Zack Cozart broke open a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning with an RBI double off Hunter Strickland lifting the Cincinnati Reds over the San Francisco Giants in Thursday night’s series opener.
After giving up 10 runs in only three innings last Saturday in Cincinnati, Ty Blach gave the Giants seven complete innings allowing only 5 hits and 2 earned runs on Thursday. The road to redemption was not meant to be.
The San Francisco Giants are now 12-24 and struggle to execute in winnable ball games. Meanwhile, the Reds have won nine out of their last 11 games, and their is no sign of slowing them down.
Six out of the seven hits the Reds recorded were involved in scoring plays. Every run was earned with less than two outs and took no more than two batters following the hit to drive in the run. In every scoring inning the Reds managed to score with less than two outs, or score on the second out.
Now compare that to the San Francisco Giants. Only two out the 11 hits were involved in scoring plays, both of course were solo home runs.
The bottom of the seventh was the only moment in the game where the Giants had back-to-back productive at-bats. But unfortunately with two outs you’re options are limited to push the run across the board.
Timely production is key, and until the Giants are able to produce quality at-bats with runners on base, maybe we should adopt a more patient approach at the plate (cough, cough Brandon Belt).
If there is one positive takeaway from Thursday, it is definitely a sigh of relief to the normal lineup on the mend and begin to take shape again.
Crawford’s impact on the lineup goes beyond his production in the box. His defense is second to none, and he arguably is the best defensive shortstop in the league.
- The Giants are 12-24, which is the worst start after 36 games since 1991.
- After being an ice cold 0-for-18, Brandon Belt launched a solo shot to straight away center giving the Giants the lead in the first inning.
- The Giants found Brandon Crawford and Denard Span back in their usual spots in the lineup. Span went 4-5, recording a double and his first home run of the season.
Cueto threw seven complete innings, striking out 10 and giving up 6 hits, in Sunday’s loss against Cincinnati.
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