The Giants are playing sixteen games in sixteen days. Tonight they are in Atlanta to face the Braves. Game 4/16 of the Gauntlet. I’m writing these during these sixteen games and posting immediately after, so it’s fresh.
After the sweep in New York, the Giants flew down to Atlanta. In game one it was Kevin Gausman (12-5, 2.47 ERA, 174 K) up against Braves’ lefty Max Fried (11-7, 3.49 ERA, 117 K).
- Austin Slater (R) CF
- Kris Bryant (R) 3B
- Darin Ruf (R) LF
- Buster Posey (R) C
- Wilmer Flores (R) 1B
- Mike Yastrzemski (L) RF
- Thairo Estrada (R) SS
- Tommy La Stella (L) 2B
- Kevin Gausman (L) P
In the unusual scheduling world of post-Covid MLB, this is the first time the Giants and Braves have seen each other. It was evident immediately as Max Fried hit Austin Slater to put him on. He then got Kris Bryant to line out to right and fanned Darin Ruf. Then Buster Posey smashed a homer to drive in Slater, giving the Giants the early 2-0 lead. Wilmer Flores grounded out to end the inning.
- Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
- Jorge Soler (R) RF
- Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
- Austin Riley (R) 3B
- Dansby Swanson (R) SS
- Travis d’Arnaud (R) C
- Adam Duvall (R) LF
- Joc Pederson (L) CF
- Max Fried (L) P
Kevin Gausman looked shaky, unable even to take advantage of being bailed out by the weather, as the inning went into rain delay. Gausman induced a ground out from Albies to start the game but then gave up singles to Jorge Soler and Austin Riley around a Freddie Freeman line-out.
With two out and two on, and Gausman in a 2-2 count to Dansby Swanson, rain suddenly fell and play was stopped for 35 minutes. When action resumed Swanson singled, loading the bases, but Gausman got Travis d’Arnaud to ground out to end the inning.
After Buster’s homer in the first, the Giants offense awoke, with back-to-back singles by Mike Yasztremski and Thairo Estrada to lead off the second. Fried popped up La Stella for the first out of the inning. With one out, Gausman came up and dropped a perfect bunt. Braves catcher d’Arnaud picked up the slow, dribbling ball and tried to throw out the lead runner, but overthrew Riley at third. The E2 scored Yasztremski, moved Estrada to third and gave Gausman first base on the FC. Slater ended the inning GIDP. Giants 3-0.
Gausman and Adam Duvall faced off to start the bottom of the second and wrestled to a full count through eight pitches before Duvall tattooed a 95mph fastball to dead center for a 413-foot homer, his 28th. NOTE: Adam Duvall now has two hits against Kevin Gausman, both of them homers.
Joc Pederson came up and hit a rocket on a rope to center, but Slater ran it down for the first out. Fried struck out. And on his 40th pitch, Gausman got Albies to hit a roller to Darin Ruf to end the inning. Mets 1, Giants 3.
When LaMonte Wade, Jr struck out swinging on a breaking ball to lead off the third for the Giants, he looked like a guy who really doesn’t like facing good lefties. But Fried then went back-to-back Ks taking out righty Ruf swinging with his crazy, sinking 72mph curve ball.
He ended this pearl of an inning getting Buster to swing and miss on a 77mph curve. Fried struck out the side in the third, all swinging wildly at his slow, sinking curve.
Soler hit a high chopper to second and outraced Kevin Gausman to first, but on the throw to first, Gausman stretched to keep a foot on the bag as he made the catch and ended up doing the splits. He came up grimacing, but continued with one on.
Gausman looked worse. He spiked a ball in front of the plate that allowed Soler to take second without a throw as Posey tracked down the ball. Freddie Freeman hit a sac-grounder to second, advancing Soler to third.
