What we learned as Giants score early, often to crush Padres


SAN FRANCISCO -- On Tuesday night, the Giants rode a powerful lineup and a strong performance from their starting pitcher. They even mixed in a bit of history. 

In other words, it was 2021 all over again. 

A group of hitters that had been quiet for most of the first four games of the season broke through with six runs in the first inning of a 13-2 win over the San Diego Padres and handed ace Yu Darvish the shortest start of his career. That was more than enough for Alex Cobb, who struck out 10 in his Giants debut.

This game seemed to have a little of everything. The Padres put Wil Myers on the mound in the eighth inning, and there was even an "unwritten rules" controversy when Mauricio Dubon bunted with a nine-run lead in the sixth. 

To top it all off, the crowd got to watch another moment that might end with an item being shipped to Cooperstown. When first base coach Antoan Richardson got ejected in the third inning, Alyssa Nakken took over, becoming the first woman to coach on the field in an MLB game. 

It was a lot to pack into nine innings. Here's how the game itself was decided: 

Another Alex Brings The Heat

With his sixth pitch in orange and black, Cobb threw the fastest pitch of an MLB career that started in 2011. Cobb has built his velocity in recent years, going from a 91.7 mph average with his sinker in 2017 to 92.7 last year with the Angels. He was throwing harder than that down the stretch, but still, this was another big step up.

Cobb threw 43 sinkers and averaged 94.5 mph. This came a night after Alex Wood showed some of the best velocity of his Giants career. 

Cobb was charged with two earned in five innings, striking out 10. That capped a dominant first time through for a rotation that could wind up being the best in the National League. The five starters combined for 36 strikeouts over 24 innings, posting a 3.00 ERA. 

He Might Never Come Back Here

Darvish has given up more than eight earned runs just three times in 214 career starts, and two of them have been his last two starts at Oracle Park. The Giants scored five runs in the first inning last Sept. 13 and put eight on Darvish's line in his four innings. That night looked like a walk in the park compared to the start of Tuesday's game. 

Darvish gave up six runs in the first inning, including a two-run oppo blast by Brandon Belt. The damage started with Mike Yastrzemski's leadoff single and the Giants kept pushing, sending 10 batters to the plate as they piled up the homer, four singles and a pair of walks.

The bullpen stirred in that long first inning, and when Darvish gave up two more runs in the second, his night was done. Darvish started his year with six no-hit innings in Phoenix; the Giants got him for nine earned on eight hits and two walks.

That's More Familiar

Without Evan Longoria, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Tommy La Stella, and with several regulars looking for their timing, the Giants struggled at the plate over the previous three games, scoring just six total runs. Tuesday's game was more of the relentless attack that became such a big part of the 107-win season. 

Belt picked up hits in his first two at-bats. He was 0-for-9 in spring training but is 7-for-16 with two homers since riding in on a boat with a 'C' on his chest. Yastrzemski shook off his slow start with a pair of hits, including an RBI double in the fifth that was a few feet from leaving the yard in left-center. Thairo Estrada drove in three runs and Wilmer Flores had three hits and a homer in his return to the lineup.

The 12th run came from Joc Pederson, who crushed  his first homer in orange and black with a solo shot off Myers in the bottom of the eighth.

Contact Us