For the first time ever, baseball was played on Mars!
The San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners wrapped up their two-game series at Oracle Park, and the scene at the ballpark was — well — something of another world.
Offensively, the Giants (23-21) exploded in their 10-1 win due to big nights from Mike Yastrzemski (2-for-5 HR, 3 RBIs), Evan Longoria (2-for-4, 3 RBIs), and Joey Bart (2-for-4, RBI), which set the tone for a dominant outing from Tyler Anderson (W, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks).
The game was scheduled for 6:45 p.m., but the feel at the ballpark was that of a game starting at the crack of dawn. The Giants sent lefty Anderson (W, 2-3, 4.50 ERA) to the mound to face off against Mariners lefty Nick Margevicius.
Anderson began Wednesday’s game with a scoreless first inning after a fielding error on Donovan Solano, allowing a runner to reach, and a walk to Kyle Lewis. Margevicius (L, 1-3, 5.34 ERA) retired the Giants in order, striking out the side.
A clean second inning was followed by a busy top of the third for Anderson. Two singles put runners on first and third with one out, but Anderson worked through it.
The Giants finally got to Margevicius in the bottom of the third. Bart and Brandon Crawford singled, later advancing to second and third on a passed ball with one out.
Yastrzemski made it hurt. A three-run blast over the right field wall gave the Giants a 3-0 lead.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler discussed the big home run, and how Yastrzemski has been so good with two strikes:
“I think it’s just a comfort level, hitting with two strikes. Interestingly, we’ve been talking quite a bit about this…In that particular at-bat against [Nick] Margevicius he got to the fastball down and in, and had seen several fastballs and taken good swings on the fastball, he was right on it, and obviously a big three-run homer for us.”
Insurance runs are always a good idea. The Giants added on another run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Wilmer Flores dropped a double down the right field line, later scoring on a single by Longoria. Giants now lead 4-0.
Anderson settled down and got through five innings on 85 pitches. The Giants bullpen has been used quite a bit lately, so the team needed six or seven innings out of Anderson.
The Giants began to run away with this game in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Darin Ruf doubled, Flores was intentionally walked, then Brandon Belt walked to load the bases. The next batter, Longoria, singled in two runs.
Bart followed with a single of his own, scoring Belt from third. Giants took a commanding 7-0 lead.
Recently Bart has had a lot more success than he initially did the first week after his debut. He discussed how he’s felt better at the plate, and how his hard-hit balls are starting to drop in for hits:
“Im starting to feel a little bit better at the plate. When I was first here I was scuffling a little bit and trying to get back to myself. I feel like that has really helped me out a lot, just cleaning some stuff up mechanically. Also its nice that some of those balls go through, but all you can do is hit the ball hard and hopefully it finds a hole. A lot of times nowadays it doesn’t but it’s just part of the game. The key is to just hit it hard and try and squeeze one through there when you can, or drive one in the gap. I’m just going to keep trying to do that.”
Starting pitcher Tyler Anderson had this to say about the red-hot Giants offense, and why they’re having the success they are having:
“Honestly i didn’t know what to expect, I don’t think anyone knew what to expect. We’ve got a lot of guys who are really good at what they do, and [Gabe Kapler’s] done a good job of setting guys up for success and putting guys in situations where they can be successful, and then also giving guys an opportunity where they may have struggled before to be in those situations and try to get some at-bats against guys they maybe should have before. I feel like when we’re scoring runs, it gives an opportunity for that. It’s fun when guys are going out and putting up runs every day.”
You can never be too greedy when it comes to scoring runs. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Giants rallied again. Mauricio Dubon and Yastrzemski singled with nobody out. Pinch-hitter Alex Dickerson knocked in a run, followed by a double from Flores. A ground out from Belt scored a third run, and the Giants led 10-0.
Anderson’s night was finished after the sixth inning. Trevor Gott replaced him in the top of the seventh.
Kapler discussed what he saw out of Anderson Wednesday night:
“I thought he had his fastball-changeup combination working. He’ll tell you that he didn’t have his best changeup location, but he was able to keep hitters off-balance. He continued to attack the strike zone throughout his six innings of work. I think he did a nice job of mixing in his slow curve ball for strikes, and burying the looks in his delivery. From start to finish he did a nice job.”
Garcia came back out for the top of the ninth inning. He made quick work of the Mariners, and that wrapped up the Giants fifth-straight win.
Next, the Giants will face the red-hot San Diego Padres (28-17), a crucial series for both teams. Kapler discussed how the Giants will prepare:
“We’ve been preparing for this upcoming series in conjunction with preparing for the Mariners and the Diamondbacks before them. We have some familiarity. We have some more work to do, and oftentimes we’ll use the plane ride to sharpen up on their roster. We’ve got some advanced packets to go through. We’re going to be ready for it.”