The afternoon started off with a bang against Philly starter Taijuan Walkes, who had two walks and four singles by the 1st. Case Schmitt, Blake Sabol, and Brandon Crawford each hit three consecutive 2-out slaps, resulting in four runs, giving the team an early lead.
Walker entered the game at Oracle with a high-five ERA and left with a 6.53 ERA, one of the worst Major League numbers. The Giants, who had a history of being shackled by middling starting pitchers, were delighted with the sudden change in narrative.
The move worked. Matt Strahm was brought in to relieve, and the southpaw pitched 2.1 innings without allowing a run. He avoided potential damage by fanning Mike Yastrzemski in the second with two runners on. Connor Brogdon got into trouble in the third inning with consecutive walks and then out of it with three consecutive pop-ups.
Philadelphia had exhausted 3 pitchers by the time of the second out in 4th. San Francisco had earned 5 free bags and 6 hits through the 4th inning. Each of these early innings was threatening, with a runner on base.
Gabe Kapler, who had thrown 10 1/3 innings in the first two games of the series to stretch out his bullpen, needed Stripling's length. Kap appeared to be getting it in the early goings. Strip retired 8 consecutively (with Schmitt's help at third) following Trea Turner's 1-out single in the first. He looked sharp mechanically and threw a beautiful change-up in the 3rd to retire Kody.
It's not common for a good pitch to be a highlight in a game review, but I feel I've covered many of Strip's games so far and our relationship is strained. It's good to change things up and appreciate the little things that Strip can do. His high, over-the-shoulder release sold heater to hitters but delivered a lilting switch-up that Clemens could not handle.
After getting Turner out of the game to start the 4th inning, Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos both reached to load bases before J. T. Realmuto smashed a 2-RBI left-field double. Stripling, who was suffering from back stiffness at the time, was removed and handed a stick of ACME dynamite that had a lit fuse to Sean Manaea.
Scott Alexander inherited the runner at first in 7th. Brandon Marsh bunted on Alexander's very first pitch, setting up a SNAFU with two runners on and nobody out. Alexander struck out Josh Harrison with 4 pitches and lured Stott to a 4-6-3 ending.
Kapler's right-handed platoons faced lefty Gregory Soto. Davis stroked a solo to the right, Mitch Haniger singled up the middle and Joey Bart loaded bases with a bunt which bounced 20 feet before landing on grass and dying as a chip shot before Soto's glove. Thairo Estrada broke the tie with a single with one out. Wilmer Flores added a 2-RBI single with two outs to extend the lead to three runs.
Camilo Doval, in his third appearance in as many matches, was able to secure the save despite some Olympic-level hand-wringing caused by a single. A loud line drive to the right, an uncontrolled pitch, warning track flyouts to the right, hitting a batter, walking, a meeting on the mound with Andrew Bailey, Pitchcom issues, and finally 3 painted pitches to Trea Turner, which sealed the final out.
The Giants collected 10 RBIs in the series, including four hits with two outs. The Giants scored 14 of their 17 total runs in the three games when they put the ball into play with two outs. San Francisco pitchers, on the other hand, limited the Phillies' ability to score with runners in position by limiting them to a 2 for 25 and only allowing one RBI with two outs in the series.
San Francisco's 7 - 4 victory was its first this season without an extra-base hit. Only one of the team's 21 last hits has resulted in extra bases. Where was this when the Royals were in town?
Is this what good baseball looks like? An excellent bullpen performance, contact in high-leverage scenarios, a defensive playmaker who lifts up the entire team, diversifying the offense portfolio, and the Bashed Brothers getting bashed but not too badly -- is this what it's all about?