San Francisco Giants catcher Austin Wynns (16) congratulates closer Camilo Doval (75) after their contest against the visiting Chicago Cubs at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sun Jul 31, 2022 (@SFGiants photo)
Chicago (41-60). 0. 4. 0
San Francisco (51-51). 4. 9. 0
Sunday, July 31, 2022
By Lewis Rubman
SAN FRANCISCO–It was over 110 years ago that Franklin P. Adams published his best known piece of doggerel, “Baseball’s Sad Lament.” It begins,
These are the saddest of possible words: “Tinker to Evers to Chance.” Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds, Tinker and Evers and Chance. Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble, Making a Giant hit into a double— Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble: “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Sunday, neither team has a gonfalon bubble to be pricked. Before game time, San Francisco was 4-1/2 games behind St. Louis for the last National League wild card slot, and Chicago trailed the Giants by another 8-1/2.
Nonetheless, the two teams still have a rivalry that dates back to a couple of decades before FPA, who was a Cubs fan living in New York, penned the words that got the Chicago infielders into the Hall of Fame because, as Warren Brown, the father of the All Star Game, put it, “Don’t let anyone tell you that the poet’s pen isn’t mightier than the scorer’s pencil.”
What this scorer’s pencil recorded Sunday afternoon and evening was that the Giants made a four run outburst in the fourth inning stand up for a 4-0 shutout win over the visitors.
Earlier in the day, the Giants announced that the beaning Thairo Estrada suffered in Saturday night’s game had sent him to the seven day concussion list. We all wish him a full and speedy recovery.
To replace the versatile and talented Estrada, the team took advantage of the Cubs’ visit to acquire their farmhand Dixon Machado, a utility man who has a .227 major league batting average over 458 at bats. The Giants sent right handed pitcher Raynel Espinal to Chicago. Dixon started the game at short, batting in the seventh slot.
The Giants’ southpaw starter, Carlos Rodón, came to work with a record of 8 -6, 3.18. His favorite pitch is the four seamer, which he throws at an average of almost 96 mph. His slider clocks in at about 85-1/2 mph.
Those two pitches account for 92% of his offerings. He mixes in a curve and a change of pace, just to keep opposing batters guessing. He went seven scoreless, two hit innings, throwing 98 pitches without 34 of his offerings were balls, but he didn’t yield a single walk.
Rodón struck out ten, the eighth time he reached double digits in that category this season and the 16th time he’s done it in his career. John Brebbia replaced him to open the eighth. He earned, and the verb is absolutely correct, the win, improving his stats to 9-6, 3.00.
His opponent was right hander Adrian Sampson, who was 0-3,3.81 with the Iowa Cubs and 0-1, 3.20 with their parent team. He went 1-2, 2.80 for the south side squad last year and also has a year in Korea, where he went 9-12, 5.40 in 2020.
This was the first time he faced the Giants as a team; the only Giant he ever pitched to before today was Tommy LaStella, who had gone 0-2 against him before singling to right center to open the home first and doubling to right in the third.
Adrian Sampson pitched three shutout innings and a disastrous fourth. He threw 72 pitches, 45 of which were counted as strikes. He yielded four runs, all earned, on five hits, a walk, and a hit batter. He took the loss, and now stands at 0-2, 3.74.
The game began with a rush of excitement. Christopher Morel led off with a high drive to the left field wall, where Luis González made a perfectly timed leap to bring the ball down for the first out.
That was the closest either team came to scoring until two were down in the bottom of the fourth, when LaMonte Wade, Jr., drew a walk, Mike Yastrzemski, singled to right, and the newcomer, Machado, was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Jason Vosler.
Jason Vosler lined a 2-2 fastball to right for an RBI single. Austin Wynns, not to be outdone, took a 1-2 pitch to the base of the center field wall at the 391 foot sign that cleared the bases and put the orange and black on top, 4-0.
After Rodón struck out the side in the Cubs’ fifth, Brandon Hughes replaced Sampson on the mound.
Two fans, one of whom was wearing a Darth Vader mask, leaped onto the field and interrupted the action with Christoher Morel at bat with one out in Cubbies’ half of the sixth. They were carrying signs that read, “Expose Smithfield’s Death Star.” They were ejected and Morel struck out on the way to a 1,2,3 frame for Rodón.
Rowan Wick replaced Hughes, who had thrown an inelegant but scoreless inning, to open the home sixth. Steven Brault followed him in the seventh. Brault surrendered a one out single to Luis González, who, with Slater at the plate, stole second.
Chicago appealed the call, but Jeff Nelson and Mark Wegner in New York would have nothing of it. Their decision, however, didn’t enable San Francisco to stretch its lead although Slater singled to center, sending González to third, and Belt walked, clogging the bases with Giants and driving Brault from the mound, replaced by Eric Uelmen, who struck out Mercedes and Yastrzemski.
On Erich Uelmen’s third pitch, Yermin Mercedes sent a popup into foul territory that first baseman PJ Higgins made a valiant attempt to catch, banging himself up badly against the railing. But he recovered and stayed in the game.
After the San Francisco threat had subsided John Brebbia took over for Rodón. In spite of yielding a pair of base knocks, he kept Chicago off the board.
Uelmen hit two batters in the Giants´half of the eighth but still managed to kept the score at 4-0.
Camilo Doval pitched the ninth for the orange and black. It took him all of 14 pitches to dispose of the Cubs on a hit.
The Dodgers come to town Monday night for a 6:45 pm PDT game that will feature LA’s Andrew Heaney (1-0, 0.47) and SF’s Logan Webb (9-4, 2.91) as starting pitchers.