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Rodón shines in debut, Giants still fall to Marlins 2-1

Carlos Rodón struck out 12 in his Giants debut, but the offense just wasn’t there.

MLB: Miami Marlins at San Francisco Giants D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants lost to the Miami Marlins today, 2-1 in the second game of their opening series.

After an electric win to kick off the season, bats were quiet at Oracle Park. Pitching was the star of the show and Carlos Rodón absolutely shined in his Giants debut. Rodón struck out 12, tying Juan Marichal for the second most strikeouts in a debut start since the team moved to San Francisco.

Rodón went five innings, allowing just three hits, two walks and one earned run. It was an absolutely electric start that brought to mind memories of Tim Lincecum and has to leave Giants fans feeling good.

Unfortunately, in true Giants fashion, Rodón got Cained, aka lost due to a lack of run support, despite a strong performance. And now, thanks to the DH, he didn’t even have the opportunity to be his own offense. A true tragedy.

There was not a lot of contact today, with each team striking out 14 times. Each team only got five hits total. The difference was, in my view, defensive mistakes by the Giants.

In the top of the third inning, with one out, Jon Berti singled on a ground ball to Wilmer Flores. Flores overthrew to Brandon Belt at first and the ball ended up in the visiting dugout, allowing Berti to take second base. Then, with Jorge Soler batting, a wild pitch from Rodón allowed Berti to advance to third. Another wild pitch got away from Joey Bart, who did his best to get a handle on it, ultimately making the play to tag out Soler at first, but the damage was done, as Berti came in to score the first run of the game for the Marlins.

Jake McGee allowed the second run of the day in the seventh inning, but it was more of your standard fare, quick contact offense. Brian Anderson hit a leadoff double, followed swiftly by a single from Jesús Sánchez to bring him in.

It’s easy to look at those two runs and try to pin the loss on either of them, but when your offense is barely making contact, it’s going to be hard to win a game even if you give up zero runs.

The Giants were held to one hit for four innings against Marlins starter Pablo López, who allowed a single to Darin Ruf in the first, and then nothing until the fifth inning. With two outs, Thairo Estrada singled to left field, followed by a double from Steven Duggar, allowing Estrada to score the Giants’ lone run of the game from first base.

It was an interesting inning, for sure. Both Rodón and López had been having strong starts thus far but started to lose control of their locations. Rodón struck out the first two batters of the fifth, but walked the next two, before ultimately striking out the side. López struggled similarly, walking Bart after the run scored, but ultimately winning a battle with Mike Yastrzemski, who worked a full count, only to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

After that, both bullpens were great, but as we noted above, the Marlins’ pen managed to keep it a bit cleaner. Former Giant Steven Okert entered in the sixth and struck out all four of the batters he ended up facing, before being replaced by Cole Sulser in the seventh.

Sulser immediately allowed a double to Flores, followed by a very savvy walk taken by Estrada, giving fans a little bit of optimism, but the Giants were unable to capitalize on it. Both Duggar and Bart got into quick 0-2 holes, not swinging at pitches that were in the zone. Bart’s was followed by a gift strike that he fouled off before hitting into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

Filed under the “you hate to see it” category was an error from Brandon Crawford in the ninth on a bounce that shot under him. It was, sadly, also the day that Crawford received his fourth Gold Glove award. I’m not holding this one against him, though. The inning ended on a double play that he started, after all. (Although he, himself, hit into a rally killing double play in the ninth, which you also hate to see).

But Joc Pederson did get his first hit in the ninth, before that. So that’s a highlight too. Also, if we’re looking for silver linings, the game came down to Flores with two outs in the ninth. I don’t know about you, but I started to get a sinking, deja vu kind of feeling, imagining the worst. But it was fine, he didn’t get called out on a checked swing. He just grounded out to end the game. I’ll take it!