April 1, 2023

On a quiet, gloomy night in the Twins, the Giants couldn’t get out of their way in a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins in 10 innings at Target Field Saturday.

Alex Cobb (5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) took the mound against Twins right guard Sonny Gray, both starters traded early and both teams The attack is nowhere to be found.

After a rain delay of about 40 minutes between the second half of the seventh inning and the first half of the eighth, the game resumed and the Giants looked like they would hold on to the win.

But the closer Camilo Doval, who was called in the bottom of the eighth, couldn’t make four saves, giving up two runs in the bottom of the ninth.

At the top of the 10th inning, Luis Gonzalez, who had just been recalled earlier in the day, made another base run error and was thrown while trying to advance through a ground ball to the third shortstop. That basically ended the Giants’ threat.

Dominic Leone pitched in the bottom of the 10th inning, and after letting the first batsman retire on the sacrifice bunt, he walked the next three batters, with a final free pass to Gilberto Celestino, forcing him to win.

Here are three observations from the Giants’ 61-64 decline.

warm cobbler piece

Cobb was undoubtedly one of the few positives for the Giants in the second half of the season. In the seven games since the All-Star break, Cobb has thrown at least five innings, and in six of his seven games, he has not scored more than three points.

Since Cobb gave up seven and six wins in back-to-back starts on May 17 and 23, his ERA dropped from 6.25 to 3.81 after Saturday night’s game against the Twins. .

Cobb solidified the Giants’ rotation with co-ops Logan Webb and Carlos Rodón, while veterans Alex Wood and Jakob Junis continued to find their footing.

Launch of APB

The Giants offense is gone. Obviously, never to be seen or heard again.

Not only did San Francisco’s lineup play just one game against Gray (5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) and the Minnesota bullpen, but it was fifth before Tommy Lastra sacrificed. The first inning of the game flew, matching San Francisco’s previous 25 innings total.

The Giants scored again in the first half of the ninth after a third-inning single, and Austin Slater’s sacrifice flew out.

That goes without saying, but if the Giants continued to swing the bat like they did after the All-Star break, they wouldn’t be a playoff team at all.

Over the past month, the Giants’ offense had just 92 points before Saturday’s game, scoring just 0.225/0.308/0.375, the fifth-worst in the league in that time frame.

bullpen prank

I’ll admit I’ll probably cast a spell on the Giants’ bullpen on Saturday night. As the game drew to a close, that observation was devoted to the success of San Francisco’s rescuers. A lot had to be erased after the ninth inning. Sorry for that.

In its previous 10 games, San Francisco’s bullpen has thrown just seven winning runs in 32 innings, which is good for a collective 1.97 ERA.

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However, with Cobb gone, the Giants’ bullpen was able to hold a 2-0 lead…until the end of the ninth inning. Dorval made four outs and Minnesota bounced back on base with two outs and a runner in the ninth. Max Kapler was second, with Carlos Correa and Jake Cave each going heads-up, scoring two points to tie the game.

Fast forward to the bottom of the 10th inning. Leone put Nick Gordon out, pushing automatic runner Caleb Hamilton into third. Two walks (one on purpose) loaded the bases, and Celestino drew Minnesota’s third-inning walk, resulting in a walk away.

With an icy offense, the Giants have little room for error late in the game. The bullpen has been going strong in recent weeks, but it exploded Saturday night against the Twins.

The Giants will send right wing Jacob Junis to the mound against Twins right wing Aaron Sanchez on Sunday as they look to avoid a three-game sweep.

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