Thu, 23 Sep 2021

Giants look for 'sense of urgency' in finale vs. Pirates

Field Level Media
25 Jul 2021, 22:25 GMT+10

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler promised a new look when his team attempts to salvage the finale of a three-game series against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

One day after walks and errors led to a 6-4 loss to the last-place team in the National League Central, the Giants watched the Pirates blast an ineffective Kevin Gausman in a 10-2 shellacking on Saturday night.

Kapler was not in the mood to cite "small sample size" in his comments to the media after the game.

"I don't think we have executed any aspect of the game well the last two games," Kapler said. "The mood (among the coaches and players) is to demonstrate a bit of urgency without any panic.

"It's two ballgames that were not good ballgames. We need to make some adjustments. We do have to show we have a sense of urgency here."

The Pirates have out-hit the Giants 20-13 in the series, have allowed four fewer walks (9-5) and have yet to make an error, while the NL West leaders have committed a pair.

Kapler gave no specifics on the adjustments he's considering and has no intention of changing his scheduled starter for the series finale. That's slated to be left-hander Alex Wood (8-3, 3.77 ERA), who has been one of the club's best pitchers of late by posting a 3-0 record with a 4.17 ERA in his past seven starts.

Coincidentally, it also was Wood's turn after the Pirates stunned the Giants with consecutive walk-off wins during a home series in May.

The 30-year-old responded by throwing six innings of one-run ball in a 4-1 win. That performance improved his career numbers against the Pirates to 4-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 11 games (10 starts).

The Pirates are expected to go with right-hander JT Brubaker (4-9, 4.68), who has gone 0-5 with a 6.08 ERA in his past seven starts. The Pirates have lost all seven of those games.

The 27-year-old has yet to face the Giants.

While Kapler was lamenting his team's poor play after the second straight loss, Pirates manager Derek Shelton offered a different viewpoint on the series.

Shelton insisted Saturday's season-best 16-hit attack was a product of the momentum gained after the Pirates answered a Giants rally in the series opener with a three-run uprising that didn't feature a hit.

Jacob Stallings beating a throw to second base on a fielder's-choice grounder and Adam Frazier scoring from second when Giants first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. bobbled a potential inning-ending ground ball had a carry-over effect, the manager said.

"What you saw in that inning is something that's really important for us organizationally," Shelton said. "It was a good response for us. We had the off-day (Thursday) to clear our heads a little bit and hit the restart button."

The Pirates took the field Friday having lost four in a row. Now they've got a chance to equal their season-best winning streak with a third straight victory on Sunday.

--Field Level Media

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