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How the ‘opener’ strategy can help, hurt the SF Giants moving forward – Marin Independent Journal

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With starters Aaron Sanchez and Logan Webb on the injured list and right-hander Tyler Beede not yet ready to return from a rehab assignment, the Giants filled a hole in their rotation Wednesday by using an “opener.”

The strategy upset many Giants fans when Bruce Bochy first sent reliever Nick Vincent to the mound to open a game in 2019, but Gabe Kapler’s decision to send set-up man Zack Littell out for the first inning