The Giants Run the Gauntlet (Game 8 of 16) the Halfway Point, Cueto Back from Illness; Brewers’ Woodruff Manhandles Giants; Jose Quintana Debuts Well

The Giants are playing sixteen games in sixteen days, without a break. This is Game 8 of 16. Game two of four with the Brewers. This gauntlet of 16 games will define the stretch so I’m live-blogging them and posting immediately afterward. Last night’s loss to Milwaukee paired with a Dodgers win put the Giants just one and a half games ahead in the NL West before this one.

With coronavirus and illness creating chaos to starting pitching, Johnny Cueto (7-6, 3.73 ERA, 94 K) said he felt well enough to pitch against Brandon Woodruff (8-7, 2.38 ERA, 177 K). First pitch was 6:45, and it was 62 degrees F in San Francisco.

MIL Lineup

  1. Kolten Wong (L) 2B
  2. Willy Adames (R) SS
  3. Christian Yelich (L) LF
  4. Omar Narvaez (L) C
  5. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
  6. Rowdy Tellez (L) 1B
  7. Jace Peterson (L) 3B
  8. Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
  9. Brandon Woodruff (L) P

Johnny Cueto coming off illness started the game getting Kelton Wong to fly out on three pitches, but then immediately ran into trouble. He gave up a bloop single to left to Willy Adames and a swinging bunt infield grounder to Christian Yelich.

Omar Narvaez then singled to center, scoring Adames and putting Yelich at third. With runners in the corners, Avisail Garcia grounded out to third, but the ball rolled slow enough that Yelich scored and Narvaez advanced to second. Milwaukee 2 – 0.

Cueto didn’t want to give Rowdy Tellez anything to hit and walked him on four pitches. He then got Jace Peterson to ground out to first to end the inning.

SF Lineup

  1. LaMonte Wade Jr. (L) RF
  2. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
  3. Buster Posey (R) C
  4. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
  5. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
  6. Mike Yastrzemski (L) CF
  7. Wilmer Flores (R) 2B
  8. Alex Dickerson (L) LF
  9. Johnny Cueto (R) P

LaMonte Wade Jr., cracked a 96mph four-seam fastball deep to right for a leadoff double. Brandon Belt then popped up and fouled out on one pitch. Buster Posey struck out swinging against Woodruff’s 98mph fastball that was moving into his hands – good pitch. Brandon Crawford rolled a grounder to second for the last out. Wade stranded.

Second

Johnny Cueto got jacked by Lorenzo Cain for a 399 foot home run on the second pitch he faced to start the third. He then gave up a base hit to the pitcher, Woodruff. Cueto settled down. He induced a double-play ball from Kolten Wong to erase the base runners. Adames flied out to center to end the top of the frame. Brewers 3, Giants 0.

Kris Bryant drew a walk on four pitches, but then Woodruff got Mike Yastrzemski on three: sinker, sinker, four-seam fastball, 94, 94 and 95mph. He got Wilmer Flores to GIDP to end the inning, a ten pitch easy second for Woodruff.

Third

Cueto got Yelich to ground out on two pitches. Narvaez popped up and was caught in foul territory by Bryant, also on the second pitch. Cueto had the shimmy working, which generally means he’s at ease. But Garcia hung in and filled the count, to which Flem remarked that Cueto was doing all the shimmies but it seemed to be interfering with his command. As if on cue, Cueto hit Garcia to put him on, HBP.

Rowdy Tellez hit a fly ball to left center that carried over Yastrzemski’s head and carromed off the wall behind Yaz at a crazy angle. By the time Alex Dickerson got it and threw it back in, it was a run-scoring triple. Milwaukee 4-0. Rowdy Tellez is a big boy.

Cueto then walked Jace Peterson on four pitches, earning a mound visit with two out, and runners in the corners. Cueto tried to settle down, stalked the mound, grabbed the rosin bag … to no avail. He gave up an RBI single to Cain. Lorenzo Cain had a homer and an RBI single in his first two at-bats. 5-0 Brewers. Cueto managed to strike out Woodruff looking, for the third out, at last.

