On Tuesday, the San Francisco Giants took on the National League East leading New York Mets in game two of a huge three game series in the Bay. This was a game that was set to be a pitchers duel with Logan Webb and Chris Bassitt starting for the Giants and Mets respectively, but it took quite a different path.
Let’s take a look into what turned into a game of the year candidate for the 2022 MLB season.
The Starting Pitchers
Webb has been a major factor in the success of this Giants team dating back to the start of the 2021 season. It has been very solid start to his 2022 campaign so far.
Coming into Tuesday’s game he had gone five plus innings in seven of his first eight starts, the only game he left early from was on April 19 on the road against the New York Mets where he only went 3.2 innings. He looked to get some redemption from his last time facing these Mets.
He did exactly what he wanted to. In five innings he only gave up two runs on five hits and struck out six batters. This was only his second time allowing less than three runs in his last seven starts of the season and his fifth time with six or more strikeouts in a game.
He was feeling pretty good about his chances of coming away with a victory with the way Chris Bassitt pitched.
This Mets pitching staff has been absolutely spectacular from top to bottom. Bassitt has done incredible work in his first season with the Mets after spending six seasons with the Oakland Athletics where in 2021 he posted a 12-4 record.
In his first eight starts this season he has gone at least 5.2 innings in every single outing, allowed one or less runs five times and struck out six or more on six occasions. His worst outing of the season came on April 20 against these Giants when in six innings he gave up five runs which prior to Tuesday was his season high.
He, just like Webb, aimed to get some redemption as he looked to get win number five of the season.
Unfortunately, Bassitt did not have any advantage over these powerful Giants bats. In only 4.1 innings he gave up eight runs which was not only a season high, but it was the most runs he has ever allowed in an outing in his MLB career.
Even in a park as spacious as Oracle Park the Giants hitters have no issue landing the ball in the stands and this game was no exception.
Heading into the bottom of the 3rd the game was knotted at one run apiece. Heavy hitter Joc Pederson stepped to the plate for the Giants with two outs and a runner on first. He swung away at the first pitch he saw and launched the ball over the tall right field wall for his eighth homer of the season.
In the bottom of the 4th the Giants made Bassitt hurt some more. With two outs and a runner on second Bassitt gave up a walk which brought up Tommy La Stella with a chance to do more two out damage. On a 2-1 pitch La Stella ripped a ball down the right field line for a huge three-run homer to pad the lead and make it a 6-1 lead.
The Mets would add one making it a 6-2 lead moving into the bottom of the 5th. After Darin Ruf led off the inning with a single, Pederson came to plate with another big opportunity. This time on a 2-0 pitch Pederson launched a ball over the fence in dead center field for his second two-run homer in as many at bats.
This put the Giants up 8-2 moving into 6th inning where the Giants very stingy relief pitching took over the game.
The New York Mets have proven their dominance this season in many ways, but one in particular that separates them from some of the other great teams in baseball is that they never ever give up.
The Giants brought in Dominic Leone in the top of the 7th inning. The Mets were not in a good position after starting the inning with two quick outs, but after a single from Starling Marte the Mets brought Fransisco Lindor to the plate who hit a big two-run homer to cut the lead to 8-4.
In the top of the 8th the Mets had to go up against the incredibly tough righty reliever Tyler Rogers who has one of the craziest throwing actions in all of baseball. Unfortunately for Rogers, this was definitely not his game.
In a game that featured a bunch of homers from the Giants the Mets went the opposite route. Six of the first seven batters Rogers faced hit singles which suddenly brought the Mets to within one as they made it 8-7. The next batter was Lindor who stepped to the plate with one out and the bases loaded. In unlikely lefty style, Lindor ripped a ball down the 3rd base line for a bases clearing triple to give the Mets a 10-8 lead.
Pete Alonso then hit a ball to the warning track in center for a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 11-8. They aimed to hang onto this lead, but still had to get six more outs, which proved rather difficult.
The Giants in a half of an inning went from up four to down three, a highly painful swing for any team. The Giants however still had a chance to make some noise.
In the bottom of the 8th Mets reliever Drew Smith got two quick outs, but then some of the biggest hitters came to bat. Mike Yastrzemski hit a single and Darin Ruf walked which brought Joc Pederson to the plate with two outs and two on. The man with two homers already on the day obliterated a 1-1 pitch into McCovey Cove for a game tying three run bomb.
This gave him three homers on the day which made him the first Giants hitter with a three homer game since Alex Dickerson in 2020, but the first to do it at Oracle Park since Pablo Sandoval did it in game one of the 2012 World Series. The last player to do in at Oracle Park in the regular season though was Barry Bonds way back in 1994. It was also the first time Pederson accomplished this in his career.
9th Inning Madness
In the top of the 9th Dominic Smith hit a lead off triple and scored the go ahead run on a Brandon Nimmo sacrifice fly to make it a 12-11 game. The Mets only needed their star closer Edwin Diaz to get three outs to give them an insane come from behind victory.
Wilmer Flores started the inning with a single, but Tommy La Stella failed to help his team as he grounded into a double play. Diaz and the Mets were one out away from a victory, but Yastrzemski drew a massive walk and Ruf singled to bring Pederson to the plate with a chance to do huge damage once again.
Pederson was unable to whack his fourth homer of the game, instead he ripped a single into center field to tie the game at 12.
This brought longtime Giant Brandon Crawford to the plate. On a 1-1 pitch he smacked a ball into left field for a single which drove in Ruf for the winning run.
The Giants led this game 8-2 and felt like they were in a pretty good position to come away with a blowout victory, but instead had to rely on some two out magic to come away with a 13-12 victory.
Two out hitting is a sign of a great team and is extremely frustrating for opposing pitchers. The Giants proved that in this game as they had 13 hits, four walks and scored 10 runs with two outs.
As already mentioned Pederson had three homers, but that 9th inning RBI gave him eight RBI on the game. Both of those are career highs in a single game for him. He also became the fourth San Francisco Giants hitter to have three homers and eight RBI in a game and first since 1961 when the legendary Willie Mays did it.
This was also a rare struggle for Edwin Diaz. It was the first time since September 9, 2021 that he allowed multiple runs in an outing and first time since July 11, 2021 that he allowed four or more hits.
Here is the wildest of them all though. For the Mets, dating back to the start of the 2000 season, they had won 70 straight games when they scored 12 or more runs in a game.
The Giants and Mets certainly gave fans plenty of entertainment in this Tuesday night game in San Fransisco. It was certainly a game of the year candidate that featured just about everything possible. This is one of those games that shows the resiliency and depth that both of these teams hold. It should be interesting to see how these teams perform in the following days with this game in the rear view mirror.
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