Dansby Swanson circles the bases after connecting with his 20th home run of the season against San Francisco Giants pitching in the top of the third inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco (AP News photo)
Atlanta (88-54). 5. 10. 0
San Francisco (68-74). 1. 4. 0
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
By Lewis Rubman
SAN FRANCISCO–Bay area sports pages and talk shows, when they’re not going on about football and other usurpers of the headlines of September, are full of post mortems for the Giants and Athletics’ autumn hopes.
Since the Giants’ 5-1 defeat by the Atlanta Braves tonight isn’t going to change the fact that the team is, for 2022, dead in the water, I thought I’d bring up one possible cause of the team’s demise before going on to what seemed to me the significant details of tonight’s encounter.
Every so often, the Giants send their fans a survey in which they ask questions like what makes you want to attend Giant games and then give a list of possible answers that the fans are supposed to rank.
In the last one I saw, which was less than a month ago, “because I like baseball” wasn’t one of the options. Now, I understand that baseball is a business and its owners want to put people in the seats (and in front of their screens).
I don’t want to imply that the Giants are indifferent to the team’s inadequate performance this year, but I think the absence of the baseball option says something important-and negative-about the attitude of the San Francisco ownership and, indeed, of the monopoly that is Major League Baseball, Inc.
The Baseball Operations staff was, in fact, busy before this evening’s game began. They recalled southpaw reliever Thoma Sszapucki from Sacramento and optioned right handed ditto Zack Litell to the River Cats
Tuesday game wrap: In tonight’s entertainment, the 87-54 Atlanta Braves sent right hander Kyle Wright (17-5, 3.23) against the woebegone 68-73 Giants. That’s the same Kyle Wright who, in his last start, a week ago today, went into his game against the even more woebegone Oakland Athletics with an ERA of 2.85).
The Bay Area treated Wright more kindly tonight. He went 5-1/3 innings and surrendered one run, earned, on three hits, three walks, and a wild pitch. He threw an even 100 pitches, 42 of which were balls. He earned his 18th win and brought his ERA down to 3.18.
Jakob Junis, coming to the mound at 4-5, 3.98, made his 16th start of the season and first ever against Atlanta.
The slider-sinker artist pitched better than his numbers indicated but still not very well. A few plays that were ruled hits-and, according to the not always fair rule book, those rulings were correct-were just bad breaks.
Junis went four plus innings and allowed four runs, all technically earned, on seven hits, one of which left the park, and a walk. He had five strikeouts and threw 92 pitches, 60 for strikes. He took the loss, his sixth against four wins and saw his ERA rise to 4.15.
The Giants touched Wright for a run right away. Mike Yastrzemski dropped a dying quail to left that got past Eddie Rosario for a one out double in the first. After Evan Longoria took a called third strike, Yaz took second on a wild pitch with Joc Pederson at the plate. Pederson’s single to right drove in Yastrzemski for the initial tally.
The Braves evened it up in their next at bat. Michael Harris II split the difference between Pederson and Yazk to bounce a two bagger off the Game Up sign in left center. He moved up 90 feet on Rosario’s single to center and scored when Robie Grossman beat out second sacker Thairo Estrada’s relay from Brandon Crawford on a missed double play opportunity.
They missed an offensive opportunity when a pair of walks and a single by Joey Bart enabled San Francisco to load the bases with two down in the second.Yastrzemski’s fly to the warning track in left ended that threat.
In the third frame, Dansby Swanson’s fly to left, to just about the same spot as Yaz’s, went a little further and cleared the fence, landing 385 feet into the bleachers with Acuña, who had led off with a single, on base.
That put the Braves ahead 3-1. Two outs later, Travis D’Arnaud whacked a line drive that glanced off González’s glove in right. It was ruled a hit because González had lost it in the lights. Harris singled to center to bring in D’Arnaud with Atlanta’s fourth run of the fray.
When Crawford, attempting a backhanded catch, bobbled D’Arnaud’s lead off grounder to short in the sixth, Kapler, Bailey, & Co., removed Junis and replaced him with portsider Jarlín García.
Wright struck out Longoria with a curve to open the home sixth. It was his 100th and last pitch of the night. His replacement, southpaw AJ Minter, retired David Villar, pinch hitting for Pederson, on a fly that drove Rosario to the left field wall and a strike out of Crawford.
Cole Waites made his major league debut, coming in to pitch the top of the seventh. He had a rocky time of it. He walked the first batter he faced, Ehire Adrianza, on four pitches and then surrendered a double to Acuña, putting runners on second and third.
The rookie showed he had heart and talent. Adrianza held third when Swanson bounded out , Crawford to Villar at first. Austin Riley followed with a grounder to Villar, who threw Adrianza out at home, while Acuña stayed put at second. The powerful Matt Olson flew out to left to end Waites’ scoreless baptism of fire.
Minter remained in the game long enough to strike out Estrada and walk Wilmer Flores, batting for DH Willie Calhoun, in the home seventh. When JD Davis was announced as pinch hitter for González, Collin McHugh took over pitching duties for the visitors.
(Go your left, your right, your left). He walked Davis on a full count, putting the potential tying run at the plate in the person of the resurgent Joey Bart. He slashed a vicious one hop line drive to Adrianza at second, who converted it into a rally killing 4-6-3 double play.
Luis Ortiz, San Francisco’s fourth pitcher of the night, allowed a leadoff single off the left field wall to lead off the top of the eighth. He was erased on a 4-6-3 pitcher’s best friend before Rosario flew out to the center field. warning track.
Raisel Iglesias was Atlanta’s setup man for the eighth. He set the Giants down to a conga beat.
Ortiz came out for the ninth and gave up the bull pen’s only run of the night. A walk to Adrianza, who advanced to second on Acuña’s ground out to the mound and scored on Swanson’s single to left made it 5-2 when Kenley Jansen came in to close it out for Atlanta in the bottom of the ninth.
Wednesday at 12:45 Charlie Morton (8-5. 4.08) will toe the rubber for the Braves, facing the Giants’ Carlos Rodón (12-8, 2.93) to conclude the three game series.