ST. LOUIS -- The Giants' season will end when September comes to a close, an 11-game losing streak to open the month sealed that. But the final stretch still presents time to see how the team's young players can handle big league play, and how they continue to compete against
ST. LOUIS -- The Giants' season will end when September comes to a close, an 11-game losing streak to open the month sealed that. But the final stretch still presents time to see how the team's young players can handle big league play, and how they continue to compete against playoff contenders.
Nothing was easy for the Cardinals, who totaled four errors but still won on a walk-off homer in the 10th by Tyler O'Neill. The Giants showed future potential, but they still missed several opportunities in their 5-4 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Rookie catcher Aramis Garcia, who grew up a Cardinals fan, continued his development.
"I grew up in Florida, so there was no reason to like the Cardinals," said Garcia, who credited his fandom to Jose Pujols, and Adam Wainwright. "Even my room growing up was all red and white."
Garcia sent texts to his brother after Saturday's game, during which he faced Wainwright. He's been sizzling since joining the team in late August, and continued his hot streak by going 4-for-4, including a single that scored two of the Giants' three runs in the seventh.
"It was pretty cool, seeing that infamous curveball in person," Garcia said.
He struggled to start the season when he was with the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels, but in his 12 games as a Giant, the 25-year-old has accumulated 14 hits and is batting .368. Garcia started the series slow in St. Louis, too, striking out four times Friday night, but he recovered.
"That's just kind of the beauty of baseball, right?" Garcia said. "You have nights like that where you just go home and remind yourself that I come back tomorrow and do it again."
Rookie pitcher Dereck Rodriguez appeared to be having another impressive outing through six innings, but he couldn't quite cap an otherwise solid afternoon, allowing two of his four runs on a game-tying Yadier Molina home run in the seventh.
"I think it was just a lack of concentration on my part," Rodriguez said. "I went out there and threw four pitches to [Jedd] Gyorko and then Yadier had the first-pitch strike and I threw him the hanging curveball, and he put a good swing on it and tied the game up."
The Giants had the winning run on third in the ninth and 10th, but came up short both times. Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter committed two errors on one play in the 10th that advanced right fielder Hunter Pence to third and rookie left fielder Chris Shaw to second, but Carlos Martinez escaped unscathed.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Giants were unable to score the go-ahead run in the 10th despite loading the bases, with the assistance of two errors by Carpenter. Martinez wiggled out of the jam by striking out Austin Slater to eliminate the Giants' final scoring threat.
"A lot of good things happened but some things happened that cost us the game too," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We left too many men on base."
The Giants got eight hits off Cardinals' Wainwright, but none was graded "hard hit" according to Statcast™, which considers 95 mph exit velocity to be the threshold. The Giants' four runs came on bloopers.
"That's probably the softest four runs I've ever given up," Wainwright said. "That was incredible."
HE SAID IT
"[Molina is] a smart catcher. He's a smart guy back there. He's one of the best. He knows what he's doing and I'm sure he knew probably a curveball was coming there." -- Rodriguez, on Molina's two-run homer in the seventh
The Giants will close the three-game set in St. Louis with southpaw Andrew Suarez (7-11, 4.24 ERA) on the mound to face Cardinals righty Miles Mikolas (16-4, 3.01). The lefty, a key component to the Giants' young core, went a season-high 7 2/3 innings against the Padres on Sep. 18. First pitch is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. PT.
Sean Collins is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.