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Giants tee off on Mets early in statement win

© Kelley L Cox | 2022 May 25

The Giants followed up their double-comeback thrilling win on Tuesday night with an offensive onslaught against the Mets. 

Just hours before the series finale, the Giants were inches away from a sixth straight loss. They’d struggled mightily against winning teams and had fallen apart in all three phases of the game — often simultaneously. 

A miraculous ninth inning and nine more runs later, San Francisco (24-19) stole a series from the first-place Mets. The turnaround, capped by Wednesday’s 9-3 victory, showed how fast vibes can change.

For second time of the year, and second consecutive day, the Giants hit four home runs. Evan Longoria provided two. Mike Yastrzemski extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games with his fourth of the season. Joc Pederson, the morning after putting on the greatest individual offensive performance his manager had ever seen, crushed his 11th.

They call came in a 30-minute span in which everything that came off the Giants’ bats seemed to fly out of Oracle Park.

Pederson’s first-inning homer was his fourth home run in his previous six at-bats. He credited a pregame conversation with Barry Bonds with helping him lock in for his three-homer, eight-RBI game, and the Giants won’t complain if that mojo sticks with the outfielder indefinitely. The team might task Bonds, a special advisor in the organization, to hold court with every hitter based on Pederson’s results. 

Normally, Pederson wouldn’t have even been in SF’s starting lineup, with left-handed starter Thomas Szapucki on the mound. But Pederson’s historic performance made him undeniable. 

“That’s just strictly self-preservation on my part,” Gabe Kapler said pregame. “I’m all good with trying to get the platoon advantage whenever possible, but I also want to survive the day.”

Pederson had been 1-for-10 against left-handed pitchers in 2021 before Wednesday. His career .607 OPS against lefties pales to his .837 with a platoon advantage, so the Giants try to put him in favorable positions as much as they can. But a hitter as hot, as confident as him? Throw out the percentages. 

The first-inning homer — 103.2 mph off the bat and into the arcade — was Pederson’s first off a lefty this year. He had two in 112 plate appearances last year. 

To that point, Pederson was five of his last six with four homers, the game-tying single and 10 RBI. Even Bonds had never accomplished a stretch quite like that. 

The exit velocities on all those six balls, including one that went for an out: 95.1, 109.1, 112.1, 109.2, 108.0, and 103.2 mph. 

Pederson, who went 1-for-2 with two walks, had help. His first-inning shot came shortly after Longoria’s first of the year. Longoria was unavailable for Tuesday night’s game after jamming his left shoulder — the same one that sidelined him for over two months last year — but appeared healthy as ever in the finale. 

Longoria’s first homer of the day sailed to straightaway center. His second, with a 108 mph exit velocity, completed a back-to-back jacking with Yastrzemski in the second inning. Yastrzemski has been San Francisco’s most reliable hitter this year as he’s rediscovered a penchant for mashing against both righties and lefties. 

After two innings, the Giants led 9-0. They had four home runs. Szapucki’s ERA read 45.00. Longoria’s OPS jumped 240 points. 

After the Giants’ eruption in the first two innings, the order put up five straight zeroes. But Jakob Junis held New York to two runs on three hits, making the early production more than satisfactory. 

This time, there would be no seven-run inning off Tyler Rogers. There wouldn’t be a need for multiple comeback efforts. No Christopher Nolan-level, mind-bending drama. 

Only four head-turning homers. That’s all the Giants needed. 

 

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