Jordan Hicks

Giants notes: Hicks flashes familiar style in dominant win vs. Padres

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SAN DIEGO -- When he finally ran into trouble in his first start with the Giants, Jordan Hicks went back to his roots. With the bases loaded in the fourth inning on Saturday night, Hicks added a bit of extra zip to one of the world’s best fastballs, dialing it up to 99 mph.

“It kind of felt like being a closer out there in the fourth inning,” he said. “It’s like, alright, bases loaded, the game was on the line in my head.” 

The Giants would go on to win 9-6, but at the time they had just a two-run lead on the San Diego Padres. With a little help from LaMonte Wade Jr. in right field, Hicks got out of the jam. He made it through five shutout innings in his Giants debut, striking out six and allowing just three hits.

The fastball always will be the main event, but Hicks also leaned heavily on a splitter that came on late in camp. He threw it 14 times and got four swinging strikes. 

"It showed up late," manager Bob Melvin said. "Early in camp it was fastball-breaking ball and then he started toying with that splitter and in the last outing of the spring he used it a lot. He's throwing 3-2 splitters to strike guys out.

"You've got a third weapon like that with his fastball, it's pretty tough."

At times, Hicks almost seemed to be doing a Kevin Gausman impression, balancing a nasty splitter with an upper 90s fastball. The two were teammates last year and Hicks said he marveled at Gausman's splitter. 

"I got to learn a lot from him," Hicks said. "That's the best splitter in the game, in my opinion. Just watching how he goes about it and how he throws it and picking his brain last year -- I wouldn't say I hounded him on it, but I knew that it was in my playbook, too. I wanted to throw that this year and I was going to incorporate that more into my arsenal so I just kind of watched from the side and saw how he went about pitch-shaping and everything."

Blake Show

Blake Snell had a busy week. He was at Petco Park for the Opening Day festivities on Thursday and then went back to Scottsdale to face the organization's Double-A team in a simulated game on Friday. By Saturday morning, Snell was back, and he'll go to Los Angeles with the Giants.

Snell pitched four innings in the simulated game, throwing 74 pitches and striking out 11 while allowing three hits. He certainly seems ready, but Melvin said they weren't ready yet to announce next steps. 

Snell could join the rotation as soon as Wednesday in Los Angeles. When it was pointed out that he had a 2.74 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers last year, Melvin smiled. 

"I heard that somewhere," he joked.  

Daulton Jefferies will have his contract purchased to start Sunday’s game, which will require the Giants to clear a 40-man roster spot. Keaton Winn is likely to start Monday, with Logan Webb lined up for Tuesday. 

Baby Yaz

Mike and Paige Yastrzemski welcomed Michael Cahill Yastrzemski into the world at 4:48 p.m. on Friday. The baby, who weighed in at eight pounds, 14 ounces, was healthy and everyone was doing well, per the Giants. 

Melvin said Yastrzemski should be back on Monday. It seems likely the Giants will send Luis Matos back to Triple-A when that happens, as Matos wasn't in the lineup for either of his first two games back. 

Asked before the game about Wade over Matos, Melvin said the Giants were short on left-handed options against righties like Joe Musgrove and Dylan Cease. He also pointed out that he needed another bat in the lineup, keeping Wade from playing first with Matos in right. 

"Wilmer Flores is pretty good," he said. 

Closing Time 

Camilo Doval often takes his time getting to the mound and he was so slow Saturday night that he got to throw just two warm-up pitches. Before his first pitch of the 2024 season, Doval was called for a clock violation. 

Doval later got another violation and he also allowed a three-run homer to right. It was an odd, slider-happy appearance for Doval, who often seems to lack juice in non-save situations.

Melvin said he only used Doval because he wants to save long man Kai-Wei Teng for a potential appearance Sunday. The previous staff often had trouble getting through to Doval, but Melvin was quick with his answer when asked about Doval's debut. 

"It's not an ideal situation for a closer," he said. "I'll talk to him about it later."

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