The first inning of this game told you everything you needed to know. In the bottom of the first, Mike Yastrzemski made an excellent catch at the wall to rob Nick Senzel of a leadoff extra base hit. But it went downhill quickly from there. Alex Wood allowed a single to Brandon Drury, walked Tyler Stephenson, got Joey Votto to strike out, but followed that up by allowing a home run to Kyle Farmer to give the Reds all of their runs for the day.
And honestly, that’s not too bad. I’m not blaming this one on Wood, who ended the day with a respectable stat line. Three runs on four hits, six strikeouts and a walk in five and two thirds innings. I’ll take it. Especially when you think about the offense the last few games. It shouldn’t have been a problem!
Except it was. And like I said, the pattern started in the first inning. Tommy La Stella hit a leadoff double, made it to third on a fly out from Yastrzemski, but was stranded there. He would not be the only Giant stranded in scoring position. There were 11 Giants left on the bases. The team was 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position. The Reds, who actually won the game, had three runs on five hits. The Giants ultimately had two runs on 12 hits. It’s not ideal.
Let’s talk about the runs that were, I guess. There was a nice tag-team moment in the third, where Yastrzemski hit a leadoff double and Joc Pederson knocked him in with a double of his own. That was cool. And Evan Longoria hit a booming home run to the upper deck in the sixth inning. That was pretty cool as well.
The Giants were never really out of this one, so it’s not like it was a bad game. But they just couldn’t get anything going with runners in scoring position. Up until the very end of the game. In the ninth, Curt Casali hit a single to start off the inning, and was replaced by Joey Bart as a pinch runner. La Stella struck out, but Yastrzemski walked, potentially the winning run at first base. Darin Ruf struck out, but Wilmer Flores hit what should have been a clutch line drive single to Aristides Aquino in right field. And for whatever reason, they decided to send Bart home. The ball got to Tyler Stephenson before Bart was even in frame.
Just a perfectly frustrating way to end a perfectly frustrating game. I’d like to think that the good news is that losing a series to the Reds mean they can only go up from here. But that ventures into jinx territory and we’re not doing that.
Instead, I’ll leave you with Joc Pederson’s explanation of what he said in the group chat that apparently made Tommy Pham so mad that he held a grudge for nearly two years, before deciding to slap Pederson on the field yesterday and get himself suspended for the series.
Joc Pederson was waiting for us after the game, with receipts from his group text exchange with Tommy Pham. He sent a GIF of three weightlifters with Giants, Dodgers and Padres logos superimposed on them. The Padres guy collapsed under the weight of his dumbbell. (1/)— Evan Webeck (@EvanWebeck) May 28, 2022
Ah, yes, the gravest of offenses. A GIF. Definitely worth slapping someone over. At least the Giants didn’t take the biggest loss of the day.