The San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Reyes Moronta was a long shot to make the 25 man roster this season until injuries gave him an opportunity.
He has been with the team all season and he is pitching better right now than he ever has.
Moronta tied a Major League streak with his 12th straight appearance last night without allowing a hit. He is actually two outs away from a relief pitcher no hitter.
It was how he did it last night that was even more impressive.
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Manager Bruce Bochy did not hesitate and came out to get Bumgarner, who was over 100 pitches.
Moronta came in to the bases loaded no out situation and got to work.
Chad Pinder came up first and was responsible for the Oakland A’s only run of the game to that point with a solo home run. Moronta struck him out a filthy slider that dropped just below the strike zone for a swinging strike three.
Jonathan Lucroy was the next to the plate and he roped a 0-2 pitch down the third base line that was caught by a diving Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval nearly doubled up Piscotty at third, but his dive to the bag fell a little short.
With two outs now, and the bases still full of A’s, Nick Martini came to the plate. With the count 2-0, Martini grounded a 97 mile per hour fastball softly to Brandon Crawford and the inning was over.
The Giants have had some impressive seasons from many members of their bullpen, but it hasn’t gone at all like expected. Mark Melancon, who was signed in 2017 to be their closer, is finally healthy, but has been more effective this season in the middle innings.
Hunter Strickland, who has been the closer for most of the season, is injured after punching a door from frustration after a bad outing and still out for several more weeks.
Sam Dyson, who became the closer last season when Melancon went down with a season ending injury, has been strong most of the season, but struggled in the ninth some from overuse.
The Giants two left handers, Will Smith and Tony Watson, have been the best relief pitchers overall, with Watson being the eighth inning man for most of the season and Smith taking over the closer role.
Smith and Watson certainly have some marketing opportunities coming their way if they continue to be the gunslingers they have been.
And yet, with all that talent and all that closer experience in the 2018 San Francisco Giants bullpen, it is Reyes Moronta who tied the Major League best of 12 straight hitless appearances.
After last night, those in the organization who have felt Moronta could be a future closer, are certainly feeling pretty confident today.