Thairo’s blast gives the Giants the lead pic.twitter.com/4jrfCP8Yus— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 12, 2022
It was a minor reprieve from the general sourness of the day. Torrential midwest downpours soaked the earth, laying the groundwork for a tough-to-swallow loss for the 49ers just south of Wrigley on Lakeshore Drive.
Does one minor September baseball win against a non-contending team make up for one sloppy, season-opening football loss? One NFL game is equal to about 10 MLB games—so if you’re looking at it through the cold hard logic of mathematics, the answer is no.
But if you’re looking at it from the subjective and irrational and probably/definitely minority opinion that baseball is quantitatively and qualitatively better than football to the utmost degree than yeah, the Giants win is a pleasant start to a tough week with upcoming series against the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. Who even is Trey Lance?
Gabe Kapler rolled out 6 different pitchers in Sunday’s bullpen matchup, each of them logging at least an inning of work. They didn’t mow Chicago hitters down, racking up only 5 strikeouts while allowing 12 hits, but were stingy when it mattered. Cubs bats went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position, stranded 9 men on base and worked only 1 walk.
Thairo gives the Giants the lead pic.twitter.com/P05kVJ8mmd— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 12, 2022
After J.D. Davis led off the 4th with a double, starter Wade Miley buckled down with back-to-back strikeouts to Evan Longoria and David Villar. With a full count and two outs, Estrada rolled an outside change-up through the hole between second and first to bring in Davis and kick-off the scoring.
Chicago would answer back with a 2-out RBI in the 5th when Rafael Ortega cashed in Zach McKinstry’s double off Yunior Marte.
In the 7th, Estrada broke the 1-1 tie by homering over the left-field ivy. Next inning, Flores raised the solo blast by one: lining another ball over the ivy with Lewis Brinson on second. It was Estrada’s 13th and Flores’s 18th long balls of the season, good for 2nd and 3rd most in the San Francisco clubhouse. Flores also leads the team with 65 RBIs. Estrada’s 55 is third behind Joc Pederson’s 62 total.
Wilmer extends the Giants’ lead with a two-run blast pic.twitter.com/K3rQq7Br6c— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 12, 2022
We should expect to see both players in Giants uniforms next season which should be cause for celebration rather than an eye-roll. Thairo Estrada is under team control and, as I write this, MLB Trade rumors has teased a 2-year, 13 million extension for Flores, who would’ve been a free agent in the offseason.
No, they’re not splashy names but they’ve been flexible and consistent contributors to a team that needs stability in 2023.