SAN FRANCISCO– On Sunday afternoon at Oracle Park, the Giants defeated the Marlins 7-5, marking the 2 most recent key turning moments in their season.
In just his second start, catcher Patrick Bailey made his first career highlight, and right-handed reliever Ryan Walker recorded his first win after pitching a scoreless sixth inning in his Major League debut.
J.D. Davis also made a deep shot and scored a goal to help the Giants (22-24) secure their second straight series victory and cap a 5-1 homestand against Miami and Philadelphia.
Infielder Casey Schmitt, the Giants’ No. 3 prospect, went 2-for-4 with an RBI on Sunday to boost his batting average to.383 with a. 979 OPS through his first 12 games. Bailey, the Giants’ No. 11 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and Walker are the current rookies to come up and make an immediate impact for San Francisco.
Manager Gabe Kapler said, “I think you always have to expect that young players are going to have some ups and downs and some battles.” “It’s always good when they have the ups first because it kind of sets the tone and brings a lot of energy to the ballpark,” says the author.
The Giants entered Sunday’s game 28th in the Majors in terms of OPS against left-handed pitchers with a. 653, but they got off to a quick start thanks to switch-hitter Bailey, who drove a full-count, 98 mph fastball from Marlins starter Jess Luzardo out to left field to tie the game at 1 in the second.
According to Statcast, Bailey’s home run left his bat at a speed of 107.4 mph and travelled an estimated 423 feet. Although Bailey is thought to be a much superior player from the left side, his first two hits have come from his natural strongest side.
“It was insane,” said Bailey, who made his Major League debut on Friday. “It’s pretty cool to be able to sort of get all the turning points out in a weekend and just kind of settle in.”
Later, Bailey went from one extreme to the other, laying down a beautiful capture bunt in the sixth inning to bring home Mitch Haniger from third base and extend the Giants’ victory margin to 6-4. However, the 23-year-old also committed a rookie error in the ninth inning when he threw the ball to first base incorrectly, allowing the Marlins to score an unearned run to advance Camilo Doval.
With the majority of the damage coming from a series of home runs to Jorge Soler and Nick Fortes, left-hander Alex Wood allowed just four runs on six hits across four and a third innings. In his six appearances this season, Wood has failed to complete five innings. Kapler once again gave him the fast hook by sending right-hander John Brebbia to face Soler after the Marlins put two runners on with one out in the fifth inning.
Wood walked back towards the dugout after throwing 74 pitches, shaking his head as he did so.
It’s challenging because it seems like you don’t get to pitch anymore, according to Wood. “Throw your best or get pulled in the fifth,” the saying goes. It aggravates me.
Brebbia, who was called up with Bailey on Friday after posting a 0.89 ERA over 15 appearances at Triple-A Sacramento, gave up a game-tying single to Soler before opening the door for Walker.
Walker, a San Francisco native who was selected by Washington State in the 31st round of the 2018 MLB Draught, had been eagerly anticipating his debut all weekend. He wanted to get the chance to pitch in front of his partner, Alexis, and her family. In the sixth inning, after navigating two infield singles to write a clean inning, he finally received the call.
Walker remarked, “It felt fantastic. Naturally a little nervous, as anyone would be, but I felt in control and just played my video game.
I thought he did a great job, Kapler said. “Due to the circumstances—tie game, game on the line—and the supply strikes, it’s impossible to come out. We are aware that he will perform at a truly exceptional level if he is throwing strikes. He’s really deceptive. The ball emerges quite hot.
Walker returned to the mound for the seventh inning, reaching a high speed of 98 mph with his calm crossfire shipment, but was removed after giving up a leadoff single to Xavier Edwards. The Giants’ bullpen, which had an earned run average of 1.33 over the course of the six-game homestand, combined with Jakob Junis and Doval to pitch the final three innings.
The Giants have enjoyed greater success at home this season (15-11) than on the road (7-13), but they are hopeful that the recent influx of youngsters will continue to help them as they begin a seven-game trip through Minnesota and Milwaukee on Monday.
Wood said, “It’s a wonderful stimulant. It has been quite wonderful to see those men. We always appreciate any help we can get. Ideally, those players will continue to perform well and maintain their strong start.