In the bottom half, Alex Dickerson gave a ball a ride way out to center, but it was tracked down by Cain, one down. Woodruff fanned Cueto swinging, but Johnny fought off a lot of pitches for fouls and took a ball in the AB. Wade struck out as well, and that was it for the Giants.

Fourth

Cueto got Wong again, but this time it took nine pitches to get a line out to center. He got Adames to ground out to third, but only after eight pitches. Jon noted that the Brewers were fouling off a lot of his pitches. Yelich hit a two-out single to center on an 86mph slider.

Then things got ugly. A lazy pop up by Narvaez to shallow left was so high Dickerson couldn’t see it. When he finally saw it, it was too late and it dropped despite his sliding effort. Then he hopped up and tried to throw the ball in and there was an overthrow that scored Yelich. Then Cueto, who was covering, tried to throw out the runner at first and overthrew Belt. Total chaos. Narvaez to second. Cueto then gave up an infield single to Garcia to end his night.

PITCHERSIPHRERBBKHRPC-STERA
Cueto3.2106621184-574.09
ugly.

Jose Quintana debuted with two out and runners in the corners and promptly threw a wild pitch, clumsy, that advanced Garcia to second, ugh. But he got Rowdy Tellez to ground out to Bryant who threw him out cleanly to end the inning. Brewers 6, Giants 0.

Brandon Woodruff is 6’4″ tall and was dominating. He had given up just one hit, to LaMonte Wade, the first at-bat of the game. Brandon Belt failed to get a bunt down and struck out on a foul bunted on strike three. Woodruff struck out Posey swinging again, this time on an 87mph changeup.

B-Craw battled Woodruff to a full count with two down and Woodruff missed high on a changeup, walking Crawford. But then he blazed a 96 mph fastball for a strike to Bryant and got him to meekly hit a grounder to third off a 96mph slider. Dominant.

Fifth

Quintana gave up a leadoff walk to Peterson, struck out Cain and Woodruff, and got Wong to ground out to second. Good inning. 16 pitches.

Woodruff was cruising in this one. To start the fifth, he struck out Yaz on three pitches, blowing a 97mph four-seamer by his swinging bat.

Flores had a battle with Woodruff and filled it up. He fought off two 97mph fastballs, one really deep and foul. Woodruff missed on the next 97mph fastball and walked him. Well done by Wilmer. Woodruff hammered the four seamer at 96mph to Dickerson, who fell behind 0-2. Woodruff threw two balls and Dick fought of a third. But ultimately, he hit a high fly out to Yelich in left.

Jose Quintana then came up for his first at-bat as a Giant and, shocking everyone, got the second hit of the game: a single to shallow right that brought up Wade, Jr., with two on and two out. Wade and Woodruff went at it:

PITCHTYPEMPH
4 Strike LookingChangeup87
3 Strike SwingingFour-seam FB96
2 Strike LookingSinker95
1 BallSinker95
Woodruff to Wade in the fifth

Sixth

Quintana gave up a long liner to Adames that hit the bricks on the angled wall between the archways, but Wade played the carrom well and then gunned the ball back to Crawford, holding Adames to a single. Quintana struck out Yelich on three pitches. He got ahead of all three batters in the inning 0-2, and got Narvaez to fly out to Yaz.

Quintana missed badly with an 80mph curve in the dirt to Avisail Garcia, but Posey stopped and scooped it. Then Quintana collected himself and got two swinging strikes from Garcia. He missed high with a 92mph fastball, but just barely. Quintana went right back to the four-seamer at 90 and got the K. Good inning. Quintana shows promise.

Woodruff went to the mound in the sixth with a shutout on 77 pitches, throwing eight strikeouts. Brandon Belt came up, swung and missed at a 95mph fastball from Woodruff, then fouled off a 95mph fastball and then hammered a 95mph fastball and ripped Woodruff’s 80th pitch 405 feet to center. Giants on the board Brewers 6, Giants 1.

