What we learned as Jefferies struggles in Giants' loss to Red Sox

What we learned as Jefferies struggles in Giants' loss to Red Sox originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area


The Giants have used an opener twice during the 2024 MLB season, and now have lost both times.

But just like exactly one week ago, it wasn’t the opener’s fault Wednesday night at Fenway Park in the Giants’ 6-2 loss against the Boston Red Sox.

Reliever Erik Miller presumably was selected as San Francisco’s opener because Boston starts its lineup with two left-handed hitters. Miller proceeded to walk Jarren Duran on nine pitches and then Rafael Dever on four pitches. However, Miller then struck out right-hander Rob Refsnyder on three pitches and got right-hander Tyler O’Neill to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Daulton Jefferies then allowed four earned runs in under three innings relieving Miller. Jefferies was called up Wednesday after spending the last month in Triple-A. In two appearances with the Giants, Jefferies now has given up 13 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.

The Red Sox (18-13) began the first five innings with their leadoff batter reaching base. Their offense hit four doubles and a triple, and the Giants (14-17) are lucky this wasn’t more of a blowout. The Red Sox already had 15 runners in scoring position through the first five innings, and finished the night 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position, leaving seven runners on base.

Here are three takeaways from the Giants’ second consecutive loss in Boston to start their three-game series.

No Redemption For Daulton

Jefferies waited one month to make amends and show the Giants he belongs in the big leagues. He fell short again. By a long shot, too.

The Cal product and Bay Area native put himself in an immediate hole, walking Wilyer Abreu on five pitches. Abreu eventually stole second base but was stranded from a flyout and strikeout. The third inning was the turning point, as Jefferies again put himself in an early hole, with some bad luck included.

After an infield single and walk, Jefferies got the worst of the Green Monster. What looked like a fly ball off the end of Devers’ bat ended up being an RBI double to tie the game at 1-1.

Devers’ double had an expected batting average of .010. A Refsnyder groundout the next batter gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.

Jefferies then allowed two doubles and a triple in the fourth inning. His day ended with the Giants down 4-2 and with a runner at third base. Jefferies allowed four earned runs on five hits, two walks and three strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings.

Tough Luck

Devers’ double wasn’t the only time the Giants ran into some tough luck against the Red Sox. Ask Jorge Soler about that.

The Giants’ struggling slugger had exit velocities of 110.7, 107.6 and 101.2 mph. Here’s what he had to show for it: Lineout, lineout, lineout.

And likely one sore right thigh.

Soler’s three lineouts had expected batting averages of .890, .680 and .470, yet he finished the game 0-for-4. He had the highest, second-highest and eighth-highest exit velocities on the day. Mike Yastrzemski also had the sixth-highest exit velocity (103.8) and Jung Hoo-Lee had the 10th-hardest hit ball at 99.4 miles per hour.

Yastrzemski grounded out and Lee lined out. The process was better for the Giants’ offense, though the results didn’t come.

That Has To Feel Good

For how great catcher Patrick Bailey has been this season, his backup, Tom Murphy, was batting below .100 coming into Wednesday night. Murphy had appeared in 10 games and had 27 at-bats to date this season. He also only had two hits.

His third hit of the season was Murphy’s first home run as a Giant.

Murphy’s blast was a no-doubter, traveling 407 feet. The long ball would have been a homer in all 30 ballparks, behind a 26-degree launch angle and 106.4-mph exit velocity. Murphy went 0-for-2 and struck out once the rest of the way, still raising his batting average all the way up to .100.

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