A win in game one of Friday gave the Giants a chance to double down on their playoff aspirations in game two.
Down early in game two, an electrifying late-game home run from Wilmer Flores (1-for-3, HR, 3 RBIs) gave the Giants the lead when they needed it most.
Then, disaster struck.
Seeking a save, Sam Coonrod instead put two runners on in the seventh before serving up a walkoff homer – in his own ballpark – to Trent Grisham, giving the Padres a magical 6-5 win.
Game two is a makeup from the Giants’ previous road trip to San Diego, where a false positive Covid-19 test forced both teams to postpone one of the games. Because of that, the Padres were the home team Friday night.
The Giants (the visiting team) went down in order in the top of the first inning.
Samardzija followed with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the first.
The Padres got to Samardzija in the bottom of the third inning. A double and a single by Trent Grisham tied the game at one.
Following the loss, Samardzija discussed his emotions before the game after working his way back from injury all season, and the fact that he is a free agent this offseason and could very well have pitched his final game with the Giants after signing in 2016:
“I usually sit on the bench for a few minutes before i get ready to go. Sitting there was definitely a little emotional, you take for granted all those times before that you’ve done it because it’s always going to be there, you’re always going to have that opportunity, but i think we all know that time goes by real fast. Sitting there looking at the stadium, it’s tough, i’ve had a lot of fun here and very much enjoyed my time. It’s been a first class organization and i was just taking it all in.”
The next batter, Fernando Tatis Jr., launched a two run home run, giving the Padres a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the fourth inning, Alex Dickerson reached on a fielding error, Belt reached on a walk, and the Giants scored a run on a double play ball because of an errant throw at first, scoring Dickerson.
Off the bat it looked as if their rally was doomed, but fortunately for the Giants they caught a break. They now trailed 3-2, and Lamet exited the game with two outs in the fourth.
Samardzija’s night was also finished. With every game so crucial in this series, the Giants decided to rely on their bullpen for the rest of the game. Caleb Baragar replaced Samardzija in the bottom of the fourth.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler discussed Samardzija’s return to the mound Friday night:
“I thought he came out with the best stuff that we’ve seen from him all season dating back to the first spring training. He just kind of ran into a buzz-saw there and we decided to go to our pen.”
Jarlin Garcia took over for Baragar in the top of the fifth inning. Garcia has quietly been the Giants best reliever this season, posting an ERA of 0.54 entering his outing Friday.
Flores unloaded on a three run home run down the left field line. An absolute missile to give the Giants a 5-3 lead.
Shaun Anderson came in to pitch the bottom of the sixth inning. The Padres very quickly put the Giants on red-alert. A walk to Manny Machado was followed by a double from Eric Hosmer down the right field line. Runners at first and third with one out.
A fly ball for the second out allowed Sam Selman to replace Anderson for the final out in the inning. Crisis averted.
The Giants went down quietly in the top of the seventh inning. Three outs away, and in came Sam Coonrod for the save.
Kapler revealed after the game that Coonrod was pretty much the last option the Giants had out of the bullpen:
“We used our options, i’ll put it like that. Just to put it directly, guys were a little bit beat up down there. We’ve asked a lot of them, we pushed them really hard. They’ve done everything they can to answer the bell.”
A leadoff single from Tommy Pham, was followed up with a strikeout. A walk to Greg Garcia gave the Padres runners at first and second with one out, the winning run at the plate. And on a full count, Grisham smashed a Coonrod changeup into right field, finishing off the game in a most unusual and deflating way.
Kapler detailed how the Giants will bounce back after the tough loss to cap off the doubleheader:
“There’s a lot of faith that these guys are going to bounce back, they’ve done that all year. It’s the furthest question from my mind that this would be a crushing blow that these guys cant come back from and be excellent the next few days. I believe whole-heartedly that is whats going to happen. This sucked, it was a gut-punch loss, and we will bounce back like we have all season.”
With a win and a loss Friday, the Giants (29-29) firmly plant their flag in the middle of the wild card chase. The St. Louis Cardinals (29-27) won the second game of their doubleheader, which resulted in a Milwaukee Brewers (28-30) loss.
|NL playoff standings||W||L||PCT|
|1|| Los Angeles
NL West 1st
NL East 1st
NL Central 1st
|4|| San Diego
NL West 2nd
|5|| St. Louis
NL Central 2nd
NL East 2nd
The Miami Marlins (30-28) beat the Yankees, allowing them to clinch a postseason berth. A win Saturday for the Giants will send them to the postseason.