That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Baseball Do you enjoy position players pitching?

St Louis Cardinal pitcher Yadier Molina is not too thrilled after giving up a two run ninth inning home run at PNC Park on Sun May 22, 2022 to the Pittsburgh Pirates Jack Suwinski. Molina is one of two position players to have pitched this season for the Cardinals (AP News photo)

Baseball: Do you enjoy Position players Pitching?

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Today it has become more common to see a position player pitching at the end of a game with a lopsided score. Because it is now more common and it has lost a lot of the “fun” that it used to be. And the more it happens in the future, the more it would mean “not much”.

Unless those are Hall of Fame players, such guys as Albert Pujols and his good friend Yadier Molina, both in St Louis, they are first vote Hall of Famers in the future and those are guys that have done everything in baseball, except pitch, until recently.

During the Phillies 2018 Spring Training, manager Gabe Kapler experimented with his utility players throw occasional bullpen sessions. The purpose of this was to use them in game situations. It was not meant to be as a “joke” or fun if your team was winning or losing by 15 runs in the ninth inning. Kapler’s experiment was just that, an experiment.

Gabe Kapler, (now managing the Giants) used outfielder Luis González to pitch against the San Diego Padres on Sunday at Oracle Park, when the game was 10-1 in favor of the Padres, who swept the Giants. González did a great job as he pitched for 2 innings gave up 1 hit and no runs, his ERA 0.00

The first 40-40 man in history, José Canseco came to pitch for the Texas Rangers against the Boston Red Sox on May 29, 1993. He pitched one inning (the 8th) gave up 2 hits 3 earned runs, walked three and his earned run average ended at 27.00.

Canseco injured his arm and underwent Tommy John surgery to end his season. José had said in the past his dream was to pitch during a major league game. Was that fun José? By-the way, just three days prior to his pitching debut and retirement, on May 26, his head produced a home run, as he was playing right field when a batted ball hit his head and went over the fence.

That also was not a lot of fun for José, but he took it in stride after all there is no Tommy John surgery for your head. José Canseco played for another 10 years and retired after the 2001 season. He played for 17 years in the major leagues as an Outfielder-Designated Hitter and…Pitcher.

In conclusion. Using a position player to pitch, in any situation is like ordering Babe Ruth to lay a bunt. However, Ruth had a sacrifice bunt every year between 1915 and 1930. From 1922 to 1930 The Bambino hit 403 homeruns and also laid down 33 sacrifice bunts.

However, Ruth also won 65 games as a pitcher. In my book, I like to see a super star like Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina to pitch in a game that is already decided, but I will not enjoy an average player taking the ball, unless his team has totally ran out of pitchers.

But that is only my opinion, I am sure many would disagree. One thing we could all agree is that today, their is only one Shohei “Showtime”) Ohtani, he can really hit and really pitch, with the best of them.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for the Oakland A’s on flagship station Le Grande 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary at

San Francisco Giants podcast with Morris Phillips: Giants leave St Louis after getting clobbered 15-6; SF to open 3 game series in Colorado tonight

Pitching for the first time in his 22 year career and tying the record for oldest player to pitch a MLB game St Louis Cardinal Albert Pujols picks up a ninth inning save against the San Francisco Giants at Busch Stadium in St Louis (AP News photo)

On the San Francisco Giants podcast with Morris:

#1 St Louis Cardinal pitcher Albert Pujols shut the door on the San Francisco Giants on Sunday. Pujols who pitched in the top of the ninth inning giving up a three run homer to Luis Gonzalez and Joey Bart hit a solo home run still the Pujols and the Cardinals had plenty of room as Pujols retired the next three batter for a 15-6 win.

#2 After playing in the majors for 22 years Pujols never pitched and said after the game that it was a dream to pitch in the majors and he pulled it off.

#3 Pujols said he loved pitching that inning except giving up the two home runs to Gonzalez and Bart. Saying  “It was fun. It wasn’t fun giving up two bombs. I think the fans had a good time. I’m sure the guys that took me deep did, too.”

#4 Just a baseball fun fact Morris, Pujols became the oldest player to pitch since Lena Blackburne who did it at 42 years old in 1929 for the Chicago White Sox.

#5 The Giants open up a three game series in Colorado tonight starting pitcher for the Giants LHP Alex Wood (3-2 ERA 3.60) and for the Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-2 ERA 4.88) a 5:40 pm PDT first pitch.

