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Ugly innings sink Giants in San Diego

Round up the usual suspects

Wilmer Flores throws to first in an attempt to complete a double-play against San Diego Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Given multiple leads, lackluster pitching and defense from the San Francisco Giants were unable to secure shutdown innings, as two huge offensive outbursts by the San Diego Padres scuttled the Giants 13-7 on Wednesday afternoon.

The great irony of it all is that San Francisco took an early lead off a miscue from Padres freshly acquired Ted Williams (re)incarnate, Juan Soto.

A single off the bat of Austin Slater in the 3rd skipped by Soto’s glove and gifted them two runs. Slater then scored on a single by Wilmer Flores.

Good vibes in the top of that inning.

But the early 4-0 lead for the Giants was quickly erased, flipped on its head and spun like a top by an assembly line of hard contact from San Diego’s newly bolstered line-up of talent.

After walking the number nine hitter Austin Nola, starting pitcher Jakob Junis allowed the next six batters to reach base.

The game was knotted at 4 runs a piece by the time he got Ha-Seong Kim to fly out to left field for the first out of the inning. He was the last player Junis faced. Manager Gabe Kapler swapped him for lefty Alex Young, who let two more runs score before retiring Jurickson Profar.

Eight Padres hitters reached base in the inning, six of them scored. For the Giants, it was maybe the equivalent of being pants-ed at a high school party—it doesn’t feel good, it’s not a great look, but if you laugh it off and take it in stride, it won’t be the end of your social life.

It was only the third inning. There was a lot of baseball left to play and they were only down by two runs…hadn’t they erased a larger deficit the previous night?

The good vibes could be reclaimed.

The Giants did just that in the 6th, piecing together a 3-run rally with RBIs from Thairo Estrada, Austin Wynns and Joc Pederson (and a little help from Jake Cronenworth) to regain a 7-6 lead.

In the bottom half of the inning, Yunior Marte took the hill and retired Jurickson Profar on strikes and fielded a soft come backer from Juan Soto on seven pitches.

A quick shutdown inning would’ve got the bats back in San Francisco’s hands and kept the momentum in their favor—but a two-out single from a streaking Manny Machado somehow morphed into a 7-run San Diego onslaught.

Of course, the 6th inning collapse wasn’t completely the bullpen’s fault. It wouldn’t be a 2022 Giants loss without the defensive getting in the mix.

The infamous play in question: a grounder up the middle off the bat of Josh Bell.

At first, it looked like the third out of the inning—but with the infield shifted towards the right-side of the diamond, third baseman J.D. Davis had to range behind second to field it. With Bell charging up the line, Davis threw on the run, rushing the throw to first and pulling Belt off the bag.

It was a routine play in straight up defensive positioning. With the shift, it had a slight wrinkle, but an out still should’ve been recorded. Instead, Brandon Drury stepped up to the plate and sent a Marte hanging slider over the left field fence. San Diego was off to Del Mar.

The tired tale of the defense unable to help out the pitching who in turn can’t pick up the defense and on and on and on...a snake eating itself.

Marte was yanked for Jarlín García who took his turn on the carousel of broken dreams. A charging Wilmer Flores was unable to get enough mustard behind his throw to beat Trent Grisham and an errant Belt attempt towards home couldn’t find Wynn’s mitt as Kim, who started at 2nd on the grounder, slid over the plate.

Next batter: Nola homered to left.

13-7 after San Diego after the dust settled. Their 7 runs all came with two outs. It was the second time San Diego had batted around in an inning.

J.D. Davis homered. Luis González made an incredible catch in right to steal a double from Manny Machado (he has plenty of those already). The bats showed life and dexterity, putting together multi-hit rallies of their own in the 3rd and 6th—but, after delivering goose eggs in the first game of the series, San Francisco’s gloves and arms were unable to secure the shutdown innings necessary in these last two games against San Diego.

As of today, the Padres are in possession of the third Wild Card spot in the National League. The Giants are now 7.5 games back. They had the opportunity to work their way towards level with this series in San Diego but after three ugly innings San Francisco is now deeper in their hole than ever.