For about 7.2 innings, this one day stop against the Milwaukee Brewers was shaping up to be one of the worst cross continental layovers. A real over-nighter in the Salt Lake City Radisson thanks mostly to ace Corbin Burnes being Corbin Burnes.
Mr. Burnes spent his evening dotting his cutter on the absolute edge of the plate to both righties and lefties, pushing the boundaries of the strike zone, forcing San Francisco Giants batters to wave at un-hittable pitches, mixing in a late-inning curve, and being generally good at his job.
Corbin Burnes, Back-to-Back Unfair Cutters. ✂️— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 25, 2022
9th K. pic.twitter.com/tgvUalLoQJ
He struck out 11, walked 2, and gave up a single to Brandon Belt in the first and a 2-out single to Luis Gonzàlez in the 7th, finally knocking him from the game.
For as good as Burnes was, San Francisco’s chain gang of relief arms rolled out some dominance as well, striking out 8 over 6 innings, allowing one walk. The first Brewers hit to leave the infield came off Zach Littell in the 5th. Their only blemish was a botched pick off throw to Brandon Crawford by Dominic Leone in the second that allowed Keston Hiura to advance to third and eventually score on an infield single by Mike Brosseau.
After seven innings, this game was pretty much set. Brewers up 1-0. Not much offense. Lots of strikeouts. Some amazing defense on display for both teams involving the usual suspects.
Thairo Estrada got in the mix.
The most exciting thing to happen for San Francisco offensively was with ex-Giant Trevor Gott on the mound. After singling with two outs in the 7th, Luis González was thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Vincent Caratini.
The call was initially ruled as safe with González sneaking under a really high, not-great tag by Gold Glover Kolten Wong, but after review, the call was flipped.
González was ruled OUT at second base after Milwaukee's challenge pic.twitter.com/Ph2fJ731cR— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) April 26, 2022
It is possible that the umps in New York have different angles than the television replays showed, or they were able to freeze the frame, ultra zoom in on the glove nicking the forearm before the hand found the base, but it did seem weird how quickly the call was overturned. Laces are not considered part of the glove in a tag play. I don’t see anything that would over turn that call.
C’est la life. San Francisco’s replay woes continue.
I had basically written this entire recap in the 6th and 7th innings. Then, as it often does, the game completely changed.
I’m not one to hold grudges...but Trevor Gott did owe us one.
Joc Pederson was down in LA winning a championship at the time of Gott’s fiery car crash of an end as a Giants reliever in 2020—there was no axe to grind there specifically—so Pederson stepped out of the box mid at-bat, picked out a fan who had been chirping at him a little too loudly from the stands and made it personal.
If Pederson had done that Superman nonsense in a Dodgers uniform my insides would’ve exploded in rage…but, as Jerry Seinfeld once said, we’re really out here rooting for laundry.
San Francisco up now 2-1 and of course, the Giants bullpen blinked for the second time in 8 innings with Jake McGee throwing a terrible terrible completely awful no good rotten 2-strike, 2-out fastball to Willy Adames.
Home run. Game tied. The scales tip back towards the home team.
In the 9th, reliever Jake Cousins nabbed two quick outs before giving up a four pitch walk to Wilmer Flores, bringing up Luis González...
As great as Pederson’s home run was, I think Gonzálezs two run shot was better.
Joc’s dinger will inevitably rub some people the wrong way, but it was kind-of expected. He was swinging a hot bat. He hits for power. He hits for power exclusively against righties, and it was essentially off the same pitch McGee would soon throw to Adames.
For González, it was the last thing anyone expected. A home run in the big leagues is never going to happen until it happens. It’s an impossibility until it’s not.
For the first home run of his career, it was a doozy: a game winner, on the 7th pitch of the at-bat off a 97 MPH sinker running in on his hands, 109 MPH off the bat, tucking it inside the right field foul pole. Beautiful. As pure as a four bagger could be.
How about a 9th inning go-ahead homer as your first career long ball?! pic.twitter.com/onmTOTCfk8— MLB (@MLB) April 26, 2022
4-2 San Francisco win. The Giants are headed home.