The Giants are playing sixteen games in sixteen days. Tonight they went for the sweep against the Mets in Queens. Game 3/16 of the Gauntlet. I’m writing these during these sixteen games and posting immediately after, so it’s fresh.
Alex Wood (10-4, 4.11 ERA, 130 K) started against righty Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 8.82 ERA, 18 K), first pitch was 7:11pm ET, and climate was a muggy and humid, 85 degrees F.
- LaMonte Wade Jr. (L) RF
- Tommy La Stella (L) 2B
- Kris Bryant (R) 3B
- Brandon Crawford (L) SS
- Wilmer Flores (R) 1B
- Alex Dickerson (L) LF
- Mike Yastrzemski (L) CF
- Curt Casali (R) C
- Alex Wood (R) P
Top of the First
Carlos Carrasco gave up a single to LaMonte Wade, Jr. and then a massive home run to Kris Bryant and the Giants jumped out to a 2 – 0 lead in the first. I love Wade in the leadoff. Not sure why Kap bounced Tommy LaStella down to the eight slot for two games, but back up to the two, he flied out between the two hits. Wilmer Flores grounded out for the last out.
- Brandon Nimmo (L) CF
- Francisco Lindor (S) SS
- Javier Baez (R) 2B
- Pete Alonso (R) 1B
- Dominic Smith (L) LF
- Jonathan Villar (S) 3B
- Kevin Pillar (R) RF
- Patrick Mazeika (L) C
- Carlos Carrasco (R) P
Bottom of the First
Alex Wood gave up a single on a 92mph sinker to Brandon Nimmo to start the bottom of the 1st. But almost ironically, he got Francisco Lindor to lineout on the next pitch, and it was that exact same pitch. Baez grounded into a force out that picked up Nimmo and Wood struck out Pete Alonso to shut it down.
Carrasco rebounded to have a 12-pitch, three-up, three-down second. He popped up Dickerson, struck out Mike Yastzremski and got Curt Casali to line out to right. Wood came out and issued a leadoff walk to Dominic Smith. Villar popped out to La Stella behind second and then Wood suddenly hit Pillar on the knee, two on, one out. Jon pointed out in the at-bat that the fastball wasn’t going where Wood wanted it to go, while the slider was in the pocket.
Mazeika grounded out to short, but advanced the runners because Crawford didn’t think he could make a throw to second, based on a judgement that LaStella wasn’t there in time. Wood struck out Carrasco to end the inning with two stranded RISP.
Wood grounded out to start the third. He was followed by Wade who did the same, ripping one right to Alonso on one pitch. La Stella ended any notion of being uncomfortable back in the two slot, and barrelled a deep double to right at 103mph, which Jon noted was the same off-the-bat speed as Bryant’s homer. But no magic for Sparkles this time, Bryant struck out to end the inning.
Nimmo went down as Wood’s third K of the game. Lindor grounded a dribbler to Bryant, who tried to make a bare-handed pickup and throw, but couldn’t get the speedy Lindor. It didn’t matter though, because Wood got Baez to GIDP to end the inning – three innings in under 50 minutes, both pitchers working quick.
Carrasco, settling in, had a nine-pitch fourth. Crawford was easily run out on a broken bat grounder to first. Wilmer Flores grounded out to third and Dickerson hit a weak dribbler to Alonso who flipped to Carrasco covering for the easy out. Quiet Giants bats except for Kris Bryant, two nights in a row.
In the bottom of the fourth, Alonso poked a change-up away inside-out and singled, the third leadoff single given up by Wood. But he promptly got Smith to hit into another dp, erasing the baserunner. Wood had an 0-2 count on Villar and walked him. But then he got Pillar to fly out on one pitch, that same low-90’s sinker.
Carrasco got Yaz to fly out on two pitches to start the fifth. He was cruising. He got Casali to hit a high, deep fly to left that just stayed in the yard and was caught by Dom Smith. Wood flied out to right to end the inning. After a nine-pitch fourth, Carrasco threw eight pitches in the fifth. The Giants bats were silenced again.
In the bottom of the frame, Mazeika flied out to left. Carrasco struck out and Nimmo lined a shot to left and hustled to leg out a double. Unfortunately when he slid in, he popped up off the base and the replay showed his body was momentarily up in the air above the base while La Stella had the tag still on him. He was declared out by the challenge and replay.
Through five, Wood was at 69 pitches, and Carrasco at just 52. After La Stella’s double in the third, Carrasco retired eight in a row. This pitchers’ duel reminded me how similar we are to the Mets, two good pitching teams with good defenses and low Runs Against in the Differential column. Good game. Wonder what it’ll be like tomorrow night against the first place Braves in Atlanta.
Carrasco struck out Wade, Jr on four pitches to start the sixth and then he and La Stella had a spirited contest that led to a full count before sharp contact … that led to a running catch by Pillar of Tommy’s ball lined to right. Carrasco struck out Kris Bryant to end the inning. A little more stress, but basically straight handled by Carrasco, a 16-pitch sixth, to make it eleven Giants retired in a row.
