Here’s a good thing that happened to the San Francisco Giants in their 3-1 loss to the New York Mets in the second game of their doubleheader on Tuesday: they didn’t get no-hit.
Huzzah! Celebrate the little things, y’all.
They almost got no-hit. They were getting no-hit in the sixth inning. They eventually got two-hit.
But they did not get no-hit! And we’re here to celebrate all the wins we can find.
Except it was not a win for the Giants. Not in the literal sense, at least. Not in any sense for that matter, other than in the “didn’t get no-hit” sense, and honestly there’s only so far you can run with that, and I’m already well past that point.
The game was billed as a showdown between Cy Young candidates Logan Webb and Max Scherzer. And unfortunately for the Giants, Webb, excellent in his first two starts of the season, didn’t quite live up to the billing. And doubly unfortunately for the Giants, Scherzer most certainly did.
Webb struggled with his fastball all game. He clearly didn’t have confidence in throwing it in the zone, and only threw first pitch strikes to nine out of 19 batters. That led to him becoming overly reliant and predictable with secondary pitches, which the Mets had an easier time with.
His day was cut short after just 3.2 innings, during which time he allowed six hits, three walks, and three earned runs, with but a single strikeout. Just 43 of his 75 pitches went for strikes, and only five were swings and misses.
The nice thing about having an ace is you don’t have to worry about them. It wasn’t a good game for Webb. It happens. He’ll be back on the mound Sunday, and he’ll most likely be very, very good, because he’s a very, very good pitcher.
Which is what Scherzer was on most days and certainly on Tuesday, when he took a no-hitter into the sixth, and finished with seven innings of one-hit ball, striking out 10 Giants. Rude, if you ask me. But fair. At least he’s not on the Dodgers anymore, am I right?
The Giants did get through to Scherzer in the sixth, with a hilarious two-out rally, courtesy of back-to-back walks by Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt, and an RBI single by Darin Ruf.
And that’s when the torture started to happen. Joc Pederson stepped into the box and turned on a Scherzer cutter, swinging a little too early and hitting a second-decker just right of the foul pole. You had immediate visions of LaMonte Wade Jr. in Game 5. It would’ve given the Giants the lead, but instead Pederson popped out on the very next pitch.
It was even worse in the eighth, when Curt Casali singled against reliever Drew Smith. Yastrzemski stepped up, still looking for his first homer of the year, and smashed a ball. It had the sound. It had the reaction from Yaz and Casali. It had the call from Dave Flemming. It had the groan from the stands.
And it ... fell dead on the warning track, leaving a tied game to exist only in our dreams.
It was just one of those games.
There was one highlight to get excited about: Yunior Marte. The right-handed reliever, who had a one-day stint on the roster last week during which time he made his MLB debut, rejoined the squad for the second game after Alex Cobb was placed on the IL halfway through the doubleheader.
Marte pitched the eighth inning and, while he gave up a hit (of the infield variety, it’s worth noting), he struck out the side. He threw 17 pitches, and a whopping seven of them were swings and misses. He’ll be around for a little while and, after that performance, we should all be excited to see him back on the mound.
Also pitching in this game was Sammy Long, who had only faced five batters all season. He took over for Webb and handled business, retiring all four batters he faced, and striking out two of them. Given that Long only threw 25 pitches, it seems likely that he’ll be the person on the mound Saturday when the Giants need a spot starter to make up for the fact that their rotation was shortened by the doubleheader. Small sample is small, but he’s at 2.2 innings this year, with no hits, no runs, one walk, and three strikeouts. I’m excited to see what he does when stretched out.
But it was a boring game. A very boring, uneventful game. So boring and uneventful that the Giants Twitter page, which posts in-game highlights and anecdotes, had exactly one tweet about the game:
Game 2 FINAL: #SFGiants 1, Mets 3.— SFGiants (@SFGiants) April 20, 2022
Well said, folks.