Join Morris for the Giants podcasts Mondays at

Cardinals hand Giants a second loss 15-6

In a game where everybody touches them all and the St Louis Cardinals Paul Goldschmidt (left) was no exception after hitting a first inning home run against San Francisco Giants pitcher Carlos Rodon (right) at Busch Stadium in St Louis on Sun May 15, 2022 (AP News photo)

Cardinals Hand Giants A Second Loss 15-6

By Barbara Mason

Saturday the San Francisco Giants (20-13) were shut out by the St. Louis Cardinals (18-15) 4-0. Sunday they were looking to bounce back in the final game of their series. It did not go as planned for San Francisco losing by a significant margin 15-6 at Busch Stadium in St Louis.

The Cardinals scored in the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. They had 17 hits in this game and it was not until the ninth inning that the Giants showed much signs of life. The Cardinals bats were just too much for San Francisco to handle.

Joey Bart and Luis Gonzalez both hit home runs in the ninth inning for the Giants. Darin Ruf and Thairo Estrada both scored on the Gonzalez homer. San Francisco was trailing by the score of 15-2 going into the ninth inning so it was too little to late for the Giants.

Joc Pederson also had a homer in the sixth inning for San Francisco. The Giants had seven hits in the game in a very disappointing series for the team.

The Cardinals also hit three home runs in this game. Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Yadier Molina all hit homers with runners on base. St. Louis completely outplayed the Giants in front of their home crowd.

The Giants will now travel to Colorado for a series with the Rockies. The first game will be Monday with first pitch at 5:40 PM. Going for San Francisco starter LHP Alex Wood (3-2 ERA 3.60) and for Colorado RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-2 ERA 4.88) gets the call first pitch 5:40 pm PDT

St Louis beats San Francisco in shutout 4-0; End SF’s six game win streak

St Louis Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson throws against the Giants line up in the first inning at Busch Stadium in St Louis on Sat May 14, 2022. Hudson and the Cardinal bullpen shutout the Giants on a eight hitter (AP News photo)

St. Louis Beats San Francisco In a Shut Out 4-0

By Barbara Mason

In the first of this series the San Francisco Giants (20-13) handled the St. Louis Cardinals (18-15) without much trouble. They had eight hits and eight runs winning 8-2.

Saturday the two teams met in the second game of their series. In this game San Francisco again had eight hits with a completely different outcome. The Giants were shut out 4-0. St. Louis had seven hits in the second game of this series.

On the mound for the Giants was Jakob Junis who went 5.2 innings. He got relief pitching from John Brebbia and Camilo Doval for the loss.

St. Louis’ Dakota Hudson went five innings for the shut out and was relieved by Genesis Cabrera, Andre Pallante, Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos who all had a hand in this win.

The Cardinals scored in the second inning off a double from Brendan Donovan for the early 1-0 lead. They would tack on another in the fifth inning when Tommy Edman hit a solo home run to right and a 2-0 lead.

They would solidify the win in the seventh inning with two runs off a couple of doubles from Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado for the 4-0 final.

Notes: The Giants traded utilityman Mauricio Dubon to the Houston Astros for catcher Michael Papierski. Papierski who will report to the Giants minor league affiliate Sacramento. The Giants in turn called up infielder Donavon Walton.

Walton was picked up by the Giants on Wednesday from the Seattle Mariners. Walton played in Saturday’s game against the Cards playing at second and hitting for a double.

Giants infielder Tommy LaStella is coming right along after suffering from right Achilles inflammation he’s been looking good in rehab hitting for a grand slam and going 2-5 on Saturday in Sacramento.

The Cardinals activated RHP Drew VerHagen who suffered a right hip impingement and came off the IL. The Cards optioned LHP Packy Naughton to Triple-A Memphis.

The Giants were able to hit in this game but could not bring anyone home. The final game of this series will be Sunday in a late game. First pitch is schedule for 4:08 PM. Starting for San Francisco Sunday left hand pitcher Carlos Rodon (4-1 ERA 1.80) and for the Cards righthander Adam Wainwright (3-3 ERA 3.18)

Logan pitches into sixth and Longoria gets key double in Giants 8-2 win against Cardinals; SF extends winning streak to six

San Francisco Giants starter Logan Webb delivers against the St Louis Cardinals line up in the first inning at Busch Stadium in St Louis to open the three game series on Fri May 13, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum

Friday, May 13, 2022

Evan Longoria’s bat came alive during a five-run rally, San Francisco pitching turned in another solid performance, and the Giants extended their winning streak to six with an 8-2 verdict over the St. Louis Cardinals Friday at Busch Stadium.

