San Diego Padres starter Blake Snell pitched six innings giving up no runs and four hits against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Tue Aug 30, 2022 (AP News photo)
San Diego (72-59). 4. 9. 1
San Francisco (61-67). 3. 7. 4
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
By Lewis Rubman
SAN FRANCISCO-Tuesday’s contest between the 71-59 San Diego Padres and the 61-66 San Francisco Giants was a battle between two disappointed and disappointing teams.
No one expected the Giants to duplicate their superb 107 win 2021 season, but no one expected them to be all but out of contention for a playoff with six weeks left to play. If you’ve been following my dispatches, there’s no need for me to make a summary list of the orange and black’s deficiencies and no time or space to attempt an analysis of them.
I will, however, add that Joey Bart, who had re-established himself as the Giants’ catcher of the future, will be out of action for at least a week as a result of the concussion he suffered in last Monday night’s accident prone encounter between the Pads and the Giants that also claimed umpire Marvin Hudson and the Oracle Park lighting system.
The Padres, too, had high hopes. They started 2021 as the main challengers to the Dodgers’ perennial dominance of the NL West. The Giants took care of that delusion. This year, they waited with baited breath for Fernando Tatís, Jr., the hope of the franchise since ’19, to recover from the fractured wrist that had him on the IL since April 7.
They hocked the family jewels to the Nationals at the trade deadline to acquire Juan Soto and Josh Bell and gave up Eric Hosmer, for whom they’d traded four players to acquire the days before, and two prospects to the Red Sox,in order to get left handed pitcher Jay Groome.
That wasn’t all, but you get the picture. This team would be unbeatable with Tatís in the line up. But he pissed away that opportunity along with the performance enhancing drug found in his urine. The Padres now are in a fight to keep their tenuous hold on the third and last wild card spot.
Blake Snell, San Diego’s southpaw starter, came to work with a record of 5-7, 4.24. After the Friars defeated the Franciscans it stood at 6-7, 3.87. Snell did an excellent job in his six inning stint, shutting the Giants out on four hits, three walks, and a hit batter. He struck out eight. 62 of his 105 pitches counted as strikes.
Logan Webb, who, along with Monday night’s losing pitcher Carlos Rodón, has been one of the twin pillars of San Francisco’s rotation, started for the Giants. He began the day at 11-7, 3.33 and ended it at 11-8, 2,89. Webb threw exactly 100 pitches, 72 for strikes, over 6-2/3 frames, yielding only one run, and it was unearned. He allowed four hits and a walk, while fanning seven.
Neither team scored until there were two down in the top of the sixth.
That doesn’t mean that the game was uneventful before then. The first two innings alone provided us with two challenged calls, one for catcher’s interference and other on the second out of what would have been a double play.
The result of both reviews went against the Giants. In that same pair of innings, each pitcher either picked off a runner or caught one stealing, and Austin Slater dislocated his left pinkie sliding into second base. Mike Yastrzemski replaced him as center fielder.
As the game progressed and the zeroes piled up on the scoreboard, the episodic excitement of the opening frames gave way to suspense. San Diego finally broke the ice when Manny Machado beat out a grounder to Crawford, whose throw to first went wild for the shortstop’s second error of the night.
Josh Bell followed with a single to right that drove in Machado and sent Webb to the showers, replaced on the mound by Alex Young. The portsider walked Jake Cronenworth on a full count. Brandon Drury caused a stir with a fly to deep right center on which Yastrzemski made a fine running catch to end the inning.
The Giants threatened a comeback in their half of the frame. With one down, JD Davis slammed a double off the Visa sign in right center, but Snell fanned Estrada and Crawford to put down the brief uprising.
Submariner Tyler Rogers was the Giants’ hurler for the seventh. Ha-Seong Kim led off with a bouncer that Davis fielded at the hot corner, but his throw to first drew Yermín Mercedes off the base.
The error haunted the homeowners because the next batter, Trent Grisham, drove a full count sinker 389 feet into the left field night to put the Pads on top, 3-0. Two of those runs were unearned, the result of bad throws from the left side of the San Francisco infield.
Then the serious trouble started. Jurickson Parofar doubled to left, went to third on a productive ground out to second by Soto, and scored on a two bagger to right by the Manny you love to hate. Out went Rogers, in came Scott Alexander, who struck out Bell on three pitches; he didn’t swing on any of them. But the orange and black now were looking at a four run deficit.
Tim Hill started the seventh for San Diego, pitched to three batters (strike out, walk, force at second), and gave way to Luis García for the final out. García threw a scoreless eighth, allowing only a hard hit single that just eluded Flores’s glove on its way to center field.
Joc Pederson led off his team’s eighth, pinch hitting for Mercedes, he lashed a single to left. After Longoria flew out to center, Davis hit a hard bounder to the mound. García fielded it and threw it into center field, putting runners on the corners.
Estrada hit a soft grounder to short and beat it out for a run producing single that advanced Estrada to second. Crawford, the potential tying run, whiffed for the second out. Wynns left Davis and Estrada stranded, grounding out to short. It now was a 4-1 game.
Dominic Leone tried to keep it that way when he entered the fray to open the ninth. He survived a fright when, with two on and one out, the Manny you love to hate hit a long fly ball that Pederson caught in front of the Toyota ad just to the left of the 354 foot sign in left field.
Nick Martínez, seven for seven in save opportunities converted, made it eight for eight. Wade flew out to left. Yastremski went down swinging. Flores kept the Giant fans’ hopes alive by drawing a full count walk, giving Pederson a chance for an encore.
He came through with a splash hit into McCovey Cove, his fourth and second as a Giant. San Diego challenged the call, claiming the ball left the field in foul territory. The call stood, and it was 4-3. But Longoria fouled out to first to end it all.
The Giants will give it another try tomorrow at 12:45. They’ll send Alex Wood (8-11,5.00) and against Joe Musgrove (8-6, 2.96).