Another close contest on a cold night in Cleveland as Anthony DeSclafani and Cal Quantrill dueled for five taut innings. In the bottom of the first, DeSclafani gave up a lead off triple to Myles Straw, whom he allowed to cross on a Jose Ramirez sac fly, Guardians 1, Giants 0.
Quantrill was dominant. He held the Giants scoreless and hitless until the fifth, when Thairo Estrada singled and Steven Duggar doubled back-to-back to put them both in scoring position with one out. Quantrill struck out Joey Bart, but then walked Mike Yastrzemski to load them up and be forced from the game.
The Guardians brought lefty Logan Allen to face the Captain, but the Captain didn’t care – Brandon Belt singled to center scoring Estrada and Duggar. Giants 2, Guardians 1. Yaz was left stranded on third.
DeSclafani started the fifth but gave up a lead off double to Owen Miller. From the stretch, he struck out Andres Gimenez and flied out Bryan Lavastida. But then up came Myles Straw again. On a third pitch sinker, Straw ripped an RBI double to deep left. Straw was having himself a night at the plate. Guardians 2, Giants 2.
Jose Alvarez induced a ground out from Steven Kwan to end the fifth. DeSclafani’s night was done with a no-decision. He pitched well – but got stung for the triple and double by Straw.
DeSclafani 4.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 4 K’s, no walks
The bullpen battle was good in this one as the sides used ten relievers between them. Jon Brebbia and Jarlin Garcia took the sixth for the Giants, keeping Cleveland scoreless. Meanwhile, Trevor Stephan went 1.2 for Cleveland. Dominic Leone had a three-up, three down seventh for San Francisco.That was just GREAT to see. He’d end up getting the win.
In the top of the eighth, the Giants broke through against Nick Sandlin. Last year we discussed that one of the elements of this ‘moneyball,’ or ‘small ball’ is the idea of limiting your own mistakes and taking advantage of your opponents mistakes. For example, the Giants failed to take advantage of 10 runners in scoring position against the Padres last week.
Tonight, the Giants took advantage of their opponents mistakes and stole a win.
Belt reached on an infield single. Darin Ruf struck out swinging. Austin Slater singled to shallow center, moving Belt to second. Brandon Crawford then walked, loading the bases. Wilmer Flores grounded into a fielder’s choice, which ought to have been a double play, but Owen Miller hesitated, thinking they were going home to stop the run, and so failed to cover first. Flores beat the throw and Belt scored. Giants 3, Guardians 2.
Then, with runners in the corners and Thairo Estrada at the plate, Nick Sandlin threw a wild pitch! Austin Slater raced home. Giants 4, Guardians 2. Estrada fouled out to third to end the inning. But the damage had been done. The Giants seized two critical mistakes by the Cleveland defense.
Tyler Rogers allowed Jose Ramirez a single in the eighth but held the Guardians scoreless. The Giants couldn’t tack on against Sam Hentges in the top of the ninth.
Jake McGee came in to close this one and immediately struggled, giving up a single to Josh Naylor and then a base on balls to Owen Miller. He induced a grounder and picked up Miller on the fielder’s choice, but now had runners in the corners with only one down. It looked ugly. I was nervous.
But Jake McGee dug deep. He struck out pinch-hitting Oscar Mercado looking with a brilliant pitch sequence. Then, the man who had been wrecking extras all night, Myles Straw, hammered a line drive comebacker screaming right back at him. McGee calmly snared it and threw out Straw at first – ball game. Giants win.
wow. Great job, Jake.
Good game G-men.
Let’s get the sweep tomorrow, during the daytime when it won’t be 40 degrees!