The San Francisco Giants once again find an odd way to lose–on a possible botched replay call?
Yes, the Giants bullpen blew a 4-3, seventh-inning lead and ended up losing the game to the San Diego Padres 5-4. Yes, the pesky Padres yet again looked like a juggernaut against San Francisco pitching, running the bases like Speedy Gonzalez and mashing the baseball like Herman Munster.
And yes, it was again Hunter Renfroe who hit the game-winning home run against a “cream me” Cory Gearrin fastball.
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It’s status quo for the Giants when they play the always rebuilding Friars, especially at Petco Park.
But one play from Saturday’s game will haunt the Giants until–well–tomorrow.
In the top of the seventh inning with one out, Joe Panik roasted a triple to right-center field against Adam Cimber.
The next batter Andrew McCutchen scorched a line drive to the right-fielder Renfroe. Panik tagged up but Renfroe made a perfect throw home, and catcher A.J. Ellis applied the tag on Panik to end the inning.
Or did he?
Although the home-plate umpire signaled out, replays seemed to show that Panik eluded the tag and his foot touched the plate. Multiple angles seemed to confirm this.
But the replay umpires in New York found the video inconclusive and the call stood. McCutchen had lined into a double play, and the Giants still led 4-3 instead of 5-3.
Of course, the next inning, Renfroe hit the two-run home run that proved to be all the Padres needed, as they again beat the Giants 5-4.
Had the call been overturned, the game would have been tied 5-5 and the two teams would still be playing right now.
Although the Giants again seemed to lose to the Padres in an odd way, that one play shouldn’t have mattered. The Padres came into this game 5-10, dead last in the National League West. San Diego is not a good team, weren’t expected to be a good team, and they haven’t been a good team for years.
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So yes, the replay not getting overturned did hurt the Giants, but it shouldn’t have decided the game.
The Giants were just 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position on Saturday. They’re hitting .170 overall this year in such situations.
That is what doomed San Francisco against the, yes, terrible Padres; it just can’t happen against a team you need to clean up against especially when the division is so good this year.
Their terrible at-bats in clutch situations are why the Giants are 6-8 to start the year.
And a tweet from Bay Area News Group Giants beat writer Kerry Crowly sums it up best.
The San Francisco Giants return to face the San Diego Padres today at 1pm PT.