After going 0-for-5 in his first game back off the injured list, Longoria hit a two-run double in the top of the eighth inning, helping to put the game out of reach. Thairo Estrada and Brandon Crawford scored on the play, extending San Francisco’s lead to 6-1.

Curt Casali capped the five-run eighth when he followed with a two-run home run to left-center – his first of the season – driving in Longoria. Earlier in the inning, Crawford had reached on a base hit that drove in Mike Yastrzemski.

Paul Goldschmidt drove in both Cardinal runs with a first-inning groundout and his third home run of the season, a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth. The Giants went ahead to stay on Yastrzemski’s tie-breaking two-run double in the top of the third, driving in LaMonte Wade Jr. and Brandon Belt.

Luis Gonzalez’ RBI single to left tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the second. Logan Webb (5-1) surrendered one earned run on three hits and three walks with one strikeout. Dominic Leone earned his third hold, while Zack Littell and Jarlin Garcia finished up.

Jordan Hicks (1-3) struck out three and walked two, but also gave up three earned runs on three hits. Relievers Nick Wittgren and T.J. McFarland gave up the five San Francisco runs in the eighth.

The second game of the weekend series starts at 11:15 a.m. PDT Saturday. Jakob Junis (1-0, 1.20) starts for San Francisco, and the Cardinals will go with Dakota Hudson (2-2, 3.56).

San Francisco Giants podcast with Daniel Dullum: Longoria back and SF opens three game series in St Louis tonight

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford is congratulated by Thairo Estrada after Crawford slams a two run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Thu May 11, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Giants podcast with Daniel:

#1 Daniel, the Giants are coming off a very strong finish against the Colorado Rockies with a three game sweep and a five game win streak.

#2 The Giants have now won ten straight games against the Rockies and scored early and often during the last three games at Oracle. Simply put Rockie starters Austin Gomber, Antonio Senzatela, and Chris Kuhl all had their troubles trying to get out of innings against the Giant lineup.

#3 Giants third baseman Evan Longoria returned to the line up on Wednesday afternoon taking in his first regular game of the season after having finger surgery. Longoria batted third and went 0-5 but said it was like Christmas morning just to put the uninform on and compete.

#4 Giants starting pitcher Alex Cobb said the team struggled when they were going through a five game losing streak but said upon the current five game winning streak “this is us.”

#5 The Giants open up tonight in St Louis they’ll send starting pitcher Logan Webb (4-1 ERA 3.82) to the mound agianst the St Louis Cardinals Jordan Hicks (1-2 ERA 3.78) for a 4:10 pm PDT first pitch.

Join Daniel Fridays for the Giants podcasts at

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants Cobb holds Rockies to one run; SF opens 3 game series in St Louis Friday

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Alex Cobb throws to the Colorado Rockies line up in the first inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco in the third and last game of the series on Wed May 11, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 San Francisco Giants (19-12) starter Alex Cobb didn’t look like he was running out of gas at all as he went 5.1 innings, surrendering just three hits and a run to the Colorado Rockies (16-15) in a landslide 7-1 win at Oracle Park in a Wednesday matinee.

#2 Cobb walked only two batters and was effective with a mix of pitches and keeping the hitters off balance striking out six hitters. It was the first time that Cobb has got in the win column since April 12th improving his record to 2-1.

#3 The Giants who swept the Rockies in the series and dominated them in pitching, hitting and runs scored. As this third game was no different from the first two games touching up Rockies pitching. Rockies pitcher Chad Kuhl suffered his first loss of the season now 3-1. The Giants shelled Kuhl for five runs in 4 2/3 innings.

#4 The Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford was seeing the ball just fine with three RBIs and scoring two runs in his own right as well. Joey Bart, Brandon Belt, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Joc Pederson all got RBIs for the Giants and handing the Rockies their fourth consecutive loss.

#5 The Giants for their next encore will open a three game series in St Louis against the Cardinals (16-13) on Fri May 13 at Busch Stadium in St Louis. Starting pitcher for the Giants in Kapler fashion has not been announced the Cards will start Steven Matz (3-2 ERA 7.01) a 5:15 pm PDT first pitch.

Join Michael for the Giants podcasts each Thursday at

Giants just get by Cardinals 4-3 win two straight

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.

