Giants observations: Corbin Burnes strikes out 14 in 2-1 loss to Brewers

·3 min read

What we learned as Giants mowed down by Burnes in Game 1 loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

MILWAUKEE -- Using an opener in front of Jakob Junis actually proved to be pretty effective for the Giants on Thursday. Unfortunately for them, there was a buzzsaw on the other side.

Corbin Burnes cruised through eight dominant innings, leading the Brewers to a 2-1 win in the first game of a doubleheader at American Family Field in Milwaukee. After turning things around over the weekend, the Giants have now lost three straight, dropping to 65-71.

The Giants struck first but the lead didn't last long. After falling behind 1-0, the Brewers got a single, stolen base and back-to-back doubles in the fourth to take the lead. They had two on with one out but Junis limited the damage by getting Rowdy Tellez to bounce into an inning-ending double play. Two was all Burnes needed in his eight innings, though.

The right-hander has one of the best repertoires in the big leagues and on Thursday he also benefited from a generous strike zone. Burnes allowed just three hits and struck out 14, the most by a Giants opponent this season. He got 26 swinging strikes on his 100 pitches.

Junis was effective on the other side, allowing just three hits and those two runs in his six innings. Here are three more things to know:

Burnes Notice

Carlos Rodón's teammates really didn't do much to help his bid to lead National League pitchers in strikeouts. Burnes entered the day trailing Rodón by one strikeout (201 to 200) but jumped way ahead with one of the nastier days of his career.

Burnes, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, struck out five of the first seven Giants he faced and never slowed down. He had double-digits through five innings and then struck out the side in the sixth. Incredibly, he was just at 80 pitches at that point. Burnes got through the next two innings on 20 pitches before getting pulled for closer Devin Williams.

His 14 strikeouts were tied for the third-most by a Brewers pitcher. The franchise record is 18, set by right-hander Ben Sheets. Burnes' career-high is 15.

Quick But Interesting

Scott Alexander needed just 14 pitches to get through his second big league start, and first since 2018. He pitched a scoreless first inning as the opener on a day when he joined his brother and the Rogers twins in accomplishing a rare feat.

Jason Alexander is a pitcher for the Brewers and Taylor Rogers was traded over from the Padres in the Josh Hader deal last month, meaning there were two sets of brothers on the field. This was just the fifth game in MLB history with two sets of brothers facing each other and the first since 1988 when the Gwynn Brothers (Tony and Chris) played in the same Dodgers-Padres game as Mike and Mark Davis.

Get Them Going

The first run of the day came from two players who have had down years, but are vitally important if the Giants want to turn things around next season. LaMonte Wade Jr. singled with two outs in the third and raced home on Mike Yastrzemski's double to the gap in right-center.

Third base coach Mark Hallberg emphatically waved Wade as he approached the bag and it was the right call; the throw to the plate was wide, giving the Giants a run on a day when they knew they would be limited.

With Tommy La Stella now way down the depth chart, Wade and Yastrzemski will hit at the top of the order against a lot of right-handers this month. The Giants are hoping both players can use this month as a springboard to 2023.

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