Giants lose to Rockies in home opener

San Francisco – Brandon Crawford’s two-run homer to right wasn’t enough as the Colorado Rockies shortstop Ezekiel Tovar hit a three-run homer in the next inning in the Giants 5-2 loss against the Rockies tonight.

The loss snaps San Francisco’s 11-game winning streak against the Rockies, dating back to August 21 last year, the second-longest such streak between both teams.

Austin Gomber retired 12 of the first 13 Giants he faced through the first five innings, allowing just two runs on five hits with a strikeout and the home run by Crawford in the sixth.

“It took a little while for us to get to Gomber,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “He got into a pretty heavy fastball habit and threw it over and over.”

Giants starter Ross Stripling didn’t have such luck despite coming back from injury. He managed to get through 65 pitches, and allowed an early two-run homer to Ryan McMahon with one away in the first inning.

“Got the 3-2 and basically threw three strikes, he fouled them off and I think it was the 10th or 11th pitch, two-seam just ended up in the middle of the plate,” said Stripling of the early home run. “Not something I do a lot to lefties. I was thinking it would be a little bit of a different thing moving away from him, and it just didn’t get there. He got it up in the air and punished me for it.”

Stripling managed to get through the next two innings, forcing Brenton Doyle to ground out into an inning-ending double play with two on and one out in the second inning, then followed that up by retiring the last five straight batters he faced.

The Giants bullpen combined to allow just two hits from the fourth through the sixth inning, a single by Nolan Jones immediately after Stripling left in the fourth and a single by Elias Diaz with two outs in the sixth.

Tovar’s home run came on the first pitch he saw from reliever Tyler Rogers with two on and two out in the seventh, essentially sealing the win for Colorado. The errant pitch was a rarity for a pitcher that Kapler says “has been good for us all season.”

“Just a ton of trust in him to come in and make a big pitch” Kapler added. “It happens. It’s part of the game and I’d give him the ball in that situation over and over and over and have a ton of faith that he’s going to get the job done.”

San Francisco’s lineup continued to struggle as they have now scored just 11 total runs in the first four innings of a game since June 22, the fewest in the Majors.

Wilmer Flores’ single with one out in the first inning was the lone hit allowed by Gomber through the first five innings as he retired 11 straight afterward. The Giants managed to get Gomber in the sixth inning as rookie Casey Schmitt led off with a single, ending Gomber’s streak. Crawford then took a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall for his fifth home run of the season and his first since April 29. 

After Crawford tied the game, San Francisco looked to take the lead as Austin Slater took first after getting hit by a pitch and Flores hit another single to put runners on first and second. LaMonte Wade Jr. hit a fielders choice that got Flores out at second, but sent Slater to third to put runners on the corners. 

However, Slater was thrown out at home trying to score on a fly ball to center by J.D. Davis to end the inning and the rally.

The Giants have now won just three of their last 11 games including dropping four of their last five. They will look to rebound Saturday in Game 2 of the three-game weekend-long series.


Zaidi is optimistic as All-Star and trade deadline approach

Giants general manager Farhan Zaidi took a stroll down memory lane when the team acquired Kris Bryant during the 2021 season. That was the same year that the San Francisco won 107 games, defeated the San Diego Padres during the regular season finale to win the National League West pennant. They reached the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season.

“Bryant did a nice job for us and played well in the playoffs,” Zaidi said during his press conference before the Giants took on the Colorado Rockies Friday night.

In 51 games, Bryant hit .262 with seven home runs and 22 RBI after arriving on August 1, then went on to hit .471 (8-for-17) with a home run and two RBI in the NLDS against the Dodgers, a series the Giants eventually lost in five games.

The trade for the former World Series champion and All-Star third baseman proved to be a success for San Francisco at the time. The Giants are hoping for a trade similar to Bryant this time around as the trade deadline approaches. 

“We’re doing draft prep, paying a lot of attention to the major league club and the needs whether it’s day-to-day transactions or kind of looking more long term,” said Zaidi.

San Francisco is 2 ½ games behind Arizona for the division lead, and just a game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for the final NL Wild Card spot. The Giants aren’t necessarily in playoff position just yet, but they aren’t out of it either.

“We are a playoff caliber team,” Zaidi said. “(The season so far) validated our belief in spring training that it was a good team.

We feel really good about how the season has gone and, obviously, there’s a long way to go.”

Following a winter where San Francisco almost landed two of the league’s biggest free agents. Zaidi and the Giants may make a significant move as they look to return to the postseason. 

Ranked 11th in the Majors in team ERA, some could say they could use another starting pitcher – especially after losing top pitching prospect Kyle Harrison to injury – and at 13th in team batting average, some could argue they need someone in the lineup. San Francisco has received solid play out of the younger guys like Patrick Bailey and Casey Schmitt. 

“I look at it as sort of a combination of where you are in the standings and philosophy,” explained Zaidi. “You could have a team that’s five games up and decides to sell and a team that’s six or seven games out that decides they want to push more chips, so some of it depends on where the organization is, timetable and all of that stuff.”

Zaidi wouldn’t say who they’re looking at exactly, nor who the Giants wouldn’t consider dealing. However, San Francisco does not appear to be in the market for a top-flight starting pitcher, nor another outfielder as Zaidi says the team “feels like they have good options there.”

While Zaidi stayed purposely quiet regarding any trade moves or ideas, he does expect talks to heat up throughout the league after the All-Star break.

“I do expect there will be more teams willing to talk about players who could impact playoff teams as we get closer to the line,” he said. “That’s just always the way it works.”

Photo by SFGiants/Twitter

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