The Giants have to be thrilled with all the homers they've hit on this first road trip, but so far it hasn't led to a strong offense overall, or very many wins.
Brandon Crawford was the latest to go deep, giving the Giants their 10th home run in five games. But after a 3-1 loss to the San Diego Padres, the lineup has just 17 total runs on the trip.
Newcomer Aaron Sanchez pitched well in his debut but the bullpen once again gave it up. On the other side, the Giants had just three hits against Yu Darvish and a deep Padres bullpen, which includes old friend Mark Melancon, who got an easy save in the ninth.
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Sanchez was making his first start since August 20, 2019, so it was no surprise that he ran out of gas midway through the game, but the offseason addition showed some good stuff early and some moxie in the fifth to finish up what was a very promising debut.
Sanchez's fastball, which topped out at 93 mph, was down to 89-90 in the fifth, and the bullpen had a close eye on him with the heart of the order coming up. But Sanchez reached back and struck out Tommy Pham, blowing 89 mph past him up and outside, to get through five. That was his seventh consecutive out, and Sanchez briefly celebrated with a little squat.
Sanchez, who missed all of last year because of shoulder surgery, allowed six hits in the first three innings but held the Padres to one run. He struck out four and walked none while leaning heavily on his curveball.
Sanchez threw the pitch 22 times, getting 17 strikes, including five swinging strikes. He also threw in 20 changeups among his 74 pitches while keeping the Padres off-balance.
The New Guy
Matt Wisler's first road trip as a Giant has been a nightmare. The free-agent acquisition was part of the bullpen implosion on opening night, and after a couple of clean appearances, he entered in the seventh Tuesday and gave up a two-run shot to Padres catcher Victor Caratini. In a 1-1 game, Wisler hung a slider that Caratini easily yanked into the seats in right.
Through four appearances, Wisler has allowed six runs and recorded just five outs. Right now, hitters aren't fooled by the slider-happy ways that flummoxed the American League last year.
Caratini, by the way, has the look of someone who will be a pain for the Giants all year, perhaps even more so than the big names the Padres acquired before and after adding their backup catcher.
On the Board
The Giants have been homer-happy, hitting nine in their first four games for the first time since the 2003 team did it. Crawford wasn't part of that -- until his first at-bat Tuesday. Crawford jumped on a rare heater from Yu Darvish and smoked it to right-center, giving the Giants the first run of the game and Crawford his first homer. Crawford had been 1-for-15 entering the night.