The San Francisco Giants will continue to rely on their relief corps when they start an opener for the third time in 11 games in the finale of a three-game set against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon.
San Francisco’s John Brebbia (4-1, 2.39 ERA), who hasn’t pitched since Friday, will get the ball for the first inning. The 32-year-old right-hander has been the Giants’ most consistent opener this season, throwing a scoreless first inning in each of his two starts. San Francisco split those games.
With regular starters Anthony DeSclafani and Jakob Junis out with injuries, Giants manager Gabe Kapler has had to go the opener route nine times this season. The Giants have gone just 3-4 in the games not started by Brebbia, who has never opened a game against the Diamondbacks and has a 1-1 record and 4.82 ERA against them in 10 career relief outings.
The Giants are coming off a 13-0 romp over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night. Coincidentally, the only time they scored more runs this season was when they scored a season-best 15 in one of Brebbia’s starts on June 3 against the Miami Marlins.
Arizona right-hander Zac Gallen (4-2, 3.62) will be tasked with slowing the Giants one night after they bombed Dallas Keuchel and four relievers for 14 hits, including four homers, a triple and three doubles.
Austin Slater, Yermin Mercedes, Darin Ruf and Thairo Estrada combined for eight hits and eight RBIs in Tuesday’s win, which came against the left-handed Keuchel.
Kapler was excited about the depth of quality at-bats in the Tuesday blowout.
“We’re seeing it with our right-handed group that has the less-established dudes in there, so that’s encouraging,” he said. “Guys like Mercedes having great at-bats. The bottom of the lineup as well. It just kinda shows you our lineup can be deep.”
Gallen hasn’t factored in the decision in five straight starts, during which he compiled a 4.97 ERA. The Diamondbacks won just two of the five games.
The 26-year-old did not pitch in last week’s series against San Francisco in Arizona. In seven lifetime starts against the Giants, he is 1-4 with a 5.50 ERA, including 0-2 with a 6.41 ERA in four starts in San Francisco.
Gallen has allowed just a .217 cumulative average to current Giants, including a combined 5-for-45 (.111) for veterans Wilmer Flores, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and All-Star Joc Pederson, all of whom started against righty Merrill Kelly on Monday.
Sergio Alcantara had three of Arizona’s eight hits in the Tuesday loss. He raised his average to .246 as a Diamondback after having been released earlier this season by the San Diego Padres, for whom he hit .114 this year.
“I didn’t think I would come back,” said Alcantara, who had been waived previously in his career by the Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers. “You never know in baseball. It’s good to be back with the guys and people I know. I know it’s pretty rare for things like this to happen.”
–Field Level Media