What we learned as Doval's error costs Giants in loss to Sox


SAN FRANCISCO -- It wasn't until just after 10 p.m. PT on Friday night that the first run was scored at Oracle Park. It was scored by the Chicago White Sox, and it was all they needed in a 1-0 victory that dropped the Giants to 2-4 on a long homestand against teams under .500.

On perhaps the coldest and foggiest night at Oracle Park this season, the teams were scoreless into the ninth. That's when a big mistake from young closer Camilo Doval came back to haunt him.

Doval dropped a throw to first on what would have been the second out, and an infield single put that runner in scoring position with two outs. A hung slider was pulled into right field by Leury Garcia and pinch-runner Adam Haseley scored the night's first run just ahead of a good throw from Mike Yastrzemski. 

After wasting several good opportunities in Wednesday's loss to the Detroit Tigers, the Giants kicked off their series with the White Sox by loading the bases in the top of the first -- but again they could not score. Tommy La Stella struck out and Lance Lynn settled in, getting through six shutout innings and allowing just two more baserunners. 

The Giants went with an eighth-inning line change against Tanner Banks, the only lefty in Chicago's bullpen, but it didn't work. Austin Slater drew a leadoff walk but Darin Ruf -- batting for Joc Pederson -- bounced into a double play. Wilmer Flores followed with another walk but Brandon Belt struck out.

Here are the takeaways as the Giants fall to 40-35: 

Matching Expectations

So this is what it looks like when the defense makes good plays behind Alex Cobb and all of the soft grounders he gives up don't find random holes. Cobb had his first scoreless appearance as a Giant, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out three. He was pulled after just 67 pitches because there was a lot of hard contact in the fifth, but it was still a big step in the right direction.

Cobb entered with a 5.09 ERA, but he ranks in the 95th percentile among MLB pitchers in expected ERA and basically all of his advanced metrics scream that he's due for a breakout. If it's finally here, the timing couldn't be better. Anthony DeSclafani, who was supposed to be the No. 3 behind Logan Webb and Carlos Rodón, went back on the IL earlier Friday. 

Give Him The Gold

Yastrzemski had one of the best defensive games of his career on Tuesday and might have topped those highlights with a catch he made in the fifth inning Friday.

Yoan Moncada led off the inning with a rocket to left-center that had a hit probability of 82 percent, but Yastrzemski snagged it just in front of the 399-foot sign, robbing Moncada of a leadoff double. According to Statcast, Yastrzemski went 90 feet to make the catch.

The play was so impressive that Joc Pederson followed Yastrzemski all the way back to his normal spot in center to celebrate with him. It was crucial, too. The White Sox followed with a pair of singles but didn't score a run in the inning. Yastrzemski was limping a bit after the catch but stayed in the rest of the game. 

Welcome Home

The Giants showed Johnny Cueto on the scoreboard between innings and he got a long standing ovation, but the emotions were also surely high for another player in black and white. White Sox DH Andrew Vaughn was born in Santa Rosa and starred across the bridge at Cal before being taken No. 3 overall in the 2019 MLB Draft. 

In his first appearance at Oracle Park, Vaughn hit a couple of rockets, lining out in the first and then hitting a two-out double into the gap in the top of the eighth. He also grounded out twice to short.

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Vaughn struggled a bit as a rookie last year but he's off to a good start this season, with a .306/.358/.466 slash line and seven homers.

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