SF Giants veteran must build upon clutch walk off hit to keep spot on team

Perhaps this is just what Austin Slater needed.
Houston Astros v San Francisco Giants
Houston Astros v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The SF Giants won last night's game against the Houston Astros on a hit from an unlikely source: Austin Slater. Slater has struggled mightily in 2024, but perhaps this is just what he needed to get his bat going this season.

SF Giants veteran must build upon clutch walk off hit to keep spot on team

Slater's walk off hit in the 10th inning was clutch. He was brought into the game earlier to face the formidable left-hander Josh Hader and he did not come through. Slater has raked against lefties throughout his career but he did not come up in a spot he's succeeded in so many times before.

He had to face a right-handed pitcher in the bottom of the 10th which is not an ideal matchup. Despite this, he got a pitch to hit and drove it off the left field wall to win the game.

Even with this clutch hit, Slater's numbers for the year are still pretty ugly. He is slashing.170/.328/.170 and last night's hit only got him his 2nd RBI of the season.

It goes without saying that if Slater does not build off his walk-off hit and turn things around, the Giants may be forced to move on from him. The team has Luis Matos in Triple-A right now which was a controversial move in and of itself as he was demoted in favor of Slater after cooling off at the plate considerably after a red-hot start.

Heliot Ramos has also established himself in the lineup for the time being with his impressive hitting. This means that Slater's once-safe role as a solid right-handed hitting outfielder is now in jeopardy with younger players showing promise.

The walk-off hit may be just what the doctor ordered to get the veteran back on track. We know that he has a history of success in the big leagues. Sometimes all it takes is one at-bat for a player to find their rhythm at the plate and get their confidence back.

For Slater, it is essential that he find his groove once again. If he does not, then the Giants may have no other choice than to explore other options in the outfield.