The San Francisco Giants two American Hero’s returned to the lineup Friday, making their first appearance in two weeks. As the season approaches, we’ll get to see more of an ‘Opening Day lineup’ these coming games.
Friday afternoon, Jeff Samardzija and the San Francisco Giants squared off against Jon Gray at Salt River Fields. Samardzija coming off a rough outing against the Brewers on Sunday, is looking to bounce back before the season begins. Both teams up and down quietly in the first couple innings, as the two pitchers went to work.
Top of the third inning, Giants get a double from Kelby Tomlinson followed by a long double from Samardzija, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, following a Span single, Brandon Belt launches a three-run home run (3rd of the year). The hit-train keeps rolling, as Pence singles, Posey doubles and Crawford singles. The Giants bring eight men to the plate, with seven straight hits off of Gray, jumping out to a commanding 5-0 lead. Giants would add on one more in the top of the 8th, as Chris Marrero launches his sixth home run of the spring, further building his case for a roster spot.
Samardzija would have a good day at the plate and on the mound, as he throws four scoreless innings. The bullpen held down the fort for the 5th-8th innings after Samardzija’s departure, allowing just one run. Derek Law came in to close out the 9th, but struggled as he gave up four hits and four runs. Giants beat the Rockies 6-5.
Take-aways from todays game:
Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford still in WBC form. Both of the tournament champs continue to swing hot bats, as the season approaches.
Chris Marrero deserves a roster spot. After his home run today, Marrero is hitting .292 with 6 HR’s and 11 RBI’s. He could serve as a power-hitting, right-handed bat off the bench that the Giants desperately need.
With Morse injury, door is wide open for replacement options. Morse was on track to make the opening day squad, but now sidelined for a few weeks. Jae-gyun Hwang and Chris Marrero both make a lot of sense offensively.
With the Will Smith injury, a new bull-pen arm must emerge to take the spot. Smith deciding to have Tommy John surgery, side-lines him for the year. With one less arm in the ‘pen, opportunities could arise for guys like Okert, Ramirez, Reynolds and Suarez.
As Opening Day 2017 is only 9 days away, Spring Training and the roster is quickly winding down. Tune in to NBC Bay Area and KNBR 680 tomorrow as the Giants host the Padres one last time before heading home to the bay.