Patrick Bailey

What we learned as Bailey exits with injury in loss to Phillies

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Jordan Hicks has been more than a steal of an offseason signing by the Giants with each start the converted reliever completes. On Friday in Philadelphia, Hicks had his shortest outing of the season in the Giants’ 4-3 loss against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Hicks lasted only four innings. The right-hander often failed to find his control, walking four while having a 53.4 strike percentage. Hicks gave up four hits and four runs, but only two were earned. His ERA rose from 1.59 to 1.89.

The bigger concern comes from Hicks’ battery mate. Patrick Bailey didn’t even last two innings before having to walk down the clubhouse and be evaluated by the medical staff. 

San Francisco’s offense stranded far too many runners to come out on top. The Giants were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base, including five left on base by Jorge Soler. 

Soler, Michael Conforto and Matt Chapman combined to go 1-of-11 and no RBI.

Here are three takeaways from the Giants’ loss to start a three-game road series.

Bailey Exits Early 

Bailey has been one of baseball’s best catchers on both sides of the ball this season. Before the Giants even recorded five outs, though, Bailey’s day came to end Friday in Philadelphia. 

The first inning was Example A of proving the rigors it takes to play Bailey’s position. He took a beating in the first inning, absorbing hard foul balls straight back at him – including one of his catcher’s mask. On the third pitch of Jordan Hicks’ second batter in the second inning, Bailey took a foul ball off the bat of Nick Castellanos that shot straight down to an unprotected part of Bailey’s left foot. 

Bailey lasted one more pitch, signaling to the dugout after Castellanos reached base on a Matt Chapman throwing error. 

That first inning actually is what led to Bailey being removed from the game. The Giants during the fifth inning announced Bailey left the game due to blurry vision and is being evaluated.

The second-year pro entered the day batting .278 with three home runs and a .793 OPS. Bailey walked and scored a run in his lone at-bat. He was replaced by Tom Murphy, who sported a .100 batting average and a one home run through 11 games.

Chapman’s Uncharacteristic Mistakes 

Chapman has been the gold standard at third base defensively since making his MLB debut in 2017. Or better yet, the platinum standard. 

The four-time Gold Glove winner and recipient of two Platinum Gloves, as well as the 2018 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year, Chapman still mans the hot corner with the best of them. But Chapman had two uncharacteristic defensive mistakes Friday, including a costly one too. 

First it was his arm that did the damage. Then one inning later, Chapman’s glove was his undoing. 

Chapman sailed a throw way over LaMonte Wade Jr.’s head on a Nick Castellanos ground ball in the second inning, but Hicks was able to get the next two batters to line out and fly out. Chapman then wasn’t able to catch a pop fly on the run to begin the third inning. That batter, Kyle Schwarber, scored three batters later to give the Phillies their first run.

Friday was Chapman’s first multi-error game this season. Prior to Friday, Chapman only had six such cases in his eight-year career, never committing more than two errors in a game. He now has five errors this season in 33 games. Chapman had five errors all season over 155 games in 2022.

Major Missed Opportunity

Aaron Nola needed only nine pitches to record three Giants outs in the first inning on Friday. By the end of the second inning, Nola already was up to 55 pitches. The Giants worked four walks and made Nola throw 46 pitches. 

They scored two runs, but it could have and should have been more. 

Bailey led the inning off with a six-pitch walk. Chapman then worked a six-pitch walk of his own. Mike Yastrzemski struck out, but in five pitches, and Thairo Estrada smacked a two-run double off the right-center field wall on the first pitch he saw. Soler was the eighth batter of the inning for the Giants, and was in the exact situation the Giants signed him to execute in. 

Bases loaded, two outs and their big bat at the plate. The result was a pop up in foul territory caught by the catcher. Soler was hitting .125 with runners in scoring position through Thursday and failed at his first chance Friday. 

The Giants could have knocked Nola out of the game right there. They didn’t, and the next inning the Phillies were the ones to take advantage of the Giants’ mistakes to grab their first lead of the game.

Soler again came to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the seventh inning. This time, he knocked in a run but while grounding into a double play. Another rally killer.

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