The San Francisco Giants made a big trade, sending outfielder Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees, but that also allowed for Chris Shaw to be called up to replace him on the roster.
In Shaw’s major league debut, the left fielder went 0-3 but drove in the game’s first run with a seventh-inning sac fly for the San Francisco Giants.
Aramis Garcia, who also made his debut tonight, hit a soaring home run to add to the lead and also hit an bloop single that drove in another run.
Shaw has been a power threat in the minor leagues, hitting 24 home runs for Triple-A Sacramento this season as well as 24 last season for both Double-A Richmond and Sacramento.
That power bat came in handy tonight as his sac fly would prove to be the winning run.
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While Garcia’s home run will get all the headlines, he also caught Andrew Suarez, who pitched seven scoreless innings. After striking out in his first two at bats, he certainly turned his night completely around with a home run, a single and two runs batted in.
The youth movement was not anticipated when the season began, but a combination of injuries and losses led to the Giants calling players up sooner than expected.
The McCutchen trade opened up a spot for Shaw and a season ending hip injury to Buster Posey led to Garcia being called up a week ago.
Garcia and Suarez have known each other since they were teenagers in Florida and had worked together before either were drafted. That experience showed. They became the first rookie battery to pitch a shutout for the Giants since Posey and Madison Bumagarner did it on September 23, 2010.
Garcia had not played until tonight, and his family flew in from Florida to see his major league debut in person. Their reaction is everything.
Shaw would have needed to be added this off-season to the 40 man roster to avoid being eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Now with his call up, the Giants will get to see how he does against major league pitching for the next month instead of hoping he’d perform in Spring Training.
Manager Bruce Bochy told reporters he expects to start Shaw in left field regularly for the remainder of the season.
Bochy also had said Garcia was unlikely to get many starts, with Nick Hundley having the every day job. However, with his job behind the plate tonight and his big home run, maybe Garcia has earned some more starts.