What we learned as Giants rally in eighth to beat Padres

What we learned as Giants rally in eighth to beat Padres originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO -- It has been a slow start for the Giants offense, but they believe the process has at least been positive. They entered Sunday's game leading the Majors in hard-hit rate, and they have been waiting for their luck to turn.

There were two huge breaks in a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park, but they had nothing to do with hard-hit balls finally finding holes.

The Giants got shut out on Saturday night and it took them six innings to scratch across a run on Sunday. With the Padres leading 2-0, Ha-Seong Kim's throwing error opened the door. The mistake put Jung Hoo Lee on first and LaMonte Wade Jr. followed with a single. A walk of Michael Conforto loaded the bases and Matt Chapman's grounder got the Giants their first run since Thairo Estrada's walk-off nearly 48 hours earlier.

There wasn't any more scoring while Logan Webb, the king of poor run support, was in the game, but the Giants took the lead in the eighth thanks to another mistake from Kim, who is one of Lee's close friends.

With runners on the corners and one out, Conforto hit a chopper to first that looked like an inning-ending double play. Kim took the throw from first baseman Jake Cronenworth, but he lost the ball as he was tagging Jorge Soler. A run scored and Soler went to third, setting the stage for Matt Chapman's go-ahead single.

The game is one the coaching staff probably won't want to watch a second time. But ultimately, the Giants got the win and the series, improving to 4-6 on the season.

Here are the takeaways from Sunday's win:

Long Afternoon For Logan

The last time Webb pitched at Oracle Park, he threw 110 pitches in a complete game win against Blake Snell and the Padres, a performance that wasn't quite enough to get him to the top of the Cy Young race, but capped a season in which he led the Majors in innings pitched.

Webb was efficient through seven innings on Sunday, throwing just 85 pitches and allowing two runs despite plenty of traffic. He gave up 10 hits but got two double plays and benefited from some strong infield defense, especially at third base.

After a rough one earlier in the week against the Dodgers, Webb said he wished he had thrown his changeup more. He used it 56 percent of the time on Sunday, although it still doesn't quite have the bite it had in 2023, and he left a few of them up on Sunday. The Padres took advantage, but Webb was able to limit the damage.

Walk This Way

Ryan Walker had an interesting role as a rookie, serving as a bulk reliever at times and also as an opener. This spring, Giants coaches talked about how Walker might eventually elevate to the setup role, and he continues to look like he's ready to take the leap.

Walker replaced Webb in the eighth and made quick work of the heart of the lineup. He caught Cronenworth looking on a two-seamer that Patrick Bailey pulled back into the zone, and then struck Manny Machado out with a slider that led to an awkward check-swing. When Kim hit a soft fly ball to right, Walker had a 10-pitch inning.

Walker has appeared in five of the first 10 games and allowed just one run on four hits. He has six strikeouts and just one walk.

Throwback Weekend

The Giants sold out all three games this weekend, matching their total for all of the 2023 season. Sunday's game drew 40,149 to Oracle Park. They haven't played very inspiring baseball through the first week-plus, but the offseason spending seems to have helped at the gate, at least.

Last year's home opener was also a sellout, but the Giants didn't get another one until July 3, which was a night game on a holiday for most, with the team seven games over .500. The only other sellout last year was a game against the A's.

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