San Diego Padres reliever Joe Musgrove delivers to the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sat May 21, 2022 (AP News photo)
San Diego. 2. 6. 0
San Francisco. 1. 6. 1
Saturday May 5, 2022
By Lewis Rubman
SAN FRANCISCO–Last night’s battle royale at Oracle Park served as a reminder of the wisdom of America’s vernacular philosopher, Lawrence P. Berra, whose First Law of Epistemology was “It ain’t over til it’s over.”
It began again this afternoon with San Francisco’s left handed hurler Carlos Rodón on the mound with a record of 4-2,3.49) and the Giants in third place in their division with a record of 22-16.
The Giants’ starter was throwing to Michel Papierski the 26 year old catcher they had picked up in the trade that sent Mauricio Dubón to Houston, who was brought up today and was making his major league debut. Rodón breezed past his first two batters.
Then Jurickson Profar checked his swing and sent an inoffensive bounding ball to first, where yesterday´s hero, Darin Ruf, a last minute substitute of the injured Brandon Belt, bobbled the ball, enabling the Padre’s weak hitting clean up and designated hitter to reach base on an error.
Two full count walks later, the bases were jammed with San Diegans. Rodón escaped scoreless when Austin Nola flew out to right.
San Diego’s stellar starter, Joe Musgrove, who began the day at 4-0,2.20 for the 24-14 Padres, also had two out trouble in the first. He yielded a double down the right field line to number three hitter, Mike Yastremski before retiring the side.
When the din of battle had subsided, the Giants had come out on the short end of another one run contest, losing this one 2-1 to the surging friars. Rodón was charged with the loss, and Musgrove credited for the win.
The Manny You Love to Hate put the Pads ahead 1-0 in the third with a towering 425 foot blast that just squeaked over the center field fence. At least some of the blow’s power was due to the 98 mph at which Rodón had thrown his pitch.
The teams traded zeroes for another two and a half innings until a visibly tired Rodón, who had entered the frame with a pitch count of 86, yielded another run in the sixth. Luke Voit led off with a double to left. He advanced a base on Nola’s single to center.
Ha-Seong Kim flew out to right, and runners held. Trent Grisham’s sacrifice bunt to second brought Voit in with the etally that doubled San Diego’s lead.
Crawford’s throw to first on José Azocar’s grounder to short just barely beat the Pads’ left fielder to first, a call that was challenged by the visitors but confirmed by New York, ending the threat.
San Francisco threatened in their half of the sixth. Tommy LaStella sent a ball on one hop into the left centerfield stands for an automatic double. He held his ground when Flores grounded out to short. Yaz walked. And then The Curse of the Lead Off Double struck. Ruf ground into a 6-4-3 twin killing.
Rodón didn’t come out for the Padres’ seventh, relieved by Jarlín García, who held them scoreless on a hit and a walk in his one inning of work. The starting southpaw had pitched well in his six innings of work and might have pitched even better if Ruf´s error hadn’t extended his pitch count in the first.
He ended up having yielded two runs, both earned, on five hits and four walks while striking out six. He threw an even hundred pitches, 68 for strikes, and reduced his ERA a smidgen to 3.43.
The Giants presented a whole new battery in the top of the eighth. Joey Bart was behind the plate, and Domenic Leone was on the mound.
Musgrave lasted seven scoreless innings, in which he gave up four hits and three walks, striking out four. Like Rodón, he threw an even hundred pitches. 64 of his were strikes.
Musgrave’s replacement, Robert Suárez, gave back half of the Padres´ lead. Flores tore into his cut fastball, driving it 386 feet into left field for a solo blast with one down, his. fourth roundtripper of ´22.
José Alvarez pitched to three batters in the top of the ninth, retiring Grisham easily, but walking Azocar and plunking Cronenworth. Mauricio Llovera was given the unenviable task of dealing with Menacing Manny Machado with two on and one out.
Llovera got the National League’s leading hitter to pop out to short, bringing up Profar and his .217 BA. He walked on four pitches, loading the bases. The Giants’ reliever rose to the occasion, striking Myers out looking at a 2-2 sinker.
Taylor Rogers came in to close for the Padres. The Giants countered by calling on the right handed Austin Slater to hit for left handed Pederson against the southpaw.
He singled to right. Crawford then lined out to right. Kim made a gorgeously acrobatic play at second to force Slater out on Estrada’s ground ball, buthis throw to first arrived too late to double up the speedy San Francisco second sacker.
All that stood between the Giants and defeat was Luis González. He took a called third strike.
The Giants will try to salvage at least one victory in this series in a game that will start tomorrow at 1:05. San Diego will start MacKenzie Gore (2-1,2.17) against the Giants’ Alex Wood (3-2,3.93)