Gritty Giants pitch, platoon their way to series split

On today’s Locked On Giants podcast, host Ben Kaspick talks about the Giants’ unlikely series split against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. After losing the first two games by a combined score of 17-2, the Giants were looking like a team that was already unraveling. But against two lefty starters on Saturday and Sunday, the Giants were able to put out a more competitive lineup that was heavy on right-handed hitters. Despite all the criticism this team has taken from pundits and fans, the righty lineup is competitive, and the Giants’ pitching proved to be instrumental in two big wins against the Dodgers.

On Saturday, Logan Webb made is season debut and pitched great. He was filling up the strike zone with all of his pitches, and he proved to be tough on Dodgers hitters. The Giants’ offense put consistent pressure on lefty Alex Wood, and they were able to jump ahead to a 5-1 lead in the early innings. This got a bit dicey for the Giants in the late innings. Donovan Solano committed a two-out error that directly led to two runs, and Trevor Gott allowed a leadoff home run to Will Smith in the bottom of the 9th, but the Giants held on for a 5-4 victory. It was their first of the year and the first for new manager Gabe Kapler in a Giants uniform.

On Sunday, a nationally televised ESPN game, the Giants again put consistent pressure on left-handed starter Julio Urias. They weren’t able to put too many runs on the board though, and it was a tight game throughout. Starting pitcher Drew Smyly pitched well through 3.1 innings, mixing in a mid-90s fastball, a big curveball, and a cutter. All three pitches were competitive and kept the Dodgers in check. He got into and out of trouble in a long third inning. Shaun Anderson looked dominant again in relief (as he did on Saturday), and the rest of the Giants’ bullpen again held tough against a potent Dodgers lineup. Mauricio Dubón and Donovan Solano delivered clutch two-out hits, which ultimately gave the Giants a 3-1 lead that would be the final score. Trevor Gott earned his second save in as many days, pitching through a leadoff double and a 3-1 count on the next hitter. He retired Mookie Betts on a fly ball and blew a fastball past Max Muncy to finish out the game.

Next the Giants come home for a six-game homestand against the Padres and Rangers. All eyes, however, are on the situation with the Miami Marlins, who have had an outbreak of Covid-19 on their team. Fourteen players and coaches have reportedly tested positive in the last two days. Their game against the Orioles and the Yankees-Phillies game (the Marlins were in Philadelphia when the outbreak occurred) have been postponed.

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