By Morris Phillips
The Giants most excruciating losses in 2022 have come to the Padres. That pattern continued on Monday night.
Jake Cronenworth’s two-run double and Wil Myers’ three-run homer highlighted San Diego’s seven-run, eighth inning that broke up a scoreless ballgame and pushed the Padres past the Giants, 7-4.
The Giants (80-80) fell back to .500 with the loss, and still need one more win to avoid a losing season. The Padres have already punched their post-season ticket but will likely need one more win to clinch the fifth-seed and a trip to either New York or Atlanta to a start a best-of-three, opening round series starting Friday.
The Giants got the best imaginable in their battle with Padres’ starter Joe Musgrove, who threw six, scoreless innings but left with the game scoreless and no opportunity to get an 11th win on the season in his final start. Musgrove allowed two hits and two walks, with the hits coming in the fifth when David Villar and Lamonte Wade Jr. both singled. In four, previous starts against the Giants this season Musgrove allowed four runs in 27 2/3 innings pitched.
“It seemed really easy there for a while. Had really good command of his breaking ball. Good change-up today. Good fastball when he needed it,” manager Bob Melvin said of Musgrove.
The Giants matched Musgrove by getting a scoreless inning from opener John Brebbia followed by five, impressive innings from Sean Hjelle. Shelby Miller pitched a 1-2-3 seventh but fell into trouble in the eighth.
Trent Grisham and Brandon Dixon doubled to start the inning and put the Padres up 1-0. With one out, the Giants opted to put Juan Soto on base with an intentional walk, but Miller went 3-0 on Chris Drury before walking him as well and loading the bases. Jarlin Garcia was summoned by manager Gabe Kapler but he gave up Cronenworth’s double and Myers’ home run.
The Giants rallied in the ninth first with Brandon Crawford’s bases loaded single, then two batters later, Joey Bart’s two-run single. Bart’s hit was just the second time he’s delivered an RBI hit since August 10. Bart’s hit chased Tim Hill, but Josh Hader came on to strike out Austin Slater and induce J.D. Davis to fly out to end the game with the tying run on base.
The Giants will turn to Carlos Rodon on Tuesday in his final start of the season. The Padres have not as of yet named a starting pitcher.
EVAN LONGORIA: The Giants veteran third baseman was placed on the injured list on Monday with a fractured thumb. That ends his season, and begins the speculation as to whether he’ll return to the Giants in 2023.
The Giants hold a team option for Longoria at $13 million. His buyout number is $5 million, and that is the most likely option. But Longoria said his family is open to him continuing his career, and he would consider renegotiating a deal at lower price than $13 million.
“I’m a Giant until I’m not a Giant anymore. I don’t have any desire to go anywhere else. I’m very comfortable here,” Longoria said.