After Game 100, the Giants are looking new.
New names on the mound and in the field. Increasingly after the season’s first few months, new final results. And yet again, a new start at .500.
After Farhan Zaidi indicated before the game that continuing to win would “color” what the team does at the trade deadline, the Giants delivered their third walk-off in four games. This time it was Mike Yastrzemski homering off Robert Gsellman in the 12th inning as the Giants beat the Mets, 3-2 in front of 35,406 at Oracle Park. And on the backs of a pair of call-ups, Conner Menez and Zach Green.
The victory brings the Giants (50-50) back to .500 for the second time this season — after they had been 12 game under — and within two games of the second NL wild card before Sunday’s games had finished. It was their 15th win in 18 games, immediately getting back into that column after Saturday’s dud, and they took their fifth straight series — needing 47 innings to win three of four. The Giants improved to 9-2 in extra-inning games before a three-game series with the Cubs.
In his major league debut, Menez was solid, giving up two runs in five innings on three hits and two walks while striking out six. He consistently frustrated Mets batters, inducing 12 swinging strikes and several bats accidentally boomeranged.
Pete Alonso seemed the most out of sorts, a 91-mph fastball striking him out in the third, and the Mets’ big power hitter blaming his bat, which he sacrificed over his knee. From one rookie to another, that’s respect.
That was…Easy. 😳😳😳 pic.twitter.com/9EzSAIBpCv
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 21, 2019
After an incident-free first inning, Menez was welcomed to the majors by the Mets in the second. Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario homers put the Giants in a 2-0 hole, but he didn’t allow another hit. He struck out the side in the third and has quickly established himself in a rotation that now has three rookies.
It was a merry Debut Day, Zach Green shining in his first major league action, too. The third baseman whose power caught the Giants’ eye in Sacramento, called up to help replace Evan Longoria, wasted little time announcing his presence, singling on the second big-league pitch he saw. He checked another “first” off the to-do list in the fourth, when his double to left scored Buster Posey for his first RBI.
It tied the game, 2-2, and the pitchers took over from there. The Mets didn’t have a hit from the second inning until the 10th, the Giants from the fourth until the 12th. The Giants’ bullpen was overwhelming, combining for seven innings of two-hit, no-run ball.
The new was good. The old was less so. The Giants finished with seven hits, their bats again falling silent at Oracle Park. After their explosive road trip, the Giants managed just 11 runs in the four-game set with the Mets.
The game took a turn in the bottom of the eighth, when Seth Lugo’s curveball went over Posey’s head a pitch before Posey was drilled in the forearm. He flipped his bat and was clearly unhappy as he headed to first.
Kevin Pillar, the next batter, took more issue with home-plate umpire Mark Ripperger than Lugo. After Pillar grounded out, he had to be held back from Ripperger, who ejected him.
Brandon Belt and Buster Posey walked to begin the 11th off Jeurys Familia. The Mets turned to Gsellman, the Giants to Alex Dickerson.
Advantage: Mets. Dickerson bounced into a double play before Pablo Sandoval lined out.
Dickerson, whom the Giants have been careful with following his bout with back spasms, did not enter as an outfielder, Stephen Vogt getting his third look of the season at left field.