SAN FRANCISCO – When Sam Coonrod jogged down the hill for his fifth appearance in the big league, one that was most likely the most stressful of his life, Cubs star Javier Baez moved closer to the plate. Kris Bryant stepped into the cover circle. Anthony Rizzo reached for his bat and climbed the steps of the shelter.
This is about as impressive as in the Netherlands. And Coonrod did not care.
"I tried not to worry about that," said the rookie right-handed Giants quietly a few minutes later. "I'm not trying to pay attention."
Coonrod's journey to the big leagues was long and was temporarily halted by injuries, including Tommy John's operation, when he seemed ready to break through. He has learned a few important things. Ryan Vogelsong, now an instructor in the organization, taught Coonrod to focus on his catcher, not the guys in the opposing cast. At some point, someone ̵
"Buster knows a lot better than me," Coonrod said.
Posey put down the signs and Coonrod opened his eyes while obeying. He hit Baez at a 97 mph fastball, made Bryant swing through 99 mph, and induced a harmless grounder from Rizzo. When Pablo Sandoval made it to the finish line at the end of 13 th, Coonrod had his first big league victory, which filled him with raw feelings that were still evident after the win.
The victory was the 17th in 20 games, and the pen had the highest load in recent days. The Giants have won five innings in their last eight games. They played 15 additional frames on this homestead alone, and it's a daily move to find new weapons.
Will Smith could not be used on Monday. Sam Dyson and Trevor God were in this situation on Tuesday. So Smith threw two innings and Mark Melancon two more. Coonrod wanted to make a second inning and then pass the ball to Drew Pomeranz, who had aired him in two innings on Monday.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy really did not want to use Pomeranz, and he did not have it. Coonrod made it look easy.
"He was good, right?" Bochy said. "He was really good, in that situation, the leverage and the way he dealt with himself was impressive, you see what that young boy did, it's the first time he's been in this situation."
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This type of use is unsustainable to the Giants, especially if they are dealing with this bullpen depth. That remains an open question before the MLB's trading date on July 31st, but right now the helpers are not focusing on who could go. They appear every day, playing catch, capturing what hurts, and putting zeros until a batsman can send everyone home.
"It's unbelievable," said Madison Bumgarner. "We have a lot of good weapons that we can throw at you and dock there. You showed that. They showed how they stood under high-stress situations to get the job done and they did. "