Arizona (73-86) 3 13 0
San Francisco (80-79) 4 6 1 10 innings
Sunday, October 2, 2022
San Francisco Giants David Villar (middle) gets congratulated by teammates JD Davis (7) and Mike Yastrzemski (5) after getting a tenth inning walk off two RBI single against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sun Oct 2, 2022 (@SFGiants photo)
By Lewis Rubman
At first, it was a novelty. Then it was a rarity. Now, for the second day in a row, the Giants played a bullpen game. Yesterday’s wasn’t successful, although opener Scott Alexander handled his five man chore perfectly. It was nominal reliever Jakob Junis and bullpen denizen Jarlín García who opened the floodgates to enable the Diamondbacks deathly offense.
For today, the Giants again chose Alexander to open. Being eliminated from the playoffs means you play spring training games in the fall, so there was nothing to do but relax and enjoy the show.
And what a show it was! The Giants ended up on top of a 4-3 thriller in which they were they got less than half the amount of hit as the visiting snakes. Alexander got through his inning scorelessly but not before giving up a pair of singles. Thomas Szapucki ran into a spot of trouble in the third, but he kept Arizona off the board in his two frames on the mound.
Alex Young followed him in the fourth with another shutout frame in the fourth but faltered in the fifth, yielding a pair of two out doubles to Carston Kelly and Jake McCarthy that allowed the Diamondbacks to score their first run. The always exciting and recently more effective submariner Tyler Rogers came in at that point and got Christian Walker to fly out to end the threat.
Rogers allowed a leadoff double to Josh Rojas in the sixth, but The Curse of the Leadoff Double and a pitcher’s best friend allowed him to escape the consequences of that blow and Corbin Carroll’s infield single. Shelby Miller pitched a perfect seventh in his third big league appearance.
Arizona sent Zach Davies (2-5, 4.18 at game time) to the mound as their starter. The Giants jumped on him for a quick lead in the top of the first. With one out, Wilmer Flores and JD Davis walked, and Joc Pederson’s sharp line drive single to center loaded the bases.
Evan Longoria’s sac fly to left brought Flores home. Brandon Crawford drew a base on balls to clog the base paths with Giants. Then, for some reason, maybe because he’s pretty speedy, Thairo Estrada bunted for a base hit. His speed turned out to be irrelevant; Estrada popped out to the mound.
Davis left the game, trailing 1-0 after five, but escaped with a no decision. He threw 91 pitches, 40 of which were balls. The run he allowed was earned, and he also yielded two hits and five walks. He struck out three and brought his ERA down to 4.09.
Lefty Caleb Smith took over for Davis and pitched a perfect sixth, but Austin Slater, pinch hitting for LaMonte Wade, Jr., led off the seventh, leaning into a 90mph four seamer to send it flying 395 feet into the left center field seats and put San Francisco ahead 2-1.
That advantage was short lived. The oft used John Brebbia started the eighth episode for the hosts, and the visitors put good wood on his offerings. Their most telling blows were McCarthy’s lead off single to right and Rojas’s one out line drive double to right that drove him in with the tying tally. Brebbia escaped unscathed after that, and Camilo Doval threw a perfect ninth.
Kevin Ginkel took care of the Giants with no trouble in the eighth, and Marc Melançon did the same to his erstwhile teammates in the ninth.
The teams went into extras with Jharel Cotton on the mound for San Francisco and Daulton Varsho on second base for the club from Phoenix. Carlson Kelly made an inexplicable bunt attempt that didn’t even advance Varsho, who scored when the next batter, McCarthy singled him home with a line drive to right.
Christian Walker hit a single to third that hit Longoria’s hand, but the veteran third sacker stayed in the game. Things looked bleak for the orange and black when the D’back runners pulled off a double steal. But Cotton buckled down and struck out Rojas and retired Pavin Smith on a fly to center. The inning was over, but Arizona now led 3-2.
They sent Taylor Widener to the mound in the Giants’ half of the tenth. Yaz was the zombie runner. Flores walked. JD Davis filled the bases with an infield single. David Villar ended the suspense (and the Giants’ home season) with a first pitch ground ball single to left.
Cotton got the win. He’s now 4-2, 2.76. Widener took the loss. His record now stands at 0-1, 5.11.
The Giants will play out the string in San Diego. Tomorrow’s game will start at 6:40. Joe Musgrove (10-7, 3.03) will be on the hump for the Padres. The San Francisco brain trust hasn’t yet announced their starter (or opener, as the case may be)