Buster retirement party has Giants snapping 5 game loss streak; Giants score lots of runs in 13-7 win over Cards

Former San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey acknowledges the crowd, former teammates, former Giant manager Bruce Bochy, manager Gabe Kapler, Giant announcers, the media and much more as the Giants pay tribute to his career in baseball at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sat May 7, 2022 (AP News photo)

St. Louis. 7. 14. 3

San Francisco. 13. 9. 0

Saturday May 7, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

SAN FRANCISCO–The first time I saw Buster Posey play was on June 13, 2009, when was the catcher and clean-up hitter for the San José Giants against the visiting Modesto Nuts. He got one hit in two at bats to go with a pair of walks.

Who would have thought that, 13 years later, I’d be attending a tribute to his 12 year major league career, in which he compiled a lifetime batting average of .304 with wins above replacement of .831, while leading the San Francisco Giants (15-12) to World Series championships in 2010, 2012, and 2014, capping it all with last year’s 107 win NL West division championship?

But, then, who would have thought that many of the 40,113 fans who attended the ceremony would have been wondering if this year’s Giant team would ever break its current five game losing streak, in which it dropped seven of its eight most recent contests?

They did break it, whalooping the visiting St Louis Cardinals (16-11) convincingly, 13-7.

Two changes in the San Francisco lineup this afternoon indicate that there had been a serious problem and also a possible solution. The indication of a problem was that Brandon Crawford, the hard, but sporadic, hitting shortstop, who usually is a delight to watch field his position was benched, replaced by Mauricio Dubón.

Crawford had been hitting .236 in spite of a three game hitting streak. His fielding percentage was .949, thanks to his five errors, as opposed to only nine over all of last season. Perhaps this brief rest will enable Crawford to resume his high standard of play. Dubón would go 2 for 4 with a home run and a single. He also made several nifty plays in the field.

The more important change was Brandon Belt’s return from the injured list, playing first base and batting in the third position. The outcome of his outing was, at the end of the game, was in doubt. Belt had to leave the game in the bottom of the eighth, when it appeared that he had fouled a ball onto one of his feet.

San Francisco sent Logan Webb (3-1 ERA 3.26) to the mound, and he quickly allowed the Cardinals to jump ahead. Tommy Edman walked on four pitches and stole second on the called third strike to Paul Goldschmidt.

Nolen Arenado’s hard hit single to right center plated Edman to put St. Louis up, 1-0. Just as quickly as he had gotten into trouble, Webb pitched himself out of it, thanks to a U4-3 double play, Estrada to Belt.

The Redbirds’ starting pitcher, southpaw Steven Matz (3-2 ERA 4.56) is, as his ERA indicates, eminently getatable. And the Giants got to him in their half of the first. They loaded the bases with a walk to Slater, an infield single by Dubón, and another walk to Belt.

After Darin Ruf popped out to second, Wilmer Flores unloaded the bases by unloading a 394 foot grand slam into the left field bleachers. The Giants didn’t get greedy, and after 34 pitches, Maltz got out of the frame with his team still behind, 4-1.

The Cardinals came rushing back with the thousandth career RBI by another catcher who might very well become a Hall of Famer.

Yadier Molina smacked an 0-2 pitch into right for a single that drove in Juan Yépez from third, which he had reached on a hard hit infield single, followed by Dylan Carlson’s productive ground out to short, and Harrison Bader’s single to center.

Bader then scored on Paul DeJong’s single to center, reducing the Giants’ lead to a single run.

Dubón reopened the gap with a two run fly that just made it over the 391 foot marker in dead center field with Mike Yatrzemski on first with a lead off single to right.

Then Darin Ruf added another two tallies to the scoreboard, sending Belt, who had received his second consecutive passport, home with a 383 foot round tripper that cleared the National Car Rental sign in left center. The blast came off a 93 mph sinker. San Francisco now had a lead of 8-3.

That was all the Giants would score against Matz because, after Webb set the Cards down in order in the third, Jake Woodford relieved the Cards’ woebegone starter, who left a legacy of two innings pitched, eight runs, all earned, allowed on five hits, three of which went yard, and three walks. He threw 57 pitches, of which 34 were deemed strikes

A walk and an uncontested stolen base put Harrison Bader in scoring position in the St. Louis fourth. Score he did, on DeJong’s single to left, reducing the distance between the two teams to four runs.

Flores got another chance–two chances, in fact–for a second grand slam when he came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom half of that frame.