Austin Riley, an MVP-candidate, looked at a 97mph Gausman fastball for a strike and then calmly drilled a 96mph fastball to right to knock in Soler. Made it look easy – one to measure one to hit. That kid is good. Swanson and d’Arnaud flied out to right to end the inning. Mets 2, Giants 3.
Wilmer Flores worked Fried full and touched him for a leadoff infield single. Yaz struck out swinging on a check-swing call. Then Silk! Tommy LaStella roped a double to right, driving in Flores from first. But La Stella got caught between second and third trying to stretch for a triple. Run still counts. Giants 4, Mets 2. Gausman induced deep fly outs from Duvall and Pederson, and got Fried to ground out on a comebacker to end the inning.
Fifth and Sixth
Max Fried was three-up, three-down in the fifth, on eleven pitches, as Gausman, Slater and Wade all went quetly on infield grounders.
Gausman responded by going three-up three-down on seven.
Fried then went out and had a three-up, three-down sixth on twelve pitches, sitting down Ruf, Posey and Flores. Gausman responded by retiring Riley, Swanson and d’Arnaud on ten.
Leaving, Gausman retired eleven in a row, Fried retired six in a row, and the difference in the game was the E2 and the sweet La Stella RBI-double. (or you could say the Posey homer). Both starters made few mistakes and good effort against good batters on both sides.
Neither pitcher issued a walk.
A.J. Minter started the relief for Atlanta. Yaz roped a liner caught by Albies. Estrada popped out to first on one pitch. La Stella singled to shallow right for his second hit of the game. Silk peppers the opposing staff, he don’t care who you send out there.
Dickerson stepped in and went down 0-2 but fought his way back to fill the count and go nine pitches against Minter in drawing the first walk of the game. Two on, two out. But Slater grounded out to end the top of the seventh.
Tony Watson, who failed to hold last time out, against the Mets, came in to face Duvall in the bottom of the seventh and struck him out. Then he walked the pinch-hitting Joc Pederson. There was a brief conversation, before Guillermo Herredia came out for the Braves. Herredia suddenly hit a ground ball single on the first pitch, putting runners in the corners for Ozzie Albies.
Albies smoked a fastball down the middle for a double to deep left-center driving in Pederson and putting Herredia and Albies in scoring position. That was it for Watson. K, BB, single, double. ugh. NOT a hold. Braves 3, Giants 4.
Zach Littell came in with two on and one down to face Soler. Jorge Soler blasted the first pitch, a middle-up fastball that missed, for a three-run homer. Braves 6, Giants 4.
The Giants ‘pen broke first. Walk, single, double, homer. oof. This was the second game in a row that Watson failed to prevent a run from scoring in his inning. The MLB leader in “holds” hasn’t held.
Freeman grounded out to third and Riley popped out to first to end the inning. Littell was solid.
Soler sat after his homer as Herredia, who hit the single, stayed in to play center, with Pederson in right. The Braves’ Luke Jackson came in to face LaMonte Wade, Jr., who grounded out to first on the second pitch.
Then Darin Ruf worked a full count, but struck out. Ruf was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts tonight. Buster Posey poked at a ball out of the zone and popped out to shallow right to end the inning.
Littell stayed in for the bottom of the eighth. I like that call. He got burned by Soler, but he still had his stuff and finished the 7th well. He had a three-up, three-down eighth on ten pitches and got the side to fly out.
ninth inning rally visor
Boom! immediately after rally visor, Wilmer Flores blasts a Will Smith 93mph, four-seam fastball for a home run! Giants 5, Braves 6.
Yaz grounded out to first on a pitch that Smith ran in on his hands, jammed into the out. Smith struck out Thairo Estrada next. Then up came Tommy La Stella.
Ohhhhhhhhhhh! LaStella hits one HIGH!
He hits it DEEP
it’s WAAY BACK THERE! and
NO! It was caught at the wall by Joc Pederson!
What a way to end the game.
Braves 6, Giants 5
epic catch. tough loss.
get some rest Giants