Giants Observations

What we learned as Joc, Estrada lead Giants' rout of Cubs

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Whether you had a dog on your lap or you were sitting in a kayak, Joc Pederson made sure you went home happy on Sunday. 

Pederson hit two homers in the first three innings, leading the Giants to a 13-3 blowout of the Chicago Cubs. The first was a two-run blast the other way that wiped away the sour taste of Saturday's near no-hitter and landed in the bleachers, where hundreds of dogs were enjoying Oracle Park's first dog day in years. The second landed in the cove for Splash Hit No. 101. 

The Giants went with their second straight bullpen game and didn't even have to turn to their high-leverage arms. Unless you count Brandon Crawford (he would). 

After 13 years of waiting -- and asking for it -- Crawford got the ninth inning for the Giants. He opened his first appearance with six straight balls, but bounced back to get a grounder, flyout and popup with two runners on. 

Joc Pop

Pederson spent four months with the Cubs in 2021 and had plenty of former teammates to catch up with before Friday night's game. He certainly enjoyed messing with his old team all weekend. 

Pederson tied a career-high with four hits on Friday, all singles. On Sunday, he had two homers, two singles and a walk.

The Splash Hit was Pederson's sixth and first since last September. This was his 20th multi-homer game and first since last May 24, when he had three against the New York Mets. That was Pederson's last four-hit game until Friday. This weekend, he blended it all together to raise his OPS from .808 to .934 in the span of three days. 

Pederson became the first Giant with four hits, four RBI and four runs in a home game since 1988. 

Bullpen Bounce-back 

Ryan Walker had a rough one Friday and was right in the middle of a rally that cost the Giants the game, but he bounced back in a big way on Sunday. Walker went a career-high three innings, throwing 51 pitches and allowing just an unearned run. He struck out a pair and allowed two, with the only run scoring after his own error on a grounder to the right side. 

Walker carried the heaviest load for a bullpen that did a nice job after the Giants decided not to add another bulk-innings arm from the minors. John Brebbia made his second straight start and worked out of a jam in the first, giving him three scoreless frames as a "starter" in the series. 

Hey Now, You're An All-Star?

This game was pretty much over by the sixth, but the Giants kept adding on -- and Thairo Estrada kept padding the All-Star resume. Estrada homered in the sixth and again in the seventh, getting to nine for the year. He raised his OPS to .843.

Estrada entered the day ranked second among MLB second basemen in WAR (and first in the National League) and fourth in wRC+. 

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