Tyler Rogers had one job: keep the ball in the yard. He hadn’t allowed a homer in 2020, despite inconsistent work, but streaks like that don’t last. I wonder if the Rogers experiment might need re-thinking. It was certainly an intriguing idea, that a submariner could work both sides of the plate, get a lot of ground balls, and do multiple-inning stints. I was all for it, in fact. Unfortunately the results haven’t been there for Rogers. Today he gave up a hit, got a strikeout, and then got tagged with the big three-run bomb. Overall for 2020 he’s faced 43 batters in 8-1/3 IP (9 appearances), yielding 12 hits and 11 runs with two walks, three hit batters, and six strikeouts.
Gabe Kapler will likely take some heat for pulling Kevin Gausman with one out and one on in the 7th. He dominated a tough LA lineup with a sizzling fastball through six innings and then gave up a long fly out to Mookie Betts to start the next frame and a single to Cody Bellinger. Kap had seen enough even though it was only 80 pitches (Gausman had thrown 83 in Colorado in his last start). You have to figure they are being really careful about stretching out their starters. Gausman is one of those guys who seems to have all the parts but the sum hasn’t always been there. The Braves dumped him after a very poor start last season and the Reds gave him a shot but kept him the bullpen. The Giants took a chance on his live arm and, I think today, tried to protect him from that “third time through the lineup penalty.” It didn’t work out. Like I said Kap will get some heat for sticking to his saber-script instead of going with his gut but it was a defensible move. Rogers needed to execute in that situation and unfortunately did not. Gausman records the Giants first “quality start” (6-1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K) of 2020.
The Giants offense couldn’t really get anything going against Walker Buehler and the Dodgers relief corps. Mike Yastrzemski got a clutch two-out two-run single, but that was it. The Giants bullpen fell apart in the 8th and LA cruised to a win in a game that looked like the Giants might sneak away with.
Giants head for Houston tonight and play tomorrow at 6:10 p.m. PDT.
p.s. I should note that Yankees manager Aaron Boone had a similar decision today, his starter James Paxton had a 3-0 lead over the Rays after six and he let him come out to pitch for the 7th. Result? Double, out, homer, homer and a 3-3 tie! Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
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