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What we learned from Giants' 6-2 extra-innings loss to Mets

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Kevin Pillar had to wait until the last possible moment, but he finally got some revenge on the organization that surprisingly non-tendered him after the 2019 season.

Pillar hit a three-run bomb to left in the top of the 12th inning at Oracle Park and the Mets avoided a sweep with a 6-2 win. A wild back-and-forth final hour ended with the Giants running out of players in the 12th and new reliever Tyler Chatwood having to bat after giving up the go-ahead homer. 

The Giants ended up with a 7-2 homestand and now head to an off day that couldn't possibly come at a better time. Wednesday's game took a heavy toll on the bullpen. 

This was one of the more remarkable relief performances of the year until the ninth, with five different relievers combining for 6 2/3 scoreless innings after Anthony DeSclafani injured his right ankle. That got a one-run lead to closer Jake McGee, who opened the ninth by hitting Pete Alonso and allowing a single that sent Alonso to third. He scored on a J.D. Davis sacrifice fly. 

The Mets looked like they would keep going, but Brandon Crawford stopped the rally with a dive-and-glove-flip that sent "MVP" chants through Oracle Park. 

LaMonte Wade Jr.'s leaping catch against the wall added to the reel and kept it scoreless into the bottom of the 10th, but the Giants couldn't bring their free baserunner home. They got Mike Yastrzemski to third with one out but Mets closer Edwin Diaz got out of the jam with a steady stream of 100 mph heaters. 

 

Two innings later, the Mets broke it open against Chatwood, who showed good stuff -- his sinker repeatedly hit 97 mph -- but had to wear it on a day the Giants simply ran out of arms. 

Most Underrated Giant?

Jose Alvarez has quietly been brilliant over the last 10 weeks, and that continued Wednesday. Alvarez was the emergency choice after DeSclafani was removed from the game and he recorded five quick outs, getting a 1-0 lead through the third inning. This was nothing new, either. 

Since June 1, Alvarez's 0.86 ERA ranks third among MLB relievers with at least 20 appearances. He has allowed a run in just one of his last 29 games, lowering his overall ERA to 2.25. The last 16 appearances have been particularly dominant: 17 2/3 innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, 0 runs. 

Not bad for a guy the Giants signed in March for $1.15 million. 

Lining Up

Alvarez handed the ball off to Zack Littell, who needed just 23 pitches to get through two perfect innings. Littell has thrown 8 2/3 hitless innings since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. 

Jarlin Garcia was next, and he worked around a single. Dominic Leone took over from there and he also worked around a single to keep it scoreless. Leone got some help from Crawford, who went 110 feet to make an inning-ending catch down the left field line. 

Tyler Rogers pitched the eighth and took a 96 mph comebacker off his pitching arm as he recorded the second out. On the next pitch, he got out of the inning. 

Taking Advantage

You never want to see a player get hurt, but the Giants were well-positioned in multiple ways to at least try and minimize the damage when DeSclafani went down. Gabe Kapler has a deep bench and used it, sending Wilmer Flores, Darin Ruf and Donovan Solano up in the pitcher's spot to try and jolt the offense before extra innings. 

Flores had a single in the third that helped the Giants score the game's only run, as Wade Jr. doubled a batter later. Ruf also singled. 

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