Giants, Gabe Kapler still believe in Jake McGee after blown save

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Marcus White
·2 min read
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Giants, Kapler still believe in Jake McGee after blown save originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Jake McGee is mortal after all.

The Giants closer allowed his first earned runs of the season in Saturday's 7-6 loss to the Miami Marlins, blowing a save in the bottom of the ninth inning. McGee allowed two earned runs on four hits and a walk, striking out none.

"He was just kind of down in the zone," Giants manager Gabe Kapler told reporters in a postgame video conference Saturday. "He really is at his best when he's executing that fastball at the top of the zone. ... There's not much of a guessing game, it's more about the location of his fastball."

McGee allowed his third-, fourth- and fifth-hardest hit balls this season, according to Statcast. The Marlins' first three batters all reached base, with Jazz Chisolm (106.7 mph exit velocity on his single) driven in by a Jorge Alfaro single (107.5 mph). McGee got two popouts before Starling Marte (103.8 mph) tied the game with another single.

After walking Jesus Aguilar to load the bases, McGee battled through a seven-pitch at-bat with Adam Duvall, who flew out to right to end the inning.

"It was frustrating, but once I gave up the two runs, the goal was to give us a chance in the next inning and a chance to win the game," McGee told reporters.

The Giants nearly took it in the top of the 10th inning, thanks to Brandon Belt's go-ahead RBI double. But San Francisco's bullpen blew another save -- this one courtesy of Jarlin Garcia -- and dropped a second straight game at loanDepot Park.

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McGee topped out at 96.8 mph, just shy of his fastest this season. The 34-year-old had two days rest ahead of his appearance Saturday, but he made his ninth appearance in 14 games.

Kapler said he wasn't worried about McGee's workload, particularly after not pitching Friday following a cross-country trip. The manager said he'll touch base with reliever Tyler Rogers, who pitched 1 2/3 innings Saturday, and McGee ahead of Sunday's game to see how they're feeling.

McGee might not close in a save opportunity Sunday due to rest, but he very well could Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies. Kapler viewed Saturday's performance as nothing more than a bump in the road. 

"We didn't think Jake was gonna convert every save opportunity this season," Kapler continued. "So obviously, we're disappointed in the outcome of the game, but nothing has changed from a standpoint of us knowing that Jake is the right guy for these opportunities."

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