June 3, 2023

What We Learned When Giants Beat Cards For Fifth Straight Win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO – The clearest sign yet that the Giants took a corner kick came not from one of their players, but from an opponent. Not even Paul Goldschmidt can slow them down now.

Goldschmidt hit his 29th and 30th home runs early against the Giants, but Anthony DeSclafani and the lineup shrugged. The Giants won 7-3, extending their winning streak to five games and reaching 11-13 after a nightmare in early April.

For the ninth time in 14 days, the Giants faced a lefty, but they were better prepared to take on Steven Matz than they have been for most of the month. Mitch Haniger got all the attention on Monday, but Austin Slater – the lead-off hitter against lefthanders – also returned and reached base in his first three at bats on Wednesday.

Slater’s RBI single in the fourth tied the score shortly after a LaMonte Wade Jr. homer, undoing the early damage from Goldschmidt, who is on the Mount Rushmore of Giants killers. The Giants took a break an inning later when Wilmer Flores’ two-out flyball was dropped to center. With new life, the Giants took the lead on a wild pitch, and Flores filled it with a 2-run shot in the seventh.

The insurance runs were necessary, as the Cardinals rallied in the ninth. They loaded the bases for Goldschmidt, but Camilo Doval got him to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Lefty Night LaMonte

Mike Yastrzemski was a late scratch from the lineup due to side tightness, giving Wade a rare start against a left-handed pitcher. He made the best of it.

Wade crushed a sinker in the visiting bullpen in the fourth to put the Giants on the board against Matz. The homer was the first of his career against a left-handed pitcher.

On the night, Wade averaged .112 against left-handed pitchers, including two hits in 11 at bats this season. Given the quality of his record performances early on, there’s no reason the numbers stay so low. Perhaps Wednesday’s swing was the start of something new.

Property is Property

Blake Sabol’s walk-off kept Goldschmidt from being the star on Tuesday, as he batted in two runs in the eighth to briefly put the Cardinals on top. A day later there was no stopping it.

Goldschmidt homered in his first two at bats and reached base four times. As good as Max Muncy has been at Oracle Park in recent years, he still has a long way to go to achieve Goldschmidt dominance.

The longtime Diamondbacks and Cardinals star has a .970 OPS in 157 career games against the Giants, with 30 home runs and 107 RBI. In 2022, while National League MVP, Goldschmidt posted a .981 OPS, 35 home runs, and 115 RBI in 151 games. He’s essentially posted an MVP season against the Giants over the last 13 years, though given how dominant he’s been at times, the only surprise might be that the numbers aren’t even more jaw-dropping.

Sizzling Sabol

A night after his walk-off homer, Sabol had a two-stroke hit from a southpaw and a two-stroke hit on a 101 mph fastball. He also stole his second base of the season and made a perfect throw to second base to get a runner.

Sabol looks like a potential goaltender, and the Giants suddenly feel much better about their group of young catchers. Joey Bart batted .303 before suffering a groin injury, and when the Giants needed to add a catcher to their taxi crew, Ricardo Genoves got the call over Gary Sanchez for his good work in Triple-A.

During Wednesday’s game, the Giants announced that former first-rounder Patrick Bailey has been promoted to Triple-A. Bailey had a .400 on-base percentage and pair of homers in 14 Double-A games and is considered ready for the big league defensively.