The story of the night is the starting pitching. Blake Snell was phenomenal for the Padres tonight, allowing three hits with four walks and eight strikeouts over six innings. And yes, that math is correct, that’s seven Giants baserunners. But considering they were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, it didn’t really matter.
On the other side, it was Kyle Harrison’s third start, after his electric home debut earlier this week. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well for him tonight. And that’s not to say he didn’t pitch well. He did. He had five strikeouts, and really only suffered to the home run ball. And that was entirely location. He got ahead in the count and then served up a juicy fastball down the middle to Juan Soto in the first inning that Soto sent for a ride to right center field.
The bottom of the second inning saw a leadoff home run from Xander Bogaerts, with a 2-1 count Harrison served up a breaking ball in the zone on a platter that Bogaerts sent over the wall in center field. Gary Sanchez then followed that up with one of his own, with a 1-1 count, Sanchez got roughly the same pitch and sent it to the same place as Bogaerts.
What really put the nail in the coffin of this game, aside from the Giants offense being unable to get anything going against Snell, was what happened in the bottom of the sixth inning. Fernando Tatis, Jr. singled to lead off the inning, but Soto hit into a fielder’s choice to get him out at second. Then Harrison walked Bogaerts, bringing up Garrett Cooper. On a 3-1 count, Harrison served up yet another fastball down the middle, and Cooper made him pay for it with a three-run shot to left center field.
Again, though, with it being Harrison’s third start, this isn’t doom and gloom. Location and situational pitching can be worked on. He’s still very young and it’s pretty early in his development on the whole, but the stuff is there. The rest will come with time, and games like this are, well, not fun but good reminders of what you might still need to work on. I’m not worried about him.
What left a lot to be desired, though, was the Giants offense once again going dormant. Not to make this about me, but I’m going to do just that for a moment. I’m getting a little peeved that they lose every game I cover. Just this week, we saw some pretty great Giants wins. Yet every Saturday that I cover, like clockwork, they lose and forget how to score runs. I’m starting to take it a little personally.
Anyway, moving on to the actual baseball game. The Giants were not without their opportunities to score, which is quickly becoming a sentence I seem to have to write every week. And yet it took a herculean effort in the ninth inning to avoid getting shutout. Casey Schmitt walked to get things started. Then Wade Meckler literally gave his body for the cause, after fouling a pitch off his shin so hard it gave the audience second hand phantom pain, Meckler was then grazed by a pitch to get on base. Austin Slater was the man of the moment tonight, doubling to send Schmitt home, but that was all there would be.
The good news is exclusively for Padres fans tonight, because despite the disorienting discrepancy between their lineup on paper vs. reality that this season has seen, said lineup performed like one would expect a lineup of that caliber to perform. Good for them, I guess. But I don’t really love the Giants being the team that comes to town and reminds the home team how to be good.