The San Francisco Giants Mike Yastrzemski (5) rounds the bases after connecting for a sixth inning home run against the St Louis Cardinals at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sun May 8, 2022
St. Louis. 3. 6. 1
San Francisco. 4. 7. 0
Sunday May 8, 2022
By Lewis Rubman
SAN FRANCISCO–The Giants got the monkey off their back yesterday when the bullpen, with the egregious exception of Domnic Leone, held the Cardinals scoreless over the final two innings, but the orange and gold relief staff still was a question mark.
It had an ERA of 8.00 over its past 36 innings when play ended yesterday. And, remember, that figure doesn’t include inherited runners scored.
One Brandon, Crawford, was back in San Francisco’s starting lineup, batting cleanup and playing short. The other, Belt, was out, with neck stiffness, the result of his contortions during his final plate appearance in yesterday’s contest.
Zaidi, Kapler, & Co. recalled Jakkob Junis from Sacramento to start this afternoon’s game, the last in a series of four against the team from the Gateway City, against whom he entered the game with a lifetime record of 1-3 ERA 2.87.
He’s made three starts for AAA River Cats, but both his of big league appearances earlier this year had been in relief. The most notable of those performances were tihe five hitless innings he threw against the A’s on April 27.
He also threw five scoreless frames against the Nationals on the 22nd of that month, but he allowed three hits in that stellar outing. His tool kit includes a two seamer, a slider, a cutter, and a change of pace.
Junis’s mound rival, three year veteran Dakota Hudson, missed most of last season because of Tommy John surgery. He came into Oracle Park today with record of 2-2 ERA 3.16. If you expect to see a lot of ground balls when he’s pitching you won’t be disappointed.
Both starters are righties. Both teams wore pink shoes, socks, and catcher´s shinguards in some sort of tribute to Mothers´ Day. Neither pitcher fashioned a masterpiece, but, hey! A Dallas Braden doesn’t come along every Mothers’ Day.
When the last out had been recorded San Francisco had won a nail biter, 4-3, earning a split in its four game series with the Cards.
Although the Giants threatened in the first, thanks to Hudson’s wildness, his penchant for drawing ground balls got him out of the inning unscathed, with a 4-6-3 twin killing killing off the Giants’ incipient rally.
It was the visitors who jumped ahead early. In their half of the second, Albert Pujols took first when Juknis plunked him with the count at 3-2. Then Juan Yépez drove a 90 MPH four seamer over the Visa sign in right center field, a distance of 406 feet, for his first home run of the season.
In the Giants’ half of the frame, LaMonte Wade, Jr. erased the deficit caused by that blast, taking Hudson deep to almost the same spot, driving in Ruf, who had led off the home second with a four pitch walk, in front of him.
LaWade’s round tripper also was his first of ’22. In fact, in was his first hit of the season, after he had spent the first 25 games of the season on the IL.
The Giants didn’t let up, taking a 3-2 lead Luis Gonzálezk from third with a sac fly to left. González had reached the hot cornered after he had forced Dubón at second and gone on to third on Curt Casali’s single to left center.
They almost extended that advantage in the third, thanks to a throwing error by shortstop Paul DeJong on a grounder by Crawford and a misplay by the unfortunate DeJong that wasn’t charged as an error to him; he dropped the ball on the transfer in what would have been an inning ending double play.
But Hudson closed the door on them. The hometown team threatened again in the bottom of the fifth. Joc Pederson led off with a full count walk and motored his way to third on a double to right center by Wilmer Flores.
The runners held their bases on Crawford’s weak ground out to first, unassisted. DeJong made a nice diving play on Ruf’’s. grounder, threw home, and Pederson was put out in a brief run down, 6-2-1. Meanwhile, Flores advanced to third and Ruf took second.
That ended Hudson’s day. Lefty TJ McFarland relieved him, and Austin Slater was called on to pinch hit for Wade. He drew a walk to fill the bases. But McFarland got Dubón to fly out to medium deep right, and that retired the side.
Hudson had given up three runs, all earned, in 4-2/3 innings pitched, allowing five hits, a four bagger among them, and a walk. He unleashed one wild pitch. He didn’t notch a single strikeout. Of his 83 pitches, 46 qualified as strikes.
Dominic Leone, hoping to bounce back from his poor performance of yesterday afternoon, took over for Junis in the top of the sixth. He started off well, striking out Pujols but then faltered, issuing a full count walk to Yépez, who moved on to third on Dylan Carlson’s rule book double to the left field corner.
Harrlison Bader brought Yépez home with an RBI ground out to short before Andrew Kizner few out to right to end the inning with the score tied at three.
. Junis left with a line of two runs, both earned, in five innings of work. He three hits, one for all the marbles, and two walks. He struck out six and threw 79 pitches, 52 strikes.
Génesis Cabrera took the mound for St. Louis in the bottom of the sixth. He got his first two men, but Mike Yastrzemski got to him for a splash hit, the sixth of his career, into McCovey Cove that broke the brief tie, putting San Francisco back on top, 4-3. It was the second homer of the year for the man they call Yastrzemski.
Zach Littell pitched a scoreless seventh for San Francisco, marred only by a two out down the line double by Goldschmidt.
Andre Pallante replaced Cabrera to the Cards for the home seventh. He escaped a two on, two out scare, holding the Giants scoreless but still ahead, 4-3.
The next to mount the Giants’ bullpen merry go round was John Brebbia. He got past the first two redbirds he faced but then surrendered a single to Carlson and walk to Bader, putting the tying run in scoring position. Knizer worked the count to 3-2 before swinging at an 84 MPH slider and missing it.
Giovanny Gallegos walked Yastremski with two down in the Giants’ eighth and then let him take second on a wild pitch to Pederson. But the Giants’ DH whiffed on a 3-2 slider.
It now was up to Camilo Doval to hold off the Cards for one the last inning. He struck out Corey Dickerson, pinch hitting for DeJong. Crew chief Bill Miller called Tommy Edman safe on a grounder that Ruf fielded at first and tossed to Doval, covering.
That call was reversed, and there were twooutls. Doval walked Goldschmidt on a full count and now had to face the powerful Nolan Arenado with the potential. tying run on base and himself representing the possible go ahead tally.
With the count at 2-2 on the slugging third sacker, Doval threw a wild pitch that brought the count to 3-2 and put the tying run in scoring position. Doval reached back and struck out Arenado swinging on an 87 mph slider.
The win went to Leone, who had given the poorest account of himself for the afternoon. He now can boast of a record of 2-0,3.oo. Doval earned his fifth save in as many opportunities.
Cabrera took the loss for the Cardinals. He’s now 1-1 ERA 2.84.
Yesterday marked Yadier Molina’s last San Francisco appearance. Another surer bet to become a Hall of Famer, Albert Pujol’s made his today. Both men received a long and loud ovation when when Pujols was announced in the top of the second.
The Giants and the Colorado Rockies will play a three game series starting Monday at 6:45. San Francisco will then embark on a six day, six game trip comprised of two three game series, one in Colorado and the other in St. Louis.
The Rockies haven’t announced their starter for Monday’s contest. Carlos Rodón is slated to pitch for the hometowners.