The San Francisco Giants lost to replay review on Tuesday. Also to the New York Mets, but that’s less relevant. They’ll get their chance at revenge against the Mets immediately, as it’s a doubleheader, but they might not get a chance to exact such revenge against the replay review system.
We should note that replay review beat the Giants fair and square. I’m not being a sore loser, nor are the Giants. There was no cheating. There were no shenanigans.
It was a fair and honorable fight between the Giants and replay review, and the Giants lost.
The Giants didn’t even know they were playing against replay review until the fifth inning. By that point they’d already amassed a tidy 4-1 lead, courtesy of an absolute thumper of a long ball from Joc Pederson, an RBI single from called-up-an-hour-prior Jason Vosler, and a two-strike, two-out, two-run knock courtesy of Brandon Crawford.
They were cruising.
And then they were introduced to replay review.
J.D. Davis reached on an infield single to start the inning, which was ominous. But Alex Cobb got Travis Jankowski — you might remember him from being the most Padresian Padre on the San Diego Padres back in the day — to ground to first, where Brandon Belt, the slickest turner of first base double plays awaited.
Davis was easily out at second, and Jankowski was called out at first in what looked like a brilliant double play to empty the bases.
But no. This is when we introduce the true opponent of the game, replay review.
Upon further examination, Jankowski was ruled safe, giving the Mets a runner on with one out, rather than empty basepaths with two outs. Three doubles later — two off Cobb, and one off Dominic Leone, who replaced the Giants starter after he left with a groin injury — and the Mets had scored three runs and tied the game.
You cannot butterfly effect a baseball game but, hypothetically speaking, had the same things happened but Jankowski had been called out, the Mets would have scored one run, and trailed (and lost) 4-2.
The two teams bopped along for a few more innings, repeatedly flirting with scoring, but failing to do so just as repeatedly (the Giants hit just 2-14 with runners in scoring position, isn’t that lovely?).
Eventually — after some Brian Wilson level torture from Camilo Doval in the ninth — we found ourselves in extra innings. Brandon Belt was the free runner, and he took third base on a Wilmer Flores fly ball. After a Darin Ruf walk, Brandon Crawford scorched a line drive that was unfortunately aimed directly at Robinson Canó’s mitt.
Up came Thairo Estrada, with two outs and runners at the corners. He hit a slow roller to shortstop and, showing off his surprising speed, forced a bad throw out of Francisco Lindor.
Pete Alonso tried to stay on the bag at first, but was ruled to have come off, allowing the Giants to score.
But. But, but, but.
You knew replay review would not go quietly into the night, and so it popped up again and revealed the ugly truth:
If Pete Alonso were 6-foot-2 1/2 instead of 6-3, the Giants score a run. pic.twitter.com/Hzr3F6ucHs— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) April 19, 2022
The Mets scored in the bottom half of the inning, winning the game 5-4, breaking the Giants five-game winning streak, and honestly just being really rude.
A few notes from the game, since this wasn’t a very thorough recap on account of having a second game about to start:
Cobb injured his groin covering first base, and it looks like he could miss a bit of time. It seems likely that the Giants will place him on the IL before the second half of the doubleheader, which would allow them to activate Yunior Marte for additional pitching depth.
Gabe Kapler said Alex Cobb will go on the IL, possibly even before the second game, which would allow them to add Yunior Marte as pitching depth. He hurt his groin covering first, will get an MRI.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) April 19, 2022
Between the injury and Gabe Kapler going all in on winning, the Giants really taxed their bullpen, using Doval, Leone, Jake McGee, Tyler Rogers, Jarlín García, and José Álvarez. The only bullpen pieces that didn’t pitch were John Brebbia, Zack Littell, Sammy Long, and Tyler Beede (and Marte, if he’s activated). In other words, Logan Webb is going to be asked to eat a whole bunch of innings.
Pederson’s home run was gorgeous. He is absolutely destroying right-handed pitchers.
Vosler finished the day 2-4 with a double. A pretty strong season debut for him, which was nice to see given that he struggled last year, struggled in Spring Training, and wasn’t exactly tearing the stitches off of the ball in Sacramento.
The Giants should win the second game of the doubleheader. That is my professional opinion.