Camilia Doval San Francisco Giants reliever reaches for the stars after getting the San Diego Padres Tommy Pham to ground into a top of the fifth inning double play at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Wed Sep 22, 2021 (AP News photo)
by Marko Ukalovic
Torture is back!
The San Francisco Giants had a seven run lead late in the game and then hung on for dear life in a 8-6 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday evening at Petco Park.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies, San Francisco gained a game on their NL West rival and are now two games up on the Dodgers with 10 games left to play. In the process, the Giants reduced their magic number to clinching the division to nine.
Scott Kazmir made his first major league appearance since June 4th. The 2020 silver medalist for Team USA this past summer, pitched four strong innings before the wheels came off for him in the fifth inning.
He opened up the fifth inning with a walk, single (which was generously given by the official scorer as the ball hit by pinch hitter Jake Marisnick went under the glove of shortstop Brandon Crawford) and walk to load the bases. Buster Posey was called for catcher interference on a swing by Jake Cronenworth which resulted in the Padres scoring their first run.
Kazmir finished with 4+ innings pitched, allowing an unearned run on four hits while striking out three and walking three batters on 71 pitches.
Despite being a veteran with 12 years of major league experience, Kazmir admitted to having some butterflies before the game and being involved in a pennant race.
“For sure”, said Kazmir. “There’s always butterflies in any big league ballgame, especially in September. The (playoff type of) atmosphere was there. To be in a pennant race like that and to be able to perform like that, it’s a good feeling. Hopefully I can keep progressing and keep getting stronger.”
Camilo Doval, who has been a revelation for Giants manager Gabe Kapler since he’s been called up from Triple-A Sacramento, came in and struck out Manny Machado on three pitches. Then induced Tommy Pham into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
“Doval was the pivotal point of the game,” said Posey. “For him to come in, strike out (Manny) Machado and then induce (Pham to hit into a) double play gave us momentum going forward.”
San Diego went with a bullpen game and opened with Vince Velasquez, who came into the game having given up four runs in four innings in his last start against the St. Louis Cardinals in an 8-2 loss.
Kris Bryant opened up the scoring when hit a one-out bases loaded double that cleared the bases in the first inning to give the Giants a 3-0 lead. Velasquez only lasted one inning.
The Giants tacked on to their lead with two runs in the sixth inning. RBI singles by the Crawford and Mike Yastrzemski gave San Francisco a 5-1 lead. Crawford leads the team with 83 RBI on the season.
San Francisco padded their lead with three runs in the seventh inning. Catcher Buster Posey hit an RBI double down the right field line to score Tommy LaStella. Then Lamont Wade Jr. continued his clutch hitting with an two-run single to right field to score Brandon Belt and Posey and extended the Giants lead to 8-1.
Posey was in a zone as went 4-5 with an RBI and three runs scored as he was a nemesis to the Padres all night long. His fifth and final at bat he just missed a home run as he fly ball to right field was caught at the wall by Will Meyers.
“When he’s getting the ball in the air to the opposite field, on a line, Buster is at his best. Last ball he hit, he didn’t get rewarded for. That was an excellent swing off of a pitcher that’s difficult to get in the air. It’s good signals for Pose,” Kapler said.
San Diego chipped away at their deficit in their half of the seventh inning. Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his National League leading 40th home run to spark a three-run innings off of reliever Jarlin Garcia. RBI-singles by Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer cut the Giants lead in half 8-4.
Hosmer finished the game 4-5 with an RBI and one run scored.
Tony Watson pitched a scoreless eight inning for San Francisco.
Tyler Rogers provided another dose of torture for Giants fan. He gave up two runs in the ninth inning with an RBI groundout from Todd Frazier and and RBI single by Trent Grisham. Tatis Jr. came to the plate as the game winning run with two man on and two out. However Rogers induced Tatis Jr. to fly out to left field to end the game.
GAME NOTES: San Francisco stranded six runners on base. San Diego left 11 runners on base.
The Giants are 9-6 in the season series with the Padres with one more left in San Diego. The Giants finish the regular season with hosting the final three game against the Padres at Oracle Park.
UP NEXT: The Giants close out the three-game series with the Padres on Thursday 9/23 at 1:00pm from Petco Park.