As today is the final day of the homestand, I’d thought I’d finally try sitting at the new outdoor press seating area. The fold-up chairs and tables area is located just in front of the press box; it’s new this year in order to allow media to follow social distancing protocols. Since it’s the first day game at Oracle Park this season (and potentially the last if you’ve following the latest MLB COVID developments), I figured it was worth the try.
It gets freezing cold at night so the day game choice today made perfect sense.
The chairs in the standard press box are much more comfortable, but the view is closer to the field which is nice. It’s also much more likely I could snag a foul ball!
I thought it would be breakfast themed since it is the first day game of the year (press can arrive as early as 9:05 am for the 1:05 pm first pitch), but they opted for the lunch option:
Kapler Clip: Wilmer Flores
Hunter Pence is in the midst of a rough stretch (hitless in 20+ ABs to open the season), but Kapler spoke highly of Pence today:
Keep in mind Pence is still hitting the ball hard and was the DH for the American League All-Star game last season.
The Giants have two switch hitters on the bench (Heineman & Panda) and only one right-handed bat (Mauricio Dubon)
Top 1st – Shark pitching
Shin-Soo Choo works a full count but strikes out. Andrus pops out. Calhoun lines a hard fly ball to right field but Slater snags it. 1-2-3 inning
SCORE: Rangers 0, Giants 0
Bottom 1st – Kolby Allard pitching
Slater and Flores ground out. Yaz strikes out
Gallo with a broken-bat single to center field on a ball low and outside (it wasn’t close to a strike). Frazier pops out to Longo. Solak singles. Heineman (Scott, not Tyler) doubles in Gallo and Solak. Kiner-Falefa strikes out, but Mathis rips a single to center which scores Heineman.
SCORE: Rangers 3, Giants 0
Shark is getting hit hard
Hunter Pence leads things off with his first triple of the 2020 season. Longo brings him in with a sac fly. Solano walks to bring up Darin Ruf, who flies out.
An error on Kiner-Faela at third allows Tromp to reach and Solano to third. Crawford strikes out to end the inning.
SCORE: Rangers 3, Giants 1
Andrus flies out on a 3-2 pitch. Calhoun and Gallo ground out.
Slater rips a hard fly ball to center, but it is caught by Heineman and Flores pops out softly.
Frazier weakly pops up. Solak flies out. Heineman also records on out
Pence walks, but is thrown out at 2nd on a fielder’s choice from Longo. Solano stays hot with another base knock. Ruf pops out into an infielder’s fly rule, Longo manages to move to third.
Top 5th – Gibaut pitching
Kiner-Falefa makes up from his error earlier in the game with a single. Mathis records an out but Shin-Soo Choo hits his second homer on the year off Shark. Andrus pops out and Calhoun flies out to Pence to end the inning, but the damage is done.
SCORE: Rangers 5, Giants 1
Crawford singles and so does Flores! Now the always dangerous Yaz is up at the plate. Yaz grounds out and Pence lines out, one run scores.
SCORE: Rangers 5, Giants 2
Don’t look now but Shark is pitching into the 6th inning!
Gallo walks unceremoniously. The Todd Father flies out. Nick Solak flies out, Pence runs a long way to track it down in foul territory. Shark is pulled in favor of Triggs, who gets Kiner-Falefa to fly out.
In that Nick Solak at-bat, we got the foul ball! It’s surprisingly more dirty and sticky than you would think.
Longoria with a leadoff home run that was absolutely smoked (108.8 mph off the bat exit velo). Solano with another base hit. Panda pinch-hitting, he flies out but the Rangers pull Gibaut for Chavez. Tromp hits his first big league homer! Crawford flies out. Dickerson doubles! Flores flies out to end the inning but the damage is done, it’s a tie game.
SCORE: Rangers 5, Giants 5
Top 7th – Triggs
Jeff Mathis and Choo walk back-to-back. Then Andrus walks and Kapler pulls Triggs, he’s seen enough. Anderson gets Calhoun to fly out to centerfield, but it’s deep enough to score a run.
SCORE: Rangers 6, Giants 5
Gallo goes deep for his third homer of the year.
SCORE: Rangers 9, Giants 5
Solak and Heineman are retired but the damage is done.
Yaz flies out. Pence strikes out. Longo flies out. Momentum feels a little deflated right now
Kiner-Falefa and Mathis strikeout. Choo grounds into the shift.
Solano walks (he’s reached base in every PA he’s had today). Pablo strikes out. Tromp strikes out on three pitches. Crawford strikes out. Momentum now definitely feels deflated.
Top 9th – Menez pitching
Andrus grounds out 4-3 and Refsnyder comes in to pinch-hit, only to fly out to left field. Joey Gallo doubles – he’s now 3 for 4 on the day. Frazier and Solak walk.
Dickerson and Flores both ground out to the shortstop Elvis Andrus. Yaz strikes out to end it.
Coming into the day, the Giants were batting .291 with RISP (Runners in Scoring Position). Today they were just 1 for 9 (.111)