Thairo Estrada

What we learned as Giants win home opener on Estrada's walk-off double

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Coming off one of the best offseasons in franchise history, the Giants drew 40,645 to Oracle Park for their home opener on Friday. Thairo Estrada made sure a lot of them would want to come back. 

Estrada smoked a double off the wall in left with one out in the ninth, and Matt Chapman raced home from first to give the Giants a 3-2 walk-off win over the San Diego Padres. The victory snapped an early skid for the rebuilt Giants, who rode a strong start from Jordan Hicks and a good day for the bullpen. 

The game was a rematch of last Saturday's pitching matchup at Petco Park. The teams combined for 15 runs that night, but it was a low-scoring battle all afternoon on Friday.

The Padres scored off Hicks right away, but he worked his way out of some early trouble and then cruised through the middle innings in what ended up being his longest start in the big leagues. The Giants tied it up in the sixth, when Chapman pulled a slow roller to third with runners on the corners.

The Padres got the go-ahead run to second off Camilo Doval in the top of the ninth, but he struck out Ha-Seong Kim and Jurickson Profar.

That set the stage for Chapman, who was hit by a pitch, and Estrada, who got his second career walk-off.

Here are three observations from Friday's win: 

Steal Of The Offseason?

When the Giants signed Hicks to a four-year deal and moved him to the rotation, the hope was that he could do a Kevin Gausman impersonation. So far, Hicks looks like he might actually be the next Gausman.

The right-hander went a career-high seven innings and 91 pitches in his second start, allowing two runs -- one earned -- while striking out five. Hicks saved some velo early in the game, perhaps because manager Bob Melvin felt he was tired after five innings on Saturday, but had 99 mph in the back pocket when he needed it. He repeatedly hit 98 in his seventh inning and was at 98.9 mph on his 87th pitch of the day. 

Through two starts, Hicks has allowed one earned run through 12 innings, good for a 0.75 ERA. He has 11 strikeouts to one walk.

The Giants were confident Hicks would be a good starter. Hicks was very, very confident that he would be a good starter. So far, so good. 

No Stopping Conforto

The only person that can stop Michael Conforto right now is Michael Conforto. After his second double of the game, the left fielder tried to score from second on a wild pitch and ended up in a rundown. The rest of Conforto's afternoon fit in with a scorching-hot start to his second season in San Francisco. 

Conforto's double in the first inning was 103 mph off the bat and the next one was 106 mph. In the sixth, he hit a 101-mph line drive off the bricks in right that was a few feet away from being his fourth homer of the year. The barrels are a notable change for Conforto, who was in just the 40th percentile in exit velocity last season. 

The Other Side

Nobody needs a hit more than Mike Yastrzemski, who is now 0-for-11 on the season with seven strikeouts and two walks. Yastrzemski struck out in both at-bats Friday, when Cease pumped sliders in and below the zone and Yastrzemski couldn't catch up. 

With a lefty reliever on the mound in the seventh, Melvin turned to Austin Slater, who bounced out to short to drop to 0-for-6. It's incredibly early, but Luis Matos was one of the best hitters in camp and is off to a good start in Triple-A, so this isn't exactly a great time for the veteran right fielders to look for their swings. 

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