What we learned as Giants' bullpen roughed up in loss to Mets

What we learned as Giants' bullpen roughed up in loss to Mets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area


SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants haven't been able to go through any handshake lines in Blake Snell's starts. They continue to have huge issues when others try to fill in for him, too.

The first bullpen game under Bob Melvin went off the rails in the middle innings, as the Giants lost 8-2 to the New York Mets on Wednesday at Oracle Park, and fell short in their latest attempt to win a third consecutive game.

The Snell slot in the rotation has come up five times, with the reigning Cy Young winner making three starts and depth arms trying to fill in twice. The Giants have lost all five games, getting outscored 55-12.

The Giants were hopeful they could finally turn things around Wednesday, but Snell was scratched in the morning with an adductor strain and will miss at least two weeks after being placed on the 15-day IL. That kept him from going up against former Giant Sean Manaea, who helped clear the way for offseason rotation additions when he opted out of his contract.

Manaea has pitched well in his first season in New York and he struck out the side in the first. He ended up going 4 2/3 shutout innings, although four walks ran up his pitch count to the point that he wasn't around long enough to qualify for the win.

The Giants had two walks and loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning, but Thairo Estrada and Tyler Fitzgerald popped up and Nick Ahmed flew out to center. They drew two more walks in the third, but Austin Slater was picked off second base, halting their momentum. From there, it was all Mets.

Here are the takeaways from a loss that drops the Giants to 12-14:

Where's The Relief?

The Giants are in pretty good shape when they get a lead to Camilo Doval and the Rogers Twins, but they continue to have trouble staying in games if they need to use their bulk-innings arms.

Sean Hjelle took over for Walker in the second inning and gave up a couple of homers. He was charged with three runs in 2 2/3, and Landen Roupp gave up three more runs in 1 1/3. Newcomer Mitch White made his Giants debut in the top of the ninth and gave up a two-run shot to Francisco Lindor, who homered twice.

This has been a theme through the first month, and it's gotten ugly a couple of times on this homestand. In Snell's last start, Giants relievers gave up 10 runs after he left the game.

Walk The Walk

With John Brebbia now entertaining the masses in Chicago, Ryan Walker was an easy choice to be the opener when the Giants went to their first bullpen game of the season. Walker took the role 13 times last year and had a 2.21 ERA when starting a game.

Walker struck out Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte to begin the game before an infield single and hit-by-pitch put him in a jam. He got Brett Baty to fly out to left, ending the threat.

Walker has a 3.21 ERA through 14 appearances and ranks among the league leaders in advanced metrics like expected ERA and expected batting average. He has 17 strikeouts in his 14 innings and has held opposing hitters to a .204 average.

Some Giants coaches believe Walker will eventually be their eighth-inning guy, but right now the Giants are using him in different roles -- and using him often. He leads the Majors with 14 appearances.


Veteran right-hander Reed Garrett has been a revelation for the Mets, and he entered in the fifth inning with a 0.00 ERA through six appearances and 10 2/3 innings. Garrett needed just one pitch to get out of the jam, as Jorge Soler popped up to second.

Two innings later, Fitzgerald became the first player to get to Garrett this season. Fitzgerald jumped on a slider and hit a solo shot to left, his first of the year.

The Giants haven't found many spots for Fitzgerald, their utility man, but perhaps it's time to mix things up. He finished the day with .859 OPS.

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