Pederson's clutch double, baserunning propel Giants in series opener

July 19th, 2023

CINCINNATI -- At 5:25 p.m. ET on Tuesday, everything seemed typical for 15 minutes before a game. A couple Giants players were playing catch, while others ran up and down the third-base line to get warm. A hype video played on the Great American Ball Park video board as the four umpires convened at home plate. Fans cheered as the Reds’ fielders ran out of the dugout.

Then at 5:40, put on a helmet and walked out of the Giants’ dugout with third-base coach Mark Hallberg, Wilmer Flores took his place on second base and LaMonte Wade Jr. -- pinch-hitting for cleanup hitter J.D. Davis -- stepped into the batter’s box.

The top of the eighth inning resumed at 5:43, nearly 21 hours after it was delayed (and then later suspended) on Monday night due to rain in Cincinnati. The game remained tied at 2-2 into extra innings, but the Giants came away with a 4-2 win to give San Francisco its sixth win in a row. After a two-run top of the 10th inning, Camilo Doval closed it down in the bottom of the frame with his Major League-leading 29th save.

Joc Pederson led off the 10th with a double to left to score automatic runner Brett Wisely. After a groundout moved him to third, he hustled home on Michael Conforto's fielder's choice to second and beat the throw to give the Giants a two-run cushion.

“Perfect read, and the contact play is not a sure thing there,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “... [Hallberg], right in the middle of the action doing a great job of coaching up our baserunners. Joc gets all the credit, because he had an amazing jump, and he had to get that good of a jump with how athletic their defenders are, but this is Mark doing a great job on the bases as well.”

San Francisco was in a good position in the eighth inning after Patrick Bailey was hit by a pitch with two outs to load the bases, but Mike Yastrzemski struck out to end the inning. Ryan Walker sent the Reds down in order in the bottom of the inning, and the Giants, too, went down in order in the top of the ninth.

Tyler Rogers walked Elly De La Cruz on a full count to lead off the bottom of the frame, and the speedy rookie ran for second. He was originally called out for a caught stealing, but a brisk review overturned that. No matter, Rogers picked off De La Cruz, who was tagged out after a rundown.

“At third base, [De La Cruz] becomes even more dangerous,” Kapler said. “Obviously, [with] a sacrifice bunt there, [there are] so many things [that] can happen if you try to record an out at third base. The ball can go into left field, or we could record an out at first base, throw the ball just off course and he can score on that play, too. So again, erasing that baserunner may have been the most important moment of the game."

The Giants may not have made it to that point, though, had Logan Webb not delivered another quality start on Monday night. Over seven innings, he allowed two runs -- both solo homers -- while striking out seven batters. Though he pitched well, he said he felt frustrated that he wasn’t able to come back out in the eighth to redeem himself after allowing the game-tying home run to Jonathan India in the seventh inning.

“[This is] one of the better hitter parks. I think if you make good pitches, you can kind of pitch anywhere,” Webb said on Monday night after the game was suspended. “It's the same thing in Colorado, stuff like that. [I] feel like I've pitched enough in Colorado before to know that it probably can't get much worse than that place. So I think [if you] make good pitches, you'll give yourself a chance. Today, I made my pitches, except for two. That's just how it works.”