The San Francisco Giants’ final game in Anaheim was perhaps their most daunting one. They’d face likely American League MVP Shohei Ohtani not just as designated hitter, but as the starting pitcher.
In an eventual 4-1 loss on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium, Ohtani wasn’t the Giants’ destroyer. An increasingly anemic offense did them in.
The Giants couldn’t take advantage of a rare off-night for Ohtani, who couldn’t quite find his release point and struggled to locate his fastball. Meanwhile his counterpart, Sean Manaea, was pitching one of his most dominant outings of the season as the featured pitcher. With a one-run lead, the Giants looked like they could escape with a series victory behind their versatile left-handed pitcher.
But the margin for error was too slim. Manaea had held the Angels hitless through four innings with six strikeouts until Luis Rengifo’s double to lead off the sixth inning.
Reliever Tristan Beck couldn’t close the gates; Brandon Drury singled, Ohtani was intentionally walked and Mike Moustakas pummeled a home run into right field to give the Angels a three-run lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Giants scored their only run on a Brandon Crawford sacrifice fly in the second inning. With Ohtani falling behind in counts, the Giants ran up his pitch count and applied pressure to a shaky Angels defense.
Michael Conforto hit a ground-rule double to lead off and Patrick Bailey walked to set the table for Crawford. Angels catcher Matt Thaiss gave them a hand with a failed pick-off attempt at second base — he hurled the ball to get a trailing Crawford with no infielder within two feet of the bag. Ohtani used 32 pitches that inning, but the Giants couldn’t capitalize on the strategic win.
The Giants went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base. Thairo Estrada flew out to end a bases-loaded opportunity in the seventh inning with Ohtani out for reliever Jose Soriano.
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/08/09/shohei-ohtani-bests-sf-giants-in-rubber-match-loss/