Rodón and Wood lead the way for Giants after frustrating stretch originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — The low point of the Giants’ season came Tuesday night, and after the sixth straight loss, Alex Wood stood in the visiting clubhouse at Chase Field with a look that was hard to read.
There was frustration and anger, but maybe there was also a bit of desperation. Wood has been around long enough to know a lot can change for a team in early July.
A surprising hot streak, like the one fueled by Alex Dickerson in 2019, can convince management to keep a struggling band together. Continued shows of force, similar to last season, can convince leaders like Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris to go out there and pull the trigger on a move like Kris Bryant’s trade. But the kind of baseball the Giants have been playing for most of the past three weeks can motivate a team to sell, or at the very least, stay loyal.
At the low point of the skid, Wood repeatedly said it was “coming to a head” for the Giants.
“If this is who we’re going to be…” Wood said Tuesday, his eyes shining. “We’re going to find out in the next four or five days if that’s what we’re okay with being or if we’re not.”
A night earlier, Carlos Rodón had stood a few feet away in the same clubhouse and sent a similar message. On Monday, Rodón was firmer than any Giant in public through all the mediocre play since late April.
“I think something has to change,” he said. “I think we’re playing really bad baseball. You can say all you want, you know, but until we physically do something and make a change, I don’t think we’ll see results. .”
The proclamations were a welcome sight, if only for the fact that they showed that there were, in fact, signs of life in the clubhouse. But it’s one thing to say something publicly, it’s another to lead by example.
Rodón and Wood are starting pitchers, so they only have a chance every five games to make a statement with their game. They took full advantage of the weekend at Petco Park.
A day after Rodón backed up his words with one of the best games of the season — 12 strikeouts in a comprehensive win — Wood took a no-hitter in the sixth. He allowed just three hits in seven good innings, and when the offense finally exploded, the Giants earned a second straight win.
Speaking about the state of the Giants earlier in the week, Wood pointed out that they have a chance to come out of Arizona with at least one win and then try to play better baseball in San Diego. They did just that, winning on Wednesday and parting ways with a Padres team that appears to be heading into October.
It wasn’t a good road trip – the Giants were just 3-4 and briefly back to .500 this season – but the players found a way to save it, gain some momentum after the worst stretch of the Gabe Kapler. time.
The weekend ended with a few wins, but also a reminder that all losses have consequences. Last year’s closest Jake McGee was slated for a posting on Saturday, a signal big changes could be on the way if things don’t improve consistently.
There have already been subtle roster changes, and the youth were on display on Sunday as the Giants beat rookie of the year contender MacKenzie Gore and totaled 17 hits in a 12-0 win. . With Joey Bart, David Villar, Yermin Mercedes and Thairo Estrada starting, it was the type of roster you would expect if the Giants sold a few pieces, but Wilmer Flores was right in the middle and he led the way with four hits and a few homers.
“We’ve been waiting for this game for two weeks,” he said with a smile on the post-game show.
The big shots are necessary, but the best way forward is the one Rodón and Wood have given the Giants over the past two days. They’ve built this roster around a rotation they believe could be the best in the NL, and even with Anthony DeSclafani out for the year, the pieces are there for the group to run a race.
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He was the Wood the Giants had come to expect, the player they thought could give them a strong chance all five days behind co-aces Logan Webb and Rodón. Wood said Rodón set the tone on Saturday and was happy to keep pushing.
“We were looking for a game like this to start building momentum,” he told reporters in San Diego.
“The boys came out strong today and played good defense and kicked the ball well. It was just a good team win yesterday and today overall we have to be.”