Carlos Rodón did fine, I guess. He only struck out 8 batters rather than his normal bazillion, but San Francisco Giants fans can cope.
Other than a K-deficiency, the starter frustrated potent Braves bats for five innings, allowing only two hits while walking one in Wednesday’s 4-1 series win.
If this was last season, the performance would’ve played out in front of an electric crowd of day-drinkers playing hooky from work to witness a rubber match-up with heavy playoff implications. The back-to-back strikeouts to Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley to start the 4th would’ve set Oracle off like a cherry bomb. The backwards-K served up to Marcell Ozuna to close out his evening would’ve melted fans’ faces.
Maybe its time to re-watch the Kevin Gausman walk-off game.
Contextually, the stakes were low in the rubber match against the Atlanta Braves but that didn’t matter for Rodón. He’s a competitor and competitors are exceedingly fascinating to observe in their natural element because they have no nuance. They don’t dial it back with leads or ease off the pedal in games of little consequence. Nor do they need a pennant race to focus them—the very fact that a hitter steps into the box with a bat in his hand is enough to piss someone like Rodón off.
At the heart of this fury is the distillation of the sport to its essence: Man with ball trying to throw by man with stick. It’s one-on-one. Me vs. you. It’s primal and stupid and, for Rodón, so unbelievably personal.
Rodón's reaction to Yaz's incredible catch pic.twitter.com/mtMQhdnth1— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 14, 2022
While Braves starter Charlie Morton put up 7 strikeouts of his own over 5.1 innings, hits from J.D. Davis and Austin Wynns tagged Morton for four runs. Davis went 2 for 3 with an RBI double and walk while Wynns, batting 9th, went 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs.
In the 2nd, after a two-out Davis single and Willie Calhoun walk, the catcher Wynns singled on an 0-2 fastball to right field to put the Giants on the scoreboard.
Though Wynns negated the brief lead with a pickoff error that gave Vaughn Grissom second base and the opportunity to score on a subsequent single by Robbie Grossman, his 2-out, 2-run single off reliever Jesse Chavez in the 6th put the game out of reach.
Austin Wynns comes up with a clutch hit pic.twitter.com/4WKcWwJIHB— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 14, 2022
Rodón only threw 71 pitches over his 5 innings of work before being lifted for Tyler Rogers to face the top of the Braves’ lineup.
A blister and cracked nail had been bothering the starter and Kapler elected to air on the side of caution with the starter who is trying to bolster his National League Cy Young case and achieve a personal goal of returning to the mound healthy every five days.
Rogers linked with Scott Alexander who linked with John Brebbia who linked with Camilo Doval to hold Atlanta scoreless over the last four innings. Rogers submarine wiffle ball directly following Rodón’s over the top heat was an especially discombobulating 1-2 combo.
Camilo Doval fanned Austin Riley, Matt Olson and William Contreras on 12 pitches to bag his 23rd save of the season. Doval has converted his last 4 opportunities and now has 5 saves while posting a 0.60 WHIP in the month of September.
Off day tomorrow before hosting a weekend series against the Doghairs.