Wow! What a bounce back performance by the Giants! After that four-error game against the Rockies Thursday, the week ended with crisp defense, and the bullpen dialed-in. Thairo Estrada, who had two of those four errors on Thursday, was particularly good, an encouraging sign that he just shook it off. Estrada made the game saving defensive play to end game two.
It gets a lot harder today against Julio Urias, but the Giants took advantage of Walker Buehler’s nagging injuries and Clayton Kershaw’s rust to seize the first two games and win the first home series of the year against the Nemesis. The bullpen was amazing against the best team in the National League West.
Giants’ outfielder Darin Ruf’s father, William L. “Bill” Ruf passed away May 30th at the age of 88, back in Darin’s birthplace of Omaha, Nebraska. Bill was born in Vermillion, South Dakota, and was, according to his obituary:
“the embodiment of enthusiasm for life. His passion, curiosity, and dedication to his family and interests were unparalleled. These traits defined his every experience ranging from coaching, to teaching, to his friends, and even to food. The list of people who’s lives he touched is exactly as long as the list of people who have a crazy story about Bill.”
Darin had been away from baseball and returned to the team this past week after the funeral. The Giants activated Ruf for Friday night’s game against Walker Buehler and the Nemesis, and he responded with three hits, including two home runs and a two-out RBI single. Ruf drove in four runs in the victory.
Darin had been struggling for several weeks at the plate and it was an emotional, breakout performance on return: “Obviously, it’s hard to put into words,’ Ruf said after the game. ”It’s been a tough week for me, my family. I’m thankful for the Giants and my teammates who have been so supportive.”
Way to go, Darin and I am sorry for your loss. I know what it feels like to lose your Dad. I am sure he was proud of you, and would have been thrilled with your performance Friday night. Take the time you need and keep him in your heart.
Jake Junis had another controlled, stable start. He went five innings, giving up five hits and two earned runs with five K’s. He had to leave the game with a strained hamstring, but the bullpen held. John Brebbia, Jake McGee, Dominic Leone and Camilo Doval each delivered one scoreless inning to secure the win – great outing against the division leaders by our bullpen in game one. Giants 7, Dodgers 2.
In game two, the Giants spoiled Clayton Kershaw’s return to the mound after a month long absence. Thairo Estrada homered and Luis Gonzalez added a two-out RBI single in the second to give the Giants a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. They added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Joc Pederson scampered home from third on a Craig Kimbrel wild pitch. It ended up being necessary for the win.
Meanwhile, the Giants pitched another “bullpen game.” Sammy Long opened and held the Bums scoreless for three innings, giving up three hits and striking out Justin Taylor. Tyler Rodgers came in and went two innings. Dom Leone held the sixth. Zach Littell struggled in the seventh – giving up a walk and two hits in a third – but Jarlin Garcia came in and struck out Freddie Freeman and then induced an inning-ending double play from Trae Turner.
Garcia gave up a run on a Cody Bellinger ground rule double in the eighth, but Camilo Doval came in and, after walking Taylor to load the bases, struck out Gavin Lux and Mookie Betts swinging! Jose Alvarez gave up a solo shot to Freeman in the top of the ninth, but managed to prevent any more Dodgers from crossing the plate. Giants 3, Dodgers 2.
Bullpen Game Record:
The Giants are 3 – 2 in Bullpen Games
Way to go Giants! I am pleasantly surprised, but in reality you earned these wins playing the current scheme. You took advantage of injuries and mistakes by the Bums, played good defense, and the bullpen was excellent to win the first two. Let’s get the job done and