The Giants’ 4-0 defeat to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday evening effectively eliminated them from the playoff race.
The Giants’ only chance to get close to a Wild Card berth would be to win out their final four games and reach a tie with the Chicago Cubs, in which case the Cubs hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, according to MLB, even though the Giants are only one loss away from elimination.
Since Farhan Zaidi took over as president of baseball operations, the Giants have missed the playoffs four times; their 107-win division title in 2021 is their sole postseason participation. This is a disappointing result for a squad that was 12 games above 500 at the beginning of August but fell out of contention in the next two months after dropping 14 of their previous 17 away games. The fact that they had an 8-16 record in September didn’t help.
Now, all they have to play for is their pride. They will play the Padres one more before finishing a difficult season with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. To end with a record above 500, they must win out.
Manager Gabe Kapler stated, “We want to win every game.” The first game, the last game, the middle of the season, trying to achieve a record, systematically go out there and try to win every single game, and do everything pre-game to put ourselves in a position to accomplish that. Our top priority is that.
The Giants also recorded their 13th shutout of the year, which ranks them sixth in MLB behind tanking squads like Oakland, Detroit, the New York Mets, and Kansas City. The Giants’ final stand was not very lighthearted.
With an upper respiratory infection that has plagued him since his last start in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, rookie Kyle Harrison was forced to withdraw from his sixth career start due to illness despite telling trainers and the coaching staff that he was OK to throw through it.
Coaches informed him that they had a strategy in place to give him the day off by having John Brebbia start and Alex Wood pitch most of the innings. According to Kapler, he might still throw in any of the final four games.
Two outs separated the Giants from being on the losing end of a full-game shutout. Seth Lugo, the Padres’ starting pitcher, had just two hits through the eighth inning and was vying for his first career complete game when manager Bob Melvin yanked him with two outs. Thairo Estrada then reached on a ground ball and Luis Matos drew a walk. To conclude the game, closer Josh Hader struck out Wilmer Flores.
One of their three hits on Lugo cost them something. When Fernando Tatis Jr. in right field fumbled the ball, J.D. Davis doubled off the wall and attempted to stretch it to a three-bagger. However, Tatis’ throw to Kim was swift, and Davis missed third base and was tagged out.
Davis injured his left shoulder after clumsily rolling over it. He was forced to leave the game. He is constantly.
In Harrison’s place, Brebbia started the game as the pitcher, but in the first inning, he allowed Juan Soto to hit a single home run with two outs. In the third inning, Wood got into problems after initially giving up a single to Brett Sullivan. Wood stumbled while attempting to catch Xander Bogaerts’ check-swing ground ball, which led to a hit and placed runners on the corners with one out. Sullivan was brought home to make it 2-0 by second baseman Estrada’s throwing error on Ha-Seong Kim’s grounder.
Ryan Walker gave up Soto’s second home run of the contest, a two-run blast that increased the lead to 4-0.
When Kapler walked out to take the pitch in the second inning, Brebbia at least gave the Giants something to chuckle about. The opening prepared a concealed ball trick to make Kapler playfully refuse to quit the game and engage in a play-tussle with his managers.
Brebbia replied, “Giving up the baseball you’re holding right now is arbitrary. “I believed I could hold it with a few extra hitters.”
Although some people may have recalled Kapler’s confrontation with Zack Littel from the previous year, Brebbia and Kapler guarantee that it was all in good spirits.