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What we learned as Estrada plays hero in Giants’ comeback over Cubs

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What we learned when Estrada plays the hero in the Giants’ comeback over the Cubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area


The Giants and Chicago Cubs combined to score three runs in six innings on Monday, before scoring 10 in the final three innings for a wild back-and-forth battle that ended in San Francisco’s favor, 7-6.

Thairo Estrada’s three-run blast in the top of the ninth inning was the icing on the cake to kick off a six-game road trip. The Giants combined to hit three long balls, and Heliot Ramos and Patrick Bailey also joined the party.

The efforts of Ramos, Mike Yastrzemski and Jordan Hicks seemed to be enough to earn a victory before everything went wrong in the bottom of the seventh.

Ramos led off the seventh tying the game 2-2 with a solo shot into the right field stands. Estrada’s bases-loaded hit gave the Giants a 3-2 lead. But manager Bob Melvin curiously kept Trenton Brooks in the game instead of turning to his bench. The result was three runners stranded on Brooks’ third strikeout of the game.

The Cubs responded by scoring four runs in the bottom half of the inning, including a three-run shot by Ian Happ off reliever Erik Miller. The entrance could have been different too. Brooks misplayed a pop fly didn’t help. Neither did the home plate umpire, Manny González.

Before Estrada’s home run, the Giants left 12 men on base and went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Here are three takeaways from a wild win for the Giants.

star in the making

He first results of the fan vote for the MLB All-Star Game were posted on Monday and Ramos led all Giants in votes with 241,532. That’s good for ninth among outfielders. Is not sufficient.

Ramos, since being called up on May 8, has looked like a star in the making, and Monday was the latest example. Especially when the Giants really needed his red-hot bat. Ramos’ solo homer was his ninth home run of the year, and he now has four straight multi-hit games after going 2-for-5.

In that four-game span, Ramos went 9-for-19 (.474) with three home runs and seven RBIs. He has power in all fields. He’s taking smart at-bats. He won’t turn 25 until September.

If you somehow haven’t bought Heliot Ramos stock yet, do so now. Time is running out.

All that Yaz

Yastrzemski’s spelling bee last name is baseball royalty, and his baseball IQ shined at Wrigley Field. From the fourth to sixth inning, Yastrzemski put on a baseball clinic.

First, in the top of the fourth, Yastrzemski tripled to right field to score the first run of the game.

Then, in the bottom half of the fifth, Yastrzemski showed his tights from right field and brought out Patrick Wisdom at the plate.

One at-bat after hitting a 104.1 mph triple with the bat, Yastrzemski made a perfect bunt down the third base line to load the bases. The Cubs didn’t even get to play with the artwork.

From the minor leagues to the big leagues, Yastrzemski showed everyone how it’s done.

effective hicks

Regardless of the pitch, Hicks’ velocity was off all day. The former flamethrower still found ways to pitch five strong innings despite walking four and dealing with an up-and-down strike zone.

Hicks forced 10 swings and misses, the most of any pitcher in Monday’s game. He struck out four, had four ground balls and four fly balls for outs as well. Whenever Hicks was in trouble, he found a way to get out of trouble.

The converted reliever continues to prove that he is no longer a pitcher but a pitcher. Monday was the first time Hicks finished five innings this month, and he marked his first scoreless outing since his first start of the season. Hicks lowered his ERA below 3.00. Hicks now has a 2.82 ERA on the year as one of the best offseason moves of any team.

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