He lofted a pop foul on a 1-1 count, but the 39 year old Molina dropped the ball while every Little League coach in the stands muttered, “Use two hands!” Then Flores flew out to right, a sacrifice fly that restored the home team’s five run margin. The run, incidentally was unearned.

Webb left after pitching five mediocre innings, throwing 84 pitches, 56 for strikes. All four runs he surrendered were earned. They came on eight hits and two bases on balls. He struck out seven Cardinal batters.

Domenic Leone took his place on the pitcher’s rubber.

Woodward was lifted with one out in the bottom of the sixth, which Packy Naughton wrapped up for St. Louis.

The relievers on parade continued, with Zach Littell allowing the Cardinals to draw closer in the top of the seventh on 391 foot four bagger by Dylan Carlson, his to right with Goldschmidt and O’Neill on board. It was Carlson’s first homer of the year.

Once more, the Giant bullpen was faltering. Bader legged out a single to short, bringing Molina to the plate, representing the potential tying run. He worked a full count before striking out. Side armer Tyler Rogers would replace Littell in the eighth and hold St. Louis scoreless in spite of a two out double by Goldschmidt.

Then it was Nick Wittgren on the mound, trying to keep St. Louis in the game after the crowd had finished singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” He failed. A one out single by Luis González, followed by Estrada’s two bagger to left put San Francisco’s run total in double digits.

Kodi Whitley dutifully replaced Wittgreen to open the home eighth and failed more ignominiously than his predecessor, walking all five batters he faced. (In reality, he faced six; LaMone Wade, Jr. replaced Belt, who injured himself during his plate appearance).

The walk to Flores gave the Giants third sacker his sixth RBI of the afternoon. TJ McFarland, who replaced Whitely after the walk to Flores, hit González and gave up a sac fly to Estrada before being rescued by a pitcher´s best friend.

It was up to Jarlín García to protect the orange and black’s 13-7 lead and return the team to the win column. In spite of a lead off walk no O’Neill, García held St. Louis scoreless.

The Giants haven’t announced who will start for them in tomorrow afternoon’s fray, scheduled for a 1:05 first pitch. The Cards will send righty Dakota Hudson (2-2ERA 3.16) to the mound.

Cardinals just get by Giants 3-2; San Francisco extends losing streak to five games

St. Louis Cardinals’ Brendan Donovan, right, scores what would be the winning run and runs past Andrew Knizner (left) against the San Francisco Giants during the top of the ninth inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Friday, May 6, 2022. (AP News photo)

St. Louis. 3. 6. 0

San Francisco. 2. 7. 0

Friday May 6, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

SAN FRANCISCO–When dawn broke this morning over the Bay Area, optimism was nowhere to be found among fans of the local baseball teams. It had gone down the Bay Tube. The Athletics were in the throes of a sixth game losing streak, and the San Francisco Giants (14-12), with seven players on the injury and covid list and another on bereavement leave, had just lost their fourth in a row, dropping them to fourth place in the NL West with a record of 14-11 after another bullpen meltdown changed a close game into a disastrous 7-1 defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals (16-10) Thursday night.

Over the last six games, San Francisco’s relievers’ innings pitched have equalled the amount of earned runs they’ve allowed, 28. On the bright side, LaMonte Wade, Jr., came off the injured list today to make his first appearance of the season, leading off and playing right field. Unfortunatey, he went 0 for 2, including a strikeout.

The teams from the Gateway City and the City by the Golden Gate met again tonight in the second of their four game series, which will last through Sunday. The Cards sent three year veteran JordanHicks to the mound.

The fireball hurling right hander had been used exclusively in relief until two weeks ago, when on April 21, he started against the Marlins in Miami and pitched decently for three innings, allowing one run on two hits and a couple of walks but taking the loss. In his two subsequent starts, he lost to the Mets and left without a decision against the Diamondbacks.

He went 3-1/2 innings in that last appearance, his longest as what the St. Louis media has called a starter. In fact, he really shouldn’t be given that name, but that’s what they call him in St.Louis.

The Redbirds’ manager, Oli Mármol, had this to say on the question when interviewed by Kevin Wheeler on KMOX: “He’s gonna come in and start the game, and they’ll evaluate it inning by inning …. [He’s] not what you would think of technically as an opener, which is a guy who comes in, pitches to the top of the order, and then comes out of the game.” Let’s just call him an extended opener and mention that he brought a record of 1-2 ERA 3.65 with him to the mound.

Alex Cobb, who returned from the IL on May Day and couldn’t finish the first inning, giving up five runs before leaving with two down.