Watching Alex Wood in the sixth felt like waiting for this pitching contest to go sour. Kap had Zach Littell and Jarlin Garcia warm up. Sure enough Javy Baez led off with a sharp hit ball to center field that he aggressively hustled and slid into a double. <— I WROTE ALL THAT LIVE DURING THE GAME BEFORE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT.
Pete Alonso took Alex Wood yard for a two-run homer to tie the game.
Dave: “I am sure Gabe Kapler is thinking, ‘did I wait too long?’ … and he did. [in Alex Wood’s case], third time through he’s gonna get hit, it happens over and over again and it happened here, again.”
The Alonso homer was on an 81mph slider. Wood’s pace had dropped considerably before leaving the game. Mets 2, Giants 2. Jarlin Garcia came in for Wood and he got Dominic Smith to ground out. But then with two outs he gave up a double to Villar. He managed to pop up Pillar to end the inning tied 2-2.
Carrasco had a ten-pitch, three-up, three-down seventh inning. He was totally in the zone. Crawford, Flores and Dickerson managed just three weak grounders. Carlos Carrasco went seven innings on 78 pitches, giving up only three hits and two-runs (on the Bryant homer). He peppered in five strikeouts. It must have been his best outing. He was methodological and dominant.
Garcia got Mazeika to ground out and struck out Mets PH Brandon Drury in the bottom of the seventh, but then gave up a single to Brandon Nimmo. Garcia struck out Lindor swinging on a slider he’d just used the pitch before. I think Francisco needs some time off.
Yaz singled off Seth Lugo to lead off the eighth. Then Lugo hit Casali on the right forearm and just like that, with Carrasco gone, the Giants had two men on and nobody out for pinch-hitting Darin Ruf, who has struggled as a PH.
Ruf muscled a ball inside-out to right for a single! Yaz, waved in by Wotus, scored, and the long throw to home was airmailed over everybody’s head! Ruf and Casali advanced to scoring position. But Casali got hurt somehow, so the Giants brought in the Aruban Stallion, Chadwick Tromp, to replace him at third and behind the plate for the ninth. Lugo was done. Giants 3, Mets 2.
The Mets turned the ball over to their lefty specialist Aaron Loup. Austin Slater, with two on and nobody out, worked a full count against Loup and drew the walk to load the bases. Kap replaced La Stella with the righty Thairo Estrada and Loup got him to drop a dribbler in front of the plate that Villar was able to scoop to home to get the force out of Tromp.
Loup versus Kris Bryant with the bases loaded was an epic battle that went to a full count and Bryant fighting off pitches. It ended in Bryant’s third strikeout on a 94mph Loup fastball. Crawford with the bases loaded versus Loup was immediately like last night. Huge tension. Three men on, two men out, Crawford and Loup staring each other down. Loup got Crawford to pop up.
The Giants had bases loaded with nobody out and Loup got out of it.
Dominic Leone allowed the Giants fourth leadoff runner of this game in the eighth, Javy Baez, who singled, bringing up Pete Alonso. Leone got Alonso to fly out, no damage, then got Dom Smith to fly out to center to Slater. With two-outs and the speedy Baez being pesky at first, Leone walked Villar. Two -out, two on for Leone facing PH Michael Conforto and he did it again to load the bases.
With a one-run lead, Kap had seen enough and he turned the ball over to Jose Alvarez. The Mets countered with Jeff McNeil as a pinch hitter and the moment was crazy deja-vu – Jose Alvarez with the bases loaded facing Jeff McNeill was ended by Alvarez on one pitch last night to get the Giants out of the sixth.
Tonight, in the eighth, it took three pitches, but he did it again! McNeil grounded out to short. Jon pointed out that Alvarez is turning into a specialist for situations when there’s RISP or, as he put it, “a lot of traffic on the bases.”
In the top of the ninth, Dick and Flores struck out, but the Giants had one hit, by Yaz, who was left on when Tromp flied out to center. The Giants took a one run lead into the bottom of the ninth for Tyler Rogers to save.
Rogers got J.D. Davis to fly out to Slater in center, Nimmo to fly out to Yaz in right, on one pitch, and Lindor to fly out to Yaz to end the game! Jon noted that when Tyler Rogers is working right he induces grounders, but that he got this save with three fly balls. I wonder if that is because Tromp was catching?
Kudos, btw, to The Aruban Stallion, Chad Tromp, for coming in on short notice in a tension filled road game and not making any errors. That was well-handled. This is because Posey is IL Day-to-Day, but I again reiterate that I REALLY like having three catchers on the roster. (See the GBC post from the last game of the Irregular Season).
Garcia got the win and Rogers the save. Giants Sweep the Mets!
Giants 3, Mets 2
The first series and the first three games of the 16 Game Gauntlet ended in victory for the Giants! Amazing performances in New York. It’s on to Atlanta tomorrow, same bat station same bat time.
Let’s Go Giants!
Run The Gauntlet!
3 down, 13 to go!