MLB last scores: San Francisco Giants strike late to beat Royals 3-1

The San Francisco Giants needed a series finals win over the Kansas City Royals. It was a statistical necessity, but a spiritual one on the Day of Resurrection and Feast after a demoralizing loss on Saturday.

Demoralizing, frustrating, angry – appropriate words for a defeat “torn from the jaws of victory” at the moment. Yes, I agree that every game is worth the same from late March to early October, but April defeats like yesterday can be educational moments for players and coaches alike. If the team has chutzpah, yesterday was yesterday, it shouldn’t derail a season and might even build character.

No one went to Oracle Park to build character on opening day weekend. They wanted the bats to dish out punches, crush and crush, embarrass and destroy opponent’s arms – the fans wanted to cheer for bloodshed (in a stylish way). It didn’t happen on Friday for San Francisco, it definitely didn’t happen on Saturday, and as long as Royals starter Kris Bubic was on the mound on Sunday, it didn’t happen then either.

But it finally happened. Not quite the bludgeoning giants are capable of that, but it’s nice to shake things up every now and then (especially a day after RUF IS ON THE MOVE’s anniversary) with a mad race around the plate.

Bryce Johnson got a 2-out double from Wilmer Flores from the start. Johnson ran on the play and slipped headfirst into second before leaping onto his cleats when realizing where the ball had landed to the left. The young fielder’s speed coupled with the weekend’s overall offensive desperation, base coach Mark Hallberg waved Johnson to the tie. Michael Conforto then launched a 3-1 wiffle ball from left to deep right center by Ryan Yarbrough.

I think we can be thankful Yarbrough was in the game because there was a moment of whiplash in the 7th when things got confusing.

As far as I can tell, this is what happened:

The aide, Yarbrough, was called after RHP Carlos Hernádez showed up injured following a Brandon Crawford pop. Hernádez then started coming off the mound as Yarbrough exited the bullpen to face right Austin Wynns. But then, halfway across outfield, Yarbrough turned and headed back to the bullpen while Hernádez returned to the rubber, prompting left Blake Sabol to go into play (without Kapler’s official signal), prompting the Royals to do so , to call Yarbrough back into play Hill. After 7 minutes of being pushed around and general confusion for everyone involved, the refs pitched Yarbrough and forced Sabol to hit in a 1-run game against a tough southpaw with a baserunner on and two outs.

Experienced/manipulative coaching from the Royals? A mistake in the rules? Bad job from the referee crew? A rookie player unfamiliar with the bureaucratic nuances of MLB substitutions? Probably all of the above. The Giants bats had the last laugh so all is forgiven. Happy Easter.

Kris Bubic, a native of Cupertino, is the first left-hander the Giants have faced this year.

Accordingly, Gabe Kapler ran out the right batting move: Outfielder Bryce Johnson started at center in place of Mike Yastrzemski, Heliot Ramos, recently called up to lend his right-hand bat to the cause, recently started at left, Austyn Winns after injuring Roberto Perez was called up, along with DeSclafani behind the plate, Wilmer Flores covered first base for LaMonte Wade Jr. and JD Davis took over the role of Joc Pederson.

With RH outfielders Austin Slater and Mitch Haniger still on the injured list, the right side of the lineup is the Bruce Banner for the left Hulk – Bubic handled them easily, delivering 6 strikeouts in his first time in the lineup. (5 of them swing and miss). Giants hitters swung through big curve balls, swung over switches and chased elevated fastballs. Bubic attacked the zone, keeping every contact mostly grounded, driving through 6 innings of work with 9 K’s, 2 hits and 0 runs in front of friends and family. San Francisco’s first hit came from a single with Seeing-Eye Out of the Bat by David Villar to open the 5th. Bloodshed!

Thankfully, Anthony DeSclafani was almost as good on the other side of the hill.

In his second start of the season, Disco continued his strong start with 6.1 IP and allowed 1 run on 3 hits while hitting 7 and walking none. Over 2 games and 12 ⅓ IP: 0.73 ERA, 6 H, 1 R, 11 K, 0 BB.

The 1-run error happened quickly. The first base runner for the Royals and the first hit of the game came with 2 outs in the 4th from Vinny Pasquantino (who struggled for 11 pitches in the first before folding and doubled to put yesterday’s 9th ahead and scoring a goal in the absence of the winning run on Doval’s wildfield). Pasquantino’s double was promptly recorded by Salvador Perez.

Perez, it seems, is trying to make amends in 2014. The single was his 5th RBI in the series. I don’t know how many RBIs or game timing home runs it would take to golf in the stands to equal a single with 2 outs at the end of the 9th of Game 7. The damage he’s done this weekend is pretty annoying – like a pimple in your nostril or a mosquito bite on a knuckle – but it’s nowhere near redeeming the foul in 2014.

Does that help us feel better about what happened to us on Friday and Saturday?

[insert shrug emoji]

In a non-tandem start, San Francisco’s incredibly well-recovered bullpen put together two innings of shutout baseball. Scott Alexander took over for DeSclafani with an on and an out in 7th place. The Royals threatened a single from Matt Duffy and both runners went into goal position on a soft ground-out on the right side of the infield. Alexander doused the smoldering flame with a plumb bob below the zone Franmil Reyes couldn’t hold.

Taylor Rogers came into play at eighth as he tried to level the Royals’ 1-0 lead, handing Nicky Lopez a lead-off double. The new Rogers didn’t have a great start to his Giants career, but after the double he fanned Jackie Bradley Jr. and got MJ Melendez flying into midfield. John Brebbia came in to hit Bobby Witt Jr. to end the inning and set up the 3-run burst off offense.

After Doval served two days in a row, Tyler Rogers took over in 9th place to save and, funnily enough, trouble ensued when a catcher interfered with Sabol, who put the lead-off man in 1st place and the tie up brought the plate. The tie represented by – who else? – Salvador Perez. history repeats itself.

Much has been written about Perez’s game-changing 3-run homer after a switch from Ross Stripling. Who is today, whether that pitch – which practically bounces on the plate – had anything to do with getting hit this far, whether Stripling and Sabol should have elevated something to a low-ball bat, whether Kapler Stripling to a high- Leverage-Reliver should have pulled like Brebbia or Tyler Rogers. Everyone has an opinion on this. Nobody has a problem making hay and more hay out of it – but certainly one of Saturday’s alternate timelines could have been the submarine man and his naturally rising frisbees against the 9-iron-wielding Royals catcher. We saw what could have been on Sunday the 9th – Perez surfaced flat left on a pitch. Matt Duffy then started with a simple 4-6-3 double play to finish the game.

A much needed Phillies win.

Off to a possibly not fun 3 game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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