The San Francisco Giants completed their first away series sweep against the St. Louis Cardinals since 1998 with another late-inning come from behind win built on the labor of an airtight bullpen and some last minute thunder.
Down to his final strike in the 9th, Mike Yastrzemski roped a 2-run no-doubter off Giovanny Gallegos that tied the game at 5 runs a piece and sent the bleacher boo-birds singing.
The Giants kept the runs rolling in the 10th with 3 singles for 3 runs against Steven Matz to finish off the 8 - 5 win and end the season series against St. Louis with a shiny 6-1 record.
YAZ TIES THE GAME WITH TWO OUTS IN THE NINTH pic.twitter.com/ClfZDbxZ2Y— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) June 14, 2023
Down 5 - 2 in the 3rd, the Cardinals had already chased Anthony DeSclafani from the mound, and lefty Jordan Montgomery had settled in after a rocky 2-run first.
Early deficit? Starters got you down? Need some innings covered? Call The Bullpen Boys!
Kapler rang ‘em early and boy, he didn’t regret it. Jakob Junis covered 3 innings and Taylor Rogers, Tyler Rogers, Ryan Walker each took care of one before Camilo Doval closed out the 9th with attitudinal aplomb.
In the last 30 days, the San Francisco Giants relievers have combined to throw a National League leading 122.1 innings and a MLB leading 1.54 ERA. Five relievers on Wednesday afternoon dealt 7 shutout, stress-free innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 BB and 10 strikeouts, giving the San Francisco bats ample time to work out a comeback.
The Giants offense started off hot against southpaw Jordan Montgomery, scratching 2 runs off 4 singles and a walk before St. Louis recorded an out.
The levee has seemingly broken open in terms of the farm system. After Mitch Haniger fractured his forearm in yesterday’s game, outfielder Luis Matos, organization’s #3 prospect, got the call to the Show. Batting second and starting in center field, Matos singled past a diving Paul DeJong into left on the second pitch he saw. He’d complete his first trip around the bases, scoring on Patrick Bailey’s infield single three batters later.
What a moment for Luis Matos— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) June 14, 2023
First big league at-bat ✅
First big league hit ✅ pic.twitter.com/k996Vhu5hN
Bases loaded and nobody out with 2-runs already in, it felt like San Francisco’s inning was just beginning with the game ready to be bagged and tagged. But Montgomery worked two consecutive grounders for a force out and double play avoiding further damage. St. Louis then turned the tables in the 2nd with a bases loaded threat of their own, culminating in Tommy Edman’s 2-out, 2-strike grand slam.
The Cardinals loaded the bases with three singles against Anthony DeSclafani and only one out. Disco, who struck out the side in the 1st, got catcher Andrew Knizner swinging at an elevated back-up slider over the zone that didn’t break.
With 5 K’s in 1.2 innings, Disco was effectively wild, slinging swing-and-miss stuff even if his location was a little wonky. But his 5th pitch to the light-hitting Edman wasn’t effective in any sense of the word. A pitch to play with and a pitch away from walking off the mound unscathed, Disco chose to throw a 95 MPH 4-seam fastball right down the middle, and the outfielder did what professional baseball players typically do with that kind of pitch.
A walk, wild-pitch from DeSclafani in the 3rd exacerbated an already rough outing and set the table for an add-on run on Jordan Walker’s single. The inning nearly blew up on Disco again if not for stellar defense from some of the Giants’ young guns.
David Villar made a charging scoop on a high-grounder and a gutsy throw to home while Patrick Bailey shifted his left foot to legally block the plate as he received the throw and dropped the tag on Walker to keep a run off the board.
Villar and Bailey nail the runner at the plate pic.twitter.com/dgO0oDHExk— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) June 14, 2023
DeSclafani matched his season-high strikeout total of 7 and matched his season’s shortest outing mark of just 3 complete innings. Go figure. The starter has allowed 11 runs over 12 innings pitched in his last 3 starts.
Montgomery’s day kicked off in a valley and ascended precipitously.
Disco’s day rolled off a cliff, allowing 5 runs on 78 pitches and was done after the 3rd inning.
Montgomery, after the first 5 batters he faced reached base, retired the next 16. Wilmer Flores’s 2-out walk and Patrick Bailey’s subsequent single was the Giants most meaningful threat since the 1st. It was snuffed out when LaMonte Wade Jr. in a tough left-on-left match-up fouled out to Knizner behind the plate.
Gabe Kapler had his hands tied in many ways with late-inning platoons. All of his right-handed bats were already in the lineup to face Montgomery and, with Haniger’s injury and J.D. Davis spraining his ankle yesterday on an awkward slide, the bat options were exclusively left-handed.
The same limitation applied to when Yastrzemski came up to bat with Villar on second base after a bloop double. The day before, Yaz homered over the opposite field wall against Génesis Cabrera. He used the same approach against Montgomery’s 2-2 sinker out over the outer-third, dropping it in left for an RBI single and knocking the St. Louis starter from the game. 5 - 3 Cardinals.
With right-handed flame thrower Jordan Hicks on the mound, Kapler rolled out his lefty power pair in Joc Pederson and Michael Conforto to face him, looking for one swing to knot up the game. It didn’t happen (yet).
Pederson waved through a fastball and Conforto grounded out to short. Stretched out, Hicks came out for the 8th and flashed easy triple-digit fastballs and a casual 93 MPH changeup to retire the bats in order.
LaMonte Wade Jr. was down 2 strikes within 3 pitches in his lead-off AB in the 9th. Fouling off two pitches before spitting on the 8th pitch slider in the dirt, Wade again, again, again, again worked a walk to spark a rally, giving his teammates 3 opportunities with the tying run at the plate. They would need all three, but Yaz doesn’t get a swing without Wade keeping the bat on his shoulders.
With Yaz as the Manfred Man on second base to start the 10th and one out, (Pederson was final out in 9th inning, he was replaced in the line-up with Tyler Rogers and the rule stipulates that if the pitcher was the last out, the team can elect to place the batter before him on second. Savvy!) Thairo Estrada lined a 2-strike change-up against Matz to score Yaz. Wilmer Flores piled on with a 6-pitch at-bat, pulling another 2-strike change-up to left to score Estrada, and the final nail in the coffin was delivered by Wade withanother single of to bring home Flores.
Bequeathed the lead, Camilo Doval strolled out to the mound to collect his 18th save of the year.
Paul Goldschmidt put up a 9-pitch fight but swung through a snarky, middle of the plate slider for strike three. He walked Nolan Gorman to give the Cardinals at least two opportunities to tie the game with one swing just to make things interesting.
Nolan Arenado went down on three pitches and—in what will probably go down as the most subtly savage thing you can do on the mound to show complete and utter disrespect to an opposing hitter—Doval bent over, picked up the rosin bag, and tossed it over his shoulder without using it.
Cool contempt and absolute apathy with triple-digit velocity and late-cut—Doval does not care.