Giants Top A's in First of Two Battle of the Bay Exhibitions

SF manager Gabe Kapler and some players and coaches take a knee during the national anthem

In a game that didn't count, the Giants did something extremely memorable. Manager Gabe Kapler, coaches Antoan Richardson and Justin Viele, and players Jaylin Davis, Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Slater took a knee during the national anthem Monday night at the Oakland Coliseum. 

Kapler had told the team beforehand that he would be taking a knee, but he told all players to do what they're comfortable with. The image was powerful and well-timed, with the Bay Area tuning in to see its two baseball teams in action for the first time since March. 

On the field, the Giants won 6-2. The teams will face each other again Tuesday night at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

Here are three takeaways from the action between the lines Monday night:

Don't Forget About This Guy

Have a night, Austin Slater. He hit leadoff for the Giants and doubled off Sean Manaea with the bases loaded in the second, bringing all three runners home. He added a two-run double in the seventh. 

Slater has kind of been an afterthought in the outfield competition, in part because he has been around a while and in part because he ended last year on a rough note, killing his overall numbers. But through August, Slater had a .281/.396/.529 slash line in 48 appearances, and he has made adjustments this year to continue his effort to drive the ball more.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Slater now looks like a lock for the opening day roster, and he could be a valuable swing piece for Kapler given his ability to play all three outfield spots as well as first. He also has done plenty of work at second. 

The Giants face Clayton Kershaw on Thursday and will see two more lefties against the Dodgers. It's shaping up to be a busy week for Slater. 

New Faces to Know

Caleb Baragar's command was a touch off and he gave up a run in his relief inning, but it was notable that the lefty -- added to camp late -- was even in this position. The staff clearly wants a longer look at him. Baragar has a good fastball that was sitting 94 mph on Monday, and hitters say it jumps on them. 

Rico Garcia followed and hit 96 on his first pitch. The former Rockies prospect pitched a scoreless inning. 

Baragar and Garcia both get talked about by the staff a fair amount, and both look very likely to debut this season, perhaps as soon as Opening Day for one of them. Get to know them.

[RELATED: MLB Twitter defends Giants kneeling]

Time to Experiment

The Giants went to a four-man outfield often in the spring, and they busted it out in their very first inning Monday, shifting with lefty masher Matt Olson at the plate. 

Kevin Gausman was on the mound. When the Giants did it behind him in spring training he tripped while trying to field a pop-up to a vacated third base, so he was grateful that it was smoother this time. Gausman struck out Olson to end the inning. 

"It's a little weird but if you just look at the numbers it kind of shows you that they don't hit the ball that way," he said. "All it's going to take is a guy to bunt over there a couple times and we'll probably stop doing it. Up to that point, let's use it to our advantage."

Giants takeaways: What you might have missed in 6-2 exhibition win vs. A's originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Copyright RSN
Contact Us