Painful night for Giants, Yaz (thumb sprain)

June 2nd, 2021

Injury concerns continue to pile up for the Giants, who lost right fielder to a right thumb sprain in the fourth inning of their 8-1 loss to the Angels on Tuesday night at Oracle Park.

Yastrzemski suffered the injury when he slammed into the right-field wall while trying to make a catch on Max Stassi’s RBI double off left-hander . Yastrzemski immediately removed his glove and clutched his right hand, which continued to ail him for the remainder of the half-inning.

To add literal insult to injury, Stassi’s hit sparked a five-run outburst for the Angels, who pushed their lead to 8-0 before Yastrzemski finally got a chance to return to the Giants’ dugout. After a quick evaluation by head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner, Yastrzemski retreated to the clubhouse to undergo X-rays, which came back negative. He will be re-evaluated before the Giants open a four-game series against the Cubs on Thursday, though Wood said it “sounds like a crisis averted.”

“I think one thing we’ve seen with Mike for a long time is he’s going to sacrifice his body for our team,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Today I thought he nearly made a tremendous play on that ball. Really good timing up against the wall, just missed it, but I thought he played it perfectly. I respect the way he plays the game. It’s definitely always going to be frustrating when a player of his caliber, but also of his grit, is needing to come out of a game due to injury.”

Kapler sent Steven Duggar to pinch-hit for Yastrzemski in the bottom of the fourth. Duggar remained in the game to play center field, with Austin Slater shifting to right to replace Yastrzemski.

Yastrzemski, 30, has already battled a couple of ailments this year, as he took a pitch off his left hand in the Giants’ spring exhibition finale in March, which seemed to hamper him at the plate early in the regular season. Yastrzemski later landed on the injured list with a left oblique strain, though he missed only nine games before returning last month.

Overall, Yastrzemski is batting .222 with a .787 OPS and six home runs over 45 games this year. He produced the Giants’ first hit of the night against Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney on Tuesday, singling to right field in his lone at-bat in the first inning.

The Giants, who saw their four-game winning streak end after splitting their two-game Interleague series with the Angels, are already without Brandon Belt (oblique strain), Tommy La Stella (hamstring strain), Darin Ruf (hamstring strain) and Curt Casali (wrist sprain). Evan Longoria also sat out Tuesday’s game with a mild right intercostal strain, but the Giants believe he could return as early as Thursday.

Considering their banged-up state, Wednesday’s off-day is coming at a good time for the Giants (34-21), who remained in first place in the National League West following the Padres’ 4-3 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday.

Wood struggles

It was also a frustrating night for Wood, who was charged with a season-high seven runs over 3 2/3 innings in his shortest outing of the year. The 30-year-old lefty allowed only four hits, but he battled command issues and had trouble locating his slider, which has been a key pitch for him this year.

“It was just one of those nights, man," Wood said. "Not the first, won’t be the last, so hopefully I won’t have one of those for a while.”

Wood breezed through the first two innings of the game, but he fell into trouble after the Angels loaded the bases on a single by Heaney and two walks with one out in the third. Heaney scored on a wild pitch to open the scoring, and Anthony Rendon extended Los Angeles’ lead to 3-0 with a two-run single to center field.

Wood continued to labor in the fourth, when he gave up the RBI double to Stassi and issued two more walks to load the bases with two outs. Kapler opted to lift Wood in favor of reliever Matt Wisler, who walked Kean Wong to force in a run and then surrendered a bases-clearing double to Rendon.

After going 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA over his first seven starts of the season, Wood has allowed 11 runs over 9 2/3 innings in his last two outings against the Dodgers and Angels, causing his ERA to spike to 3.48. Tuesday marked his first seven-run outing since Sept. 10, 2018, at Cincinnati.

“In this particular case, he had some more wildness,” Kapler said. “His command wasn’t where he wanted it to be. Oftentimes in those situations, you’ll see pitchers go to their second-best secondary weapon. Wood has a great changeup and a slider, but I don’t think he was particularly sharp with any of his pitches tonight, and obviously, the results speak for themselves.”