Fansided
SF Giants News

SF Giants: Three key takeaways from the Rangers series sweep

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 10: Manager Gabe Kapler #19 of the San Francisco Giants looks on from the dugout against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Oracle Park on May 10, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 10: Manager Gabe Kapler #19 of the San Francisco Giants looks on from the dugout against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Oracle Park on May 10, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit
1 of 3
SF Giants, Gabe Kapler
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MAY 10: Manager Gabe Kapler #19 of the San Francisco Giants looks on from the dugout against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Oracle Park on May 10, 2021. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The SF Giants swept a brief, two-game series from the Texas Rangers, nabbing a 4-2 victory on Tuesday. San Francisco strengthened their hold on first place in the National League West and are now 2.5 games ahead of the San Diego Padres.

SF Giants: Three takeaways from the Rangers series

1. Gabe Kapler’s bench management continues to pay dividends 

Despite the Giants’ strong start to the season, Gabe Kapler has not received a ton of credit. While his bullpen management has been questionable at times, his management of the bench has been strong.

On the year, Giants pinch hitters have registered a .181/.326/.458 line with three doubles, one triple, five home runs, and 16 RBI. The batting average is not great, but the Giants have still found a way to get on base at a high clip, and they are hitting the ball with authority.

This was on display during Monday night’s game. Right-handed hurler Kyle Gibson started the game for Texas, so the Giants used a lineup heavy with left-handed hitters. However, when the Rangers went to a left-handed reliever, Kapler used three consecutive, right-handed pinch hitters consisting of Austin Slater, Darin Ruf, and Mauricio Dubón.

Before this maneuver, the game was tied at one. Slater walked, and then Ruf and Dubón slashed back-to-back singles to score Slater. Ruf scored in the very next at-bat due to an errant throw by former Giants prospect Charlie Culberson.

The Giants created a 3-1 lead, and the bullpen shut the door to save the game. The outcome of this game might have looked different had Kapler not used three pinch hitters in a row. San Francisco has a strong bench with everyone fulfilling a specific role, and Kapler has put players in the position to succeed. His management of the bench is one characteristic that stands out early in the season.

facebooktwitterreddit