Lefty starter Alex Wood threw seven innings of one-hit ball and Mike Yastrzemski delivered a two-run homer in the third inning to help lift the Giants over the Marlins 5-3 on Friday night.
Wood (W, 2-0, 0.75 ERA) had thrown just three pitches when Jazz Chisholm Jr. raked a 90-mph sinker to right-center to lead off the first. The Marlins quickly led 1-0 on the only hit and run Wood allowed in seven full. Buster Posey who started his 1,000th game behind the plate, spoke about what allowed Wood to be so successful:
“Just had a good mix going. Feel like he could throw all three pitches whenever he wanted. Just gave the lineup different looks. It was big to go 7 innings there. I wasn’t sure how far he was going to go. … I think he threw 60-something pitches in his first start so for him to get close to 100, I think he got to 100 and was still strong, that was a really good outing.”
Sandy Alcantara held the Giants (13-7) scoreless for two innings, but after Tommy La Stella led off the third with a walk, Mike Yastrzemski swung at the very next pitch and bashed a two-run homer that bounced off the top of the left field wall and landed in the bleachers to give the Giants a 2-1 lead in the third.
Yastrzemski explained how he changed his approach at the plate and is starting to see success, and then spoke about his starting pitchers performance:
“Just setting up and kinda giving myself a chance to hit. I am seeing the ball and trusting my eyes and trusting my abilities and not trying to panic or rush to get to contact… [Wood] was absolutely lights out, great pace, was ready to throw whatever was signaled by Buster. He just attacked the zone and did an incredible job.”
Wood said he has had all kinds of nights over the course of his career but felt great, aside from the first few innings. It was his first start having Buster Posey catch for him and it came on a historical night:
“I felt great tonight, the further I got into the game. It was a good win for us… I like to work fast. That was my first time throwing to Buster in a real game. He is a smart guy, we really got on the same page. The further we went into the game tonight, felt good, kept the pace up and kept them off bases. It was a good win over all for sure.”
In five innings, Alcantara (L, 0-2, 3.34 ERA) five full innings he compiled four walks, strikeouts and hits but kept the Giants to just two runs.
Marlins reliever Ross Detwiler faced just four batters in his two-thirds of an inning before Adam Cimber came in for the final out in the sixth with runners on the corners. Cimber kept the game at 2-1, but he couldn’t do the same in the seventh when the Giants added on three more runs.
Mauricio Dubon pinch hit for Wood, leading off the inning with a double to left. La Stella flew out to right and advanced Dubon to third. The Marlins (8-11) intentionally walked Yastrzemski — who came to the plate 2-for-3 with a homer — putting runners on the corners with one out. Wilmer Flores followed with his second single of the night in to bring in Dubon and make it 3-1.
Cimber was relieved by LHP Richard Bleier and Brandon Belt hit a hard ground ball that got past a diving Chisholm playing second and the Giants were up 4-1 with runners still on the corners. Darin Ruf pinch hit for Dickerson and sacrificed in the Giants fifth run to make it 5-1 before Buster Posey struck out swinging to end the inning.
Posey started his 1,000th career game as a catcher Friday night to mark history, and the Giants only allowed two Marlins hit all night. Posey thanked the training staff for getting him to 1,000:
“It is a nice accomplishment. Being able to stay on the field takes a lot of diligence and hard work. In the offseason, during the season, it takes a great training staff… I think all those guys putting their heads together to figure out the best way to keep you on the field and be productive as possible, it takes a lot of different people to make that happen.”
Meanwhile, Wood said he was honored to pitch well on such a historic night for one of the greatest catchers to ever play the game in San Francisco:
“I am glad it was a win. They made the announcement right when the game started. I had no idea until I got on the mound, before the top of the first so you know, pretty cool to throw really well, especially with him behind the plate for his one-thousandth game. He’s done a lot of good things. It was a pleasure to get to work with him tonight for the first time and hopefully we’ll have some more good ones like that.”
Jake McGee started the ninth on the mound and earned two strikeouts. A perfect ninth inning was spoiled when a routine grounder to Flores at third turned into an E6 before Jesus Aguilar hit a two-run homer that barely landed in the left field bleachers, similar to Yastrzemski’s. Fans threw the ball back into the infield before McGee ended the game with a Garrett Cooper strikeout.
Gabe Kapler said he has full faith in his bullpen and was not upset with the final inning:
“The goal is not to close games, its to win games. We are looking to secure team wins and in the major leagues, games can change very quickly. I trust everyone in our bullpen and I trust that many of them can lock down wins for us.”
Flores could have ended the game and handed his teammate McGee his eighth save of the season with a 5-1 win but the final score was 5-3 after the Aguilar homer, who had his first homer of 2021. McGee earned all three outs with strikeouts.
The Giants will have Kevin Gausman (1-0, 2.45 ERA) throw the first pitch at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday night. Pablo López (0-2, 3.32 ERA) will take the mound for the Marlins looking to earn his first win of the season.