The San Francisco Giants Austin Slater takes looking from a pitch thrown by the San Diego Padres Adrian Morejon in the third inning of Sunday’s game at Oracle Park in San Francisco (AP News photo)
By Jeremy Kahn
SAN FRANCISCO-On the biggest day of the 2020 season, when the San Francisco Giants needed a win, it did not happen.
Mitch Moreland hit an opposite field double to left field in the top of the fourth inning that allowed Austin Nola to score the eventual game-winning run, as the San Diego Padres defeated the Giants 5-4 on the last day of the Pandemic shortened 2020 season.
With the loss, the Giants season came to an end, as the season ended on a three-game losing streak and they finished the season with a 29-31 record.
“We fought really hard, we did everything we possibly could to win that baseball game and get into the postseason, said Gabe Kapler.
Despite a great pitching performance by Drew Smyly, who went five innings, allowing two runs on just three hits, walking just one and striking out 10, he was saddled with his first loss of the season.
The 10 strikeouts by Smyly, topping his previous season high of eight that he accomplished against the Padres at Petco Park on September 10, and then against six days later versus the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park.
Wil Myers put the Padres in the lead in the top of the second inning, as he launched a solo home run that bounced over the bleachers near the Coca-Cola bottle in left field.
Mauricio Dubon tied up the game in the bottom of the second inning, as he hit an opposite field home run off the foul pole; however, that would be the only run that they would get off of Padres pitching until the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Padres broke the game wide open in the top of the seventh inning, as they scored three times in the frame.
Jorge Mateo hit a ground rule double that bounced into the left field stands that scored Jake Cronenworth, and sent Jurickson Profar to third base. Greg Garcia then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Profar from third base, then Myers drove in his second run of the game, as he hit a ground-rule double that bounced into the right field seats.
Cronenworth reached on a fielding error by Evan Longoria, and he scored what proved to be the all-important third run of the game for the Padres.
The Giants attempted to get back into the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Brandon Crawford hit a two-run home run and then both Joey Bart and Mike Yastrzemski walked; however, Donovan Solano came up to pinch-hit for Alex Dickerson and he struck out for the final out of the inning.
Wilmer Flores got the Giants within one run in the bottom of the eighth inning, as he hit a solo home run onto the arcade in right field; however, the Giants could not muster any more runs in the inning.
With a chance to go to the postseason for the first time since the 2016 season, Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side to end the game, including Austin Slater to end the game on a close pitch that sent the Giants dugout into a frenzy, as they yelled at home plate umpire Rob Drake.
NOTES: According to STATS, LLC, the Giants IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE LAST DAY: Listed below are all the seasons in which the Giants entered their last day of the regular season with a chance to clinch a Postseason berth.
1908: 1-game tiebreaker for NL between Giants and Cubs, Cubs won (Giants missed World Series).
1934: Entered 1 game back of Cardinals in NL, Giants lost and Cardinals won (Giants missed World Series).
1951: 3-game tiebreaker for NL between Giants and Dodgers, Giants won on Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard Round the World (Giants made World Series) 1959: Entered 1.5 games back of Dodgers and Braves in NL with DH on last day, Giants lost both (Giants missed World Series).
1962: 3-game tiebreaker for NL between Giants and Dodgers, Giants won first two games (Giants made World Series).
1966: Entered 2 games back of Dodgers in NL (but each team had 2 games left), Giants won and Dodgers split doubleheader to clinch so Giants didn’t need to play a makeup game the day after (Giants missed World Series).
1971: Entered 1 game ahead of Dodgers for division, both teams won (Giants made playoffs).
1993: Entered tied with Braves for division, Braves won and Giants lost (Giants missed playoffs).
1998: Wild card tiebreaker between Giants and Cubs, Cubs won (Giants missed playoffs).
2004: Entered 1 game back of Astros for wild card, both teams won (Giants missed playoffs).
2010: Entered 1 game ahead of Padres for division, Giants beat Padres to win division (Giants made playoffs).
2016: Entered 1 game ahead of Cardinals for second wild card, both teams won (Giants made playoffs).
UP NEXT: See you when the Giants open up the 2021 season against the Mariners on Thursday April 1 at T-Mobile Park.
The Giants will open their home portion of the schedule against the Colorado Rockies on Friday April 9.