© Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
There’s a saying that great pitchers never get any help. It’s true for Jacob deGrom, the Cy Young Award candidate of the Mets, and tonight, it proved true again for Dereck Rodriguez, the Giants’ Rookie of the Year contender.
Despite pitching 6 1/3 fantastic innings, Rodriguez received practically no help from the Giants’ offense and took a 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves thanks to a throwing error from Gorkys Hernandez.
A pair of singles from Gorkys Hernandez and Austin Slater put the Giants on the board in the third inning before Freddie Freeman and Kurt Suzuki did the same to tie game in the fourth.
After 102 pitches through six innings, Bruce Bochy sent Rodriguez back out for the seventh. Then, disaster struck in the form of a nightmare play by Hernandez.
The rapid Ozzie Albies hit a slow ball on the ground into center field for a would-be single. Albies took a huge turn around first base, causing Hernandez to pick up the ball quick and make an ill-advised throw, seemingly intended for first.
The throw sailed off the field and nearly into another area code for what was recorded as a double and throwing error that sent Albies to third. On the next play, Dansby Swanson hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Albies and giving the Braves a one-run lead.
👏 THE … HELMET … IS … OFF … FOLKS 👏
— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) September 11, 2018
Rodriguez was spared the offense of an earned run thanks to Sam Dyson, came in to turn a 1-6-3 double play after Rodriguez hit Rio Ruiz with a pitch.
The statistical benefit is about all Rodriguez and the Giants can take in a positive sense from tonight’s game. The team’s offense was stagnant as usual, picking up three hits all night, the last of which was Slater’s RBI single back in the third inning.
Starting in the third, the Giants could only watch as Braves pitchers retired 20 straight batters to end the game. To add insult to potential injury, Hernandez took a ricocheted ball to face in the ninth inning, when Kurt Suzuki doubled off the wall.
After a groundout, Albies continued his torment of the Giants, hitting a triple into the alley to score Suzuki and give the Braves a 3-1 lead. A bunt from Dansby Swanson scored Albies to put the Braves up by three.
While the Braves had three extra-base hits after the third inning, the Giants hit just four balls into the outfield after the third – one of which was a pop-up to shortstop hit by Brandon Crawford which barely made it into the outfield grass.
It goes without saying that the Giants (68-77) are now at their lowest point of an already underwhelming season.