By Ben Leonard
SAN FRANCISCO—There truly is no rest for the weary.
It took 17 innings and a Buster Posey walk-off home run for the Giants to vanquish their woes in a 3-2 win against the Reds Friday, which had won four games against San Francisco in seven days, including a three-game sweep in Cincinnati May 5-7 in which the Reds outscored San Francisco 31-5.
Now, just 12 hours after using seven relief pitchers in the the second-longest game in AT&T Park history, Matt Moore (1-4, 6.52 ERA) will attempt to rebound from his struggles and eat up innings against the Cincinnati Reds for the San Francisco Giants at 1:05 p.m. The Reds will counter the Giants’ left-hander with a pitcher who hasn’t made a major league start since 2014, Lisalverto Bonilla (0-0, 7.20).
After a strong start to his Giants’ career after being acquired in a trade from the Tampa Bay Rays in August, Moore has hit a rough patch to start his 2017 campaign—he holds the second worst ERA in the National League.
While just one reliever, Bryan Morris, who pitched three innings Friday, is unavailable for Saturday, the Giants (13-24) will be counting on Moore to go deeper into games. The Fort Walton Beach, Florida native has finished the sixth inning just twice this season.
But things have looked up at home for the 6-foot-3 southpaw this season. While Moore has posted an ugly 10.50 ERA away from the friendly confines of AT&T Park this season, he has given up just 12 earned runs in his last seven home starts.
Oddly enough, lefties have been Moore’s kryptonite this season. After allowing left-handers to hit just .238 last season, they have crushed Moore this season to the tune of a .378 average.
With switch-hitting speedster Billy Hamilton and hot-hitting leftie Scooter Gennett both out after last night’s marathon, Moore will get a bit of a break against a Cincinnati team (19-16) that is usually left-handed heavy.
Posey and right fielder Hunter Pence will both be out of the lineup for the Giants—Posey for weary legs after catching the entire game, and Pence with a tight left hamstring, which manager Bruce Bochy said wasn’t a major issue.
The Giants will miss Posey’s offense—the slugging catcher has hit four home runs in his last four starts after implementing a swing change—getting rid of his leg kick.
No San Francisco hitter has faced Bonilla, who has appeared in one game for the Reds this season, yielding four earned runs in five innings. The 26-year-old Dominican pitcher had spent most of his time with Triple-A Louisville this season, posting a 5.61 ERA in five starts.
— Ben Leonard (@Ben___Leonard) May 13, 2017