Friday night in Arizona the Giants and Diamondbacks played a wild back-and-forth game at Chase Field (SF 7, ARI 6). Jake Lamb hit a game-tying home run off Santiago Casilla in the 10th inning to keep the game going. Lamb is now 4 for 8 with four home runs (!) against Casilla.
The Giants took the lead in the top of the 12th on a Kelby Tomlinson single. Manager Bruce Bochy went to right-hander Cory Gearrin for the save in the bottom of the 12th, but he also wanted to get the left-on-left matchup against Lamb. He could take his chances with Gearrin or lose him to get the matchup he wanted.
Bochy had another idea. He had Gearrin face Chris Owings to start the inning, then when Lamb came to the plate, Gearrin went to left field and Javier Lopez came in to pitch. After Lopez walked Lamb, Gearrin returned to the mound and closed out the game. Check it out:
“At that point, he was our closer,” said Bochy to Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area after the game, referring to Gearrin. The Giants had used all of their right-handed relievers earlier in the game, and Bochy didn’t want a lefty facing Paul Goldschmidt, Welington Castillo, and Yasmany Tomas in a one-run game.
“I was thinking, if it comes my way, am I laying out to make a play? Pitchers shag every day and you hope to make one of those plays,” said Gearrin to Pavlovic. Lopez joked he was upset he couldn’t get Lamb to hit a fly ball out to Gearrin in left field.
Gearrin is the first Giants pitcher to play the field since Noah Lowry in 2007. Cubs manager Joe Maddon has pulled this move a few times since the start of last season, usually with lefty Travis Wood, so it’s not unprecedented. Just really uncommon.
Source: CBS Sports / WATCH: Giants pitcher plays left field in the middle of picking up a save