The Cardinals touched him for four hits and three walks, but it can be said in Cobb’s defense that a costly error in left made all but one of those runs unearned. His defense was no defense. He throws mainly sinkers and splitters, with an occasional curve for variety. Those sinkers average a little less than 95mph.

Cobb was masterful the first time through the St. Louis order. He didn’t allow a baserunner until the top of the fourth, when he issued a one out, full count walk to Paul Goldschmidt.

Nolan Arenado followed that with a hard bounder down the line that barely skipped over a diving Jason Vosler’s glove into left field for a double that sent Goldschmidt to third. At this point, Cobb recovered to strike out Juan Yépez on three pitches. Half of the dozen outs he recorded by the end of the frame had been Ks.

There was nothing shabby about Hicks´performance in his early innings. A walk to Crawford and a single to Thairo Estrada was all the damage San Francisco could inflict on him over his initial 3-2/3 frames on the mound. Then Crawford legged out a Texas League double to center, only to be stranded on second when Estrada grounded out to Tommy Edman, the Cardinals’ second sacker.

Cobb’s magic disappeared in the top of the fifth. Corey Dickerson led off with a clean single to right center. One out later, Harison Bader parked an 89mph split fingered fastball 358 feet to left field, just over the Game Up sign.

The Giants challenged the call, but the verdict was upheld on review. Cobb got his next two men out, but the home team now trailed, 2-0. (During that inning, Andrew Kinzler pinch hit for Yadier Molina, remaining in the game as catcher. No announcement was made of an injury to the veteran backstop).

San Francisco chased Hicks from the mound in their half of the fifth with a walk, a single by Luis González and a walk to Vosler, who was erased when Bart forced him at second while González moved up to third.

That´s when Génesis Cabrera entered the game, getting pinch hitter Austin Slater to ground out to the mound, advancing Bart to scoring position. Both runners scored on Ruf´s pinch hit single to right.

John Brebbia, back from bereavement leave, replaced Cobb to start the sixth, and retired the side in order,notching two Ks in the process.

Hicks had allowed two runs, both earned, on three hits and two walks while striking out five in his 4-1/2 innings of work. He threw 68 pitches, 44 for strikes.

Cobb’s line was five full innings pitched,also two runs, both earned, on three hits. He struck out five and walked one. Of his 74 offerings, only 20 were balls.

Slater, who had hit for Wade, stayed in the game in center field. Ruf, who had batted for Yastrzemski went on to play left, and González moved from left to right, all in the top of the sixth.

Sean Hjelle, making his big league debut, relieved Brebbia and hurled a perfect seventh, preserving the 2-2 tie.

Vosler’s one out single to right in the home seventh ended Cabrera’s effort. The southpaw yielded mound duties to the right handed Ryan. Helsley, who struck out Bart and Slater.

Tyler Rogers, pitching in the top of the eighth, was the beneficiary of acrobatic catches by Ruf in left and González in right, but the latter was helpless aginst Tommy Edman’s two out blast against the Levi’s Landing wall that went for a triple.

The side arming righly then walked Goldschmidt, putting runners on the corners with the powerful Nolan Arenado at the plate.

Camilo Doval trotted in from the bullpen to face him. Doval got him to bounce out on a comebacker on his second pitch, and we went into the bottom of the eighth with the score still tied at two.

Which is where it remained when Doval came out to pitch the ninth. He struck out Tyler O’Neill swinging, but Yépez pulled a double down the left field line.

Brendan Donovan ran for him and scored the go ahead run on a single to left center by Dylan Carlson, who had replaced Corey Dickerson in right in the bottom of the seventh. Doval retired Knizner and Bader, but, once more, the Giants went into the bottom of the ninth trailing, this time 3-2.

Giovanny Gallegos took over, trying to shut the hometown team in the botom of the night. He got Crawford on a fy to right center. Estrada drove a powerful single down the left field line, which put the run on base, only to be wiped out in a 4-6-3 double play.

The Giants’ woes continued. (By the way, the A’s also lost, 2-1.

The win went to Helsley and the save to Gallegos. Doval was charged with the loss.

Willie Mays deserved something better on his 91st birthday.

The teams will resume their four game series Saturday afternoon at the unusual hour of 4:15, preceded an hour earlier by a celebration in honor of the recently retired Buster Posey, after which Steven Matz (3-1 ERA 4.56) will go for the Cardinals against the Giants’ Logan Webb (3-1 ERA 3.26)