For some reason, the Giants rarely have success against starting pitchers they’re seeing for the first time. Give that starter a 98 mph fastball and a wipeout breaking ball and, well, you’ve got a shutout.
Alex Reyes and the Cardinals blanked the Giants 3-0 on Sunday afternoon, getting a split of a crucial four-game series in the National League Wild Card race. The Giants had a three-game lead over the Cardinals after Friday night’s work, but dropped both weekend games.
On a hot day that should have provided plenty of carry, neither team did much offensively. The Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Aledmys Diaz crushed a poorly thrown slider from Albert Suarez.
The Giants had all sorts of trouble with Reyes, especially with runners in scoring position. A single and throwing error helped Eduardo Nuñez reach third with one out in the fifth, but Trevor Brown flied out and pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie popped up on the first pitch. Two singles, a throwing error and a walk loaded the bases in the sixth, but Nuñez flied out to left.
In this third career start, Reyes — a consensus top-10 prospect — struck out six in seven strong innings. Reyes was at just 84 pitches when pulled, but the move pulled off. Pinch-hitter Jhonny Peralta hit a ball off the wall to score Kolten Wong, who had tripled off Josh Osich.
Starting pitching report: Suarez ended up with an Albert Suarez: Five innings, two runs. He has recorded exactly 15 outs in each of his four starts this month.
Bullpen report: Cory Gearrin was flat-out dominant in two innings of work. He struck out five of the six Cardinals he faced, getting 13 swinging strikes.
At the plate: Not much.
In the field: The game was played with only three umpires after home plate ump Brian O’Nora took a foul tip off the mask in the second inning. O’Nora wobbled and had to be caught by catcher Yadier Molina and Hunter Pence, who hit the ball. There was an 11-minute delay.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,324. It was their fourth consecutive regular season sellout.
Up next: The big one. Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw kick off a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.