. The Giants went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, which will not win them many games, especially not against a dangerous Padres team.
There were multiple players that had good individual games, though. Belt went 3-for-4 with a double and two singles. Estrada scored the game’s first run after tagging up on Dubón’s shallow fly. Bart ripped a double and walked twice.
There has been much spoken this offseason about both how excellent the Giants’ rotation is predicted to be, as well as how much the offense might struggle after losing Posey and Bryant. Both were on display early in the game. Wood had a quiet top of the first, and in the bottom of the first, the Giants threaded back to back base hits from Brandon Belt and Darin Ruf to have runners at the corners with just one out, but were unable to capitalize as Joc Pederson struck out and Brandon Crawford popped out.
Following that lost opportunity, the Padres came back with a vengeance in the top of the second. A single by Jake Cronenworth was followed by Wood giving up a HBP on a 3-2 count to Luke Voit. Will Myers, notable Giants killer, smoked a ball to third that seemed like a surefire double play, but Mauricio Dubón bobbled the ball and was only able to get the out at first. It was an example of classic Dubón: a mental error on an important play, but his cannon of an arm and the strong throw to get even the runner at first is also an example of his potential. Wood then followed this up with two strikeouts of Eric Hosmer and Jurickson Profar to get himself out of trouble. Dubón’s going to be buying a lot of steak dinners this year.
The bottom of the second saw a Thairo Estrada single to lead things off, followed by a Joey Bart double that was absolutely smoked to left field at 114mph. Steven Duggar struck out, but Dubón made up for his earlier error by hitting a soft flyball to left that was deep enough to score Estrada. However, Mike Yastrzemski struck out looking to end the inning on a pitch right down the heart of the plate to end the threat. The Giants led 1-0 after two innings.
Alex Wood responded to his team giving him a lead with a quick top of the third, sandwiching two strikeouts around a Trent Grisham groundout. The Giants got the bottom of the third started off right again, with a little Belt flair to the opposite field that got down for a double despite leaving his bat at just 55mph. Ruf then flew out deep to right-center to advance Belt to third. Pederson was then HBP on his right knee to have runners at the corners with one out for Crawford, but Crawford grounded into a double play to waste the leadoff double.
In the top of the fourth, Wood got himself into a jam. A Machado leadoff single was followed by a Luke Voit single, and then Yaz made one of the most amazing catches you’ll ever see a right fielder make in foul territory.
No foul ball is safe from Mike Yastrzemski pic.twitter.com/2NqeoEE3Fz— SFGiants (@SFGiants) April 12, 2022
This gave the Padres runners on the corners with two outs. A Hosmer walk then loaded the bases with two outs for Profar. Profar tapped a slow roller up the third base line which Wood fielded impressively, but the call was safe at first. The Giants chose to challenge, but there was not enough to overturn the call, so the Padres tied the game at 1-1. Kim came up to bat next and popped out to end the threat.
Martinez struck out the side in just 12 pitches in his bottom of the fourth, leaving the score tied at 1-1 through four innings.
The Giants made the decision to send Wood out for the top of the fifth, but hard contact despite a flyball out from Grisham portended disaster as Wood gave up a home run to Austin Nola. That was the end of Wood’s night: his final line was 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Zack Littell replaced him and struck out Machado before getting Cronenworth to ground out to first (and Belt to make a spectacular play) to end the threat.
The Giants were unable to answer in their half of the fifth, although Darin Ruf hit a long flyball out to deep left field that Profar was able to make a play on. The score was 2-1 Padres through five.
Dominic Leone pitched a clean top of sixth, including this amazing play:
before the Giants offense went to work again in the bottom of the sixth against Steven Wilson, a rookie relief pitcher. Pederson singled, followed by a Crawford single. Estrada grounded into a double play, which advanced Pederson to third base with two outs, bringing up Joey Bart. During Bart’s AB, Wilson threw a wild pitch that got by Austin Nola to bring Pederson home, tying the score at 2-2.
Joc scores on a wild pitch. Tie game ‼️ pic.twitter.com/jfiGvKBhNX— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) April 12, 2022
Bart walked but Duggar struck out to end the inning.
Tyler Rogers opened the top of the seventh by allowing back to back singles by Ha-Seong Kim and Trent Grisham. Kim came around to score on a Machado groundout after a productive out by Austin Nola, giving the Padres back the lead. Rogers managed to limit the damage, however, by striking out Cronenworth to end the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Mike Yastrzemski got his first hit of the season, but Profar made an incredible catch on a long Ruf flyout to end the threat.
Camilo Doval came out for the eighth inning, an example of how his role is constantly in flux. In the lower-pressure situation, Doval did well, ending the night with a strikeout and one hit allowed to Eric Hosmer. In the bottom of the eighth, the Giants faced on old friend in Pierce Johnson. A Crawford single, replaced by Estrada on a fielder’s choice, and Bart walk as well as a Duggar walk set up the bases loaded with two outs for Mauricio Dubón, but Dubón struck out swinging to end the threat.
In the top of the ninth, Jose Álvarez didn’t have his usual command, walking Trent Grisham and Manny Machado, the former of whom came around to score on a Cronenworth single (new Giants killer?) Sam Long relieved Jose Álvarez and managed to end the threat by getting Wil Myers to fly out to right field. But the Padres extended their lead and led 4-2 after nine.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Giants faced Taylor Rogers, Tyler Rogers’ twin brother. Belt singled, but Heliot Ramos struck out to end the game.
The Giants will have to do better in this series with runners in scoring position. Still, the opportunities as well as successful individual performances give some level of optimism for this team, and the bullpen managing to give up just two runs over 5.1 innings of work kept the Giants in this one until the end.
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