Weaver Near Perfecto, Bats Rattle Cueto in His Return for 11-2 Win
The offense was back, for a second night in-a-row the bats would club 13+ hits, collecting 18 to kick things off in the four-game weekend series in the Bay. Luke Weaver was dominate from the first pitch. The young right-hander has been far from spectacular his last few times out, looking to change his fortunes against a SF club who’s offense was silent for a series in Denver vs the Rockies.
For the fourth straight game, Carp, leadoff guy, would reach base to begin the contest, reaching with a walk. Pham and Yadi followed that up with back-to-back singles off Cueto to load the bases for Swags. Swags would tap a grounder back to Cueto, who would tag Swags out, allowing all the runners to advance, scoring Carp to make it 1-0. The Trap House was open for business early and often tonight, as Jedd Trap House Gyorko unloaded on a 3-0 fastball from Cueto, sending it over the RF wall for a 3-run shot, making it 4-0 Cardinals early. After Muñoz flew out to Hernández, Wong would slap a single to LF and later get thrown out trying to advance to second on a pitch that was blocked in the dirt by Buster Posey.
While Cueto was trying to find it, whatever “it” is, Luke Weaver had apparently already found it before taking the mound. Weaver carried a perfect game into the 6th inning tonight, before it got broken up in the lamest fashion. Weaver would breeze through his first four innings of work, tossing only 42 pitches. 12 up, 12 down, as 6 outs were fly ball outs (5 going to Bader in RF). Weaver would pick up three k’s through his first four perfect frames, getting his first on Sandoval to end the 2nd inning. Weaver overpowered the Panda with a 96 mph heater on the outer edge. Luke then ended his 3rd inning with back-to-back punch outs, getting Hernández with a 95 mph 4-seamer and Cueto looking at a high changeup. Luke needed only 8 pitches to retire the Giants in order in the bottom of the 4th, as Trap House would make a fine play at 3B for the second out of the inning, taking away the first potential hit from Buster Posey.
Before we go any further on Weaver’s performance, let’s brush up on the offensive onslaught since I only covered the 1st inning. Matt Carpenter, leadoff guy, smacked a solo HR off Cueto with 2 outs in the top of the 2nd, sending it to the deepest part of AT&T Park. Carp sent the ball over the RCF wall in triples ally, blasting it 420 feet to make it 5-0 Birds.
Cueto had his best inning come in the top of the 3rd, as the kicking veteran only needed 8 pitches, allowing a one out double to Swags off the base of the RF wall. Cueto would strikeout Trap House on a good changeup and ended the inning getting Muñoz to ground out to Panik.
The Cards would collect back-to-back one out hits from Bader and Weaver in the top of the 4th after Wong was retired. Bader would rip a double down the LF line and Luke Weaver would line an infield single off Cueto to put runners on the corners. Cueto danced around danger, getting Carp to pop out and Pham to ground out, ending the inning. The Cardinals would strand two more runners in the top of the 5th. Yadi opened the inning with a single to RF, classic Yadi. Cueto then got Swags to ground into a 6-4-3 double-play. Gyorko would draw a walk and Muñoz extended the inning with an infield single. Wong ended the inning, getting jammed on a fastball from Cueto, popping it up to Belt.
Weaver kept cruising in the 5th, recording two more outs via the fly ball, both recorded by Bader, his 7th putout on the evening. Weaver ended his inning with his 4th strikeout, getting the Panda for the second time, this time coming on a curveball after a 12 pitch battle.
Ty Blach would relieve Cueto in the top of the 6th inning, having a rough first inning like Cueto did to start the game. Blach would give up an infield single to Harry The Brah Bader to open the inning and Weaver would sac him over to second. Carp then drew a walk to bring in Mr. Steal Yo Girl, who’s been stealing plenty of girlfriends as of late, ripped an RBI single to RF, scoring Bader with ease. Blach would comeback, striking out Yadi on a fastball for the second out. Swags would keep the inning alive, knocking an RBI single up the middle himself, making it 7-0 Cards. Trap House kept trappin’, sending an RBI double deep to LCF, just short of his second bomb, scoring Pham and Swags to make it 9-0 Cardinals. Bruce Bochy would go to his pen, as Derek Holland would finish things out in the blowout contest.
Weaver’s bid for perfection ended with one out in the bottom of the 6th, as Hernández would reach base with an infield single, sigh. What a boring way to break up a perfect game. Gyorko would make a nice diving stop to his left, but couldn’t get the ball out of his glove in time to throw out Hernández. Weaver didn’t let it fret him, as he struck out Pence on three pitches, sending him packing on a 94 mph heater. Alen Hanson then delivered the real first hit for the Giants, sending a hanging curveball from Weaver over the RF wall to make it 9-2 Cardinals.
Wong would open up the top of the 7th with another opposite field single to LF. Harry The Brah would cash in, sending a moon shot to deep CF, putting him a triple away from the cycle, making it 11-2 Cardinals. Holland then would strikeout the side, picking up three strikeouts in-a-row to end the inning.
Weaver would work the 7th and 8th, retiring the side in order both innings. Weaver would end both inning with strikeouts, bringing his game total to 7. Brett Cecil would toss the final inning of the blowout, working a 1-2-3 inning himself, ending the game striking out Hundley on the knuckle curve in the dirt.
John Gant (2-3, 3.92) gets the ball in game-two facing off against Dereck Rodríguez (3-1, 3.16). First pitch at 9:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 86 is in the books