Stratton sidesteps sweep, leads Giants past Arizona

Chris Stratton has had, at best, an unconventional foray into the Major Leagues, he couldn’t help but admit:

“My starts have been really weird this year.”

Since his return in July, Stratton’s woven in and out of the bullpen and had two starts pushed by rain delays — including one that forced him to a one-strikeout outing– and had to wait a few more minutes Wednesday while Ryan Vogelsong bid adieu to baseball.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at AT&T Park.

Vogelsong made up for it after the game:

“He told me he was proud of me after the game…. I hope one day I can have a career like that.”

Vogelsong’s career, as tumultuous as it was, never seemed like one that any up and coming pitcher would want to emulate. Then again, any pitcher looking to make his mark on the league had to feel inspired by the warm reception Vogelsong’s former teammates and a crowd of some 39,000 at AT&T Park gave him. He was an unlikely hero for a dynastic team. Who wouldn’t want to be that guy?

Stratton’s slow rise into the Giants’ rotation, despite the quirky schedule, certainly hasn’t placed him behind the eight ball. The rookie is taking solid steps, making his case for himself as a future piece at the back end of 2018’s rotation. Bruce Bochy certainly likes what he sees:

“If you have good stuff and good command, you’re going to be good. That’s how it works in the Major Leagues, if you can do that. … He’s shown us since he’s been up here that kind of poise.”

J.D. Martinez hit his 40th home run off him, a two-run shot, for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ only runs against him in the Giants’ 7-2 win Sunday. Around that mistake, Stratton dealt six innings, struck out four and walked one, making for just seven baserunners that the infield defense helped keep at bay.

With the win, Stratton is now 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA over his last six starts.

The Giants had scored two runs against Arizona coming into Sunday’s game, six since their last win this home stand.

With 100 losses well within sights, the bats moved the line like crazy against Taijuan Walker. Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford put two runs on the board with sac flies. Austin Slater plated another with a bases-loaded walk and Joe Panik another with a ground out, said Bochy:

“Yeah we did a good job of putting the ball in play, finding holes, moving the line, as we say. It’s been a while since we did that.”

Sandoval looks to be relaxed at the plate as this season slowly winds down. He hit a home run right handed for the first time since August 6, 2014–Vogelsong happened to be the winning pitcher that day–to give the Giants a three-run lead.

He went back to the left side in his next at bat and blooped an RBI single the other way, solidifying a three-RBI day and his first multi-hit game since August 25 — since then, he’d run a .036 (!) average. Bochy said he was happy to see Sandoval peak out of that slump:

“He stayed back better and got better swings off.”

Up next

The Giants get another off day before the Colorado Rockies come to town. Jonny Cueto and German Marquez are scheduled to start that Tuesday.


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.