By Morris Phillips
SAN FRANCISCO–The Giants’ hearts and minds were in the right place, their bats and gloves not so much.
Spring training concluded on Monday at Oracle Park with a ragged 12-6 loss to the A’s, who looked as good as they looked bad in Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Giants.
The A’s struck early with Jesus Aguilar’s two-run homer off Ross Stripling, and they upped the anty every couple of innings from there in a complete performance that left the home-dominant crowd rather quiet.
When Giants’ fans got their opportunity to greet reliever Sergio Romo in his pre-arranged, final pitching performance, the moment came and went too quickly as Romo failed to retire any of three batters he faced before exiting to hearty cheers.
“There’s an organization, there’s a fan base that feels that I deserve this, and to me, that’s one of the most humbling parts about all of this,” Romo said beforehand. “I don’t want it to end but, as they say, all things come to an end, even the good ones. So, it’s just my time.”
The Giants open the 2023 season on Thursday in New York against the Yankees and Aaron Judge, who spurned the team in the off-season by resigning with New York. Of the less heralded than Judge, off-season acquisitions, only Mitch Haniger will be unavailable on Opening Day as he deals with an oblique injury that could delay his season debut by a couple of weeks.
Joc Pederson, in his new role as the team’s primary designated hitter, had two hits on a night the Giants were limited to seven hits total. Down 12-2 in the seventh inning, the Giants responded with four runs that made a blowout more respectable.
Stripping threw five plus innings but allowed homers to Aguilar, Shea Langeliers and Esteury Ruiz. Tyler Rogers also allowed a home run to Seth Brown on the rare night in which the hosts watched their opponent hit all the long balls.
Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless, eighth inning in keeping with stellar spring which concluded with his ERA at 1.08.
The Giants have Logan Webb penciled in as their starter on Thursday with Lamonte Wade Jr. and David Villar as the new, primary starters at first and third base respectively.