Posey and Crawford grounded out to the infield. Kris Bryant then singled a 97mph fastball oppo. Then Yaz singled on a change-up away, hooking it up the right field line. Two out, runners in the corners for Wilmer Flores brought a mound visit. But Woodruff stepped up and blew a fastball right by Flores for strike one. Flores smashed the next one down the left field line foul, strike two and fouled the next one out of play. Flores hit a bouncer to short, played easily by Adames, side retired, two stranded.

Woodruff went six innings on 92 pitches, giving up five hits and an earned run. He walked three and struck out eight.

Seventh

Quintana returned to the mound, probably knowing it would be his final inning as he was due up in the bottom half. He struck out Rowdy Tellez in a battle that relied on the curve:

PITCHTYPEMPH
7 Strike SwingingFour-seam FB91
6 Foul BallCurve78
5 Foul BallCurve78
4 Strike SwingingCurve80
3 BallCurve80
2 Strike LookingFour-seam FB91
1 BallCurve80
Quintana vs. Tellez in the seventh

He then picked up his sixth strikeout, Peterson, on five pitches, and got Lorenzo Cain to ground out. Jose Quintana’s debut was an unequivocal success: six strikeouts over three and a third innings, one hit, one walk and no runs. Way to go Jose and welcome to the Giants!

Jake Cousins came in to pitch for the Brewers and got Dickerson to chase and strike out. Austin Slater pinch hit for Quintana and fell behind 0-2 to Cousins, but drew a walk. Then LaMonte Wade, Jr., filled the count and drew a walk, too, bringing Brandon Belt to the plate with two on and one out.

Cousins and Belt wrestled to a 2-2 count. Belt fouled back a fastball, then took a slider down and in, full count. Dave said, “Okay here we go: for the Giants this is the biggest pitch of the game.” They made a mound visit and Belt struck out swinging at a slider.

The Brewers made another mound visit after Belt and before Posey which meant they were now out of mound visits for the rest of the game. MVR counter was at zero. Dave remarked he had never seen that before, and I realized that in the young history of the MVR, I hadn’t either. Dave reminded us it meant if the Brewers made a trip to the mound from here out, they had to take the pitcher out.

Posey took a couple of bad swings and fell behind 0-2. He fouled off a fastball and then took a ball. Posey then struck out for the third time in this game. Cousins registered three Ks in the inning.

Eighth

Zach Littell started the eighth for the Giants. Jackie Bradley Jr., pinch hit for Cousins. Littell outran JBJ on a grounder to first to cover and get the out. He then struck out Wong and Adames. Good inning for Littell, just eleven pitches. Kelton Wong was 0 for 5 tonight against Giants pitching.

Brent Suter entered the game and struck out Crawford to start the bottom of the eighth. Bryant hit a first pitch fastball deep to center but it stayed in the yard, two down. Suter struck out Yaz, who flailed wildly at 86mph fastballs. Suter has command and the Giants went quickly and quietly.

Ninth

Littell stayed in for the ninth. Yelich grounded out. Narvaez fouled out to left. Avisail Garcia rolled a broken bat ball to third on the first pitch and Bryant threw him out.

Wilmer Flores hammered a homer off Suter to lead off the ninth. It was major league-leading home run number 199 for the Giants this season – Wilmer’s 17th to go with Belt’s career-season-highest 20th, earlier in the game.

Ruf struck out swinging. LaMonte Wade, Jr. singled. Then there was a balk call and he advanced to second. Belt worked a full count. Wade took third on indifference. Belt drilled one deep to center field, but just missed the homer.

Giants lose. Bummer.

Milwaukee 6, Giants 2

The Giants are now 4-4 in the first eight games of the Sixteen Game Gauntlet.

The Dodgers beat Atlanta and are now only a half a game back. sigh.

2021 National League West Standings

TEAMWLPCTGBSTRK
San Francisco8448.6360L3
Los Angeles8449.6320.5W2
San Diego7162.53413.5W2
Colorado6072.45524L2
Arizona4490.32841L5
Lead shrinks to half a game

Go Giants

About mtk

I'm the artist and author, MTK
This entry was posted in Gauntlet, Mid Series Reports, Post Game Blasts, SCRBRDWatch. Bookmark the permalink.

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