With all the reported rumors surrounding the San Francisco Giants — with possible season-ending hip surgery for Buster Posey and a potential trade involving Andrew McCutchen — there were all sorts of reasons to overlook the fact that there was an actual game being played on Wednesday between San Francisco and the New York Mets.
While the Giants didn’t overlook the mets, they also didn’t play particularly well, ultimately losing 5-3 in Queens.
A pitching matchup between spot starter Casey Kelly and Mets ace Noah Syndergaard didn’t bode well for the visitors from the get-go, but Kelly matched the long-haired flamethrower by allowing just two earned runs over six innings.
What made the difference was a pair of unearned runs, coming surprisingly because of an error by the normally-steady Brandon Crawford — one of two errors the San Francisco shortstop made over the first two innings.
Crawford’s defensive blunder in the first inning didn’t lead to any runs — even though it followed a Jeff McNeil triple — but the gaffe in the second proved incredibly costly. With New York (56-70) already leading 1-0 on Dominic Smith’s solo homer, Jack Reinheimer singled with two outs and advanced to third as Crawford couldn’t handle a tough hop on a Jose Bautista grounder. McNeil singled home Reinheimer — the eighth consecutive hit for the rookie — and a Todd Frazier ground-rule double would bring home a third run. Had the ball stayed in play, as it was initially ruled before review, McNeil would’ve crossed the plate for a fourth run.
San Francisco (62-66) would get a pair back in the top of the third as Austin Slater and Gorkys Hernandez started the frame with singles, and would come around to score on a Steven Duggar sac fly and Joe Panik RBI single.
The visitors would never be able to draw even. The Mets got another run in the fourth on a Bautista solo homer, and after Slater homered off reliever Drew Smith in the top of the seventh, Frazier would take Hunter Strickland deep in the bottom half of the inning to restore the two-run lead.
Jerry Blevins had recorded the final out of the seventh for the Mets and Robert Gsellman handled the eighth. Lefty specialist Daniel Zamora and Paul Sewald combined to handle the ninth, with Sewald striking out pinch-hitter Alen Hanson for his first career save. Though the right-hander has a dubious 0-10 career record, he now owns a save.
Kelly handled the tall task of facing Syndergaard as best he could, with the seven hits he allowed being only two more than Syndergaard. He also struck out four, only two fewer than his counterpart. The unearned runs and the insurance run the bullpen allowed proved to be the Giants’ downfall in what was otherwise a valiant effort by a pitcher who was never expected to play a hand for the club this season.