The San Francisco Giants kicked off their 2020 season yesterday in what was the most unusual Opening Day in Major League Baseball history. In what seemed to be a close game through the first four, all chaos broke loose in the seventh inning.
Coming into this season, it was known San Francisco would struggle in two HUGE ways: those being a decent bullpen and lack of power hitters. Both were clearly a great portion of last night’s loss.
Although the Giants winded up with eight hits last night, zero were for extra bases. With Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria both injured, and Buster Posey missing the season as he and his wife have adopted twins – last night’s batting order contained a few new guys. With the inexperience of Joe McCarthy, Tyler Heineman, and Alex Dickerson, Dodgers pitcher Dustin May had a rather “easier” time against a struggling Giants lineup. Along with the young guys, Hunter Pence’s return to the orange and black was a massive bummer, going a brutal 0-4 at the plate.
The Giants lone run of the evening came on a Pablo Sandoval sacrifice fly, and other than that run, the night was filled with stranded baserunners. On the bright side, Tyler Heineman went 2-3 at bat (despite his awful baserunning) including Mike Yastrzemski‘s with two singles, but not much went on for Kapler’s guys. A lack of power hitting last night affected the Giants many times, as there were a few instances with a couple players on base.
As Johnny Cueto started smoothly for the first three innings (keeping a powerful Dodgers lineup on their toes). It was clear he began to wear down in the top of the fourth. Most baseball fans would agree it is a difficult task to keep the loaded Dodgers lineup in check, and Cueto did the best of his abilities through four innings. Although he gave up five hits and a walk, Cueto managed to strike three out, and push one run on the Dodgers. When Cueto returned to the dug-out for the evening – the pitching got ugly.
As Drew Smyly and Rico Garcia pitched innings five and six while allowing just one hit, the Giants seemed to be doing ‘okay’ with things. It was when closer Tyler Rogers made his way to the mound that the Dodgers took over. LA’s hitters flattened Rogers, as he let up three hits, with an addition of a two-run single by Kike Hernandez. It was clear that the Dodgers were a fan of Rogers’ side-armed sling, as they had a very easy time getting on base (especially Hernandez, who went 4-5 with 2 R, 5 RBI, and 1 HR on Opening Day). A poor pitching performance down the stretch resulted in a smack-down score of 8-1.
Following last night’s loss to their archrival Dodgers, the Giants will look to capitalize and grow upon a forgettable Opening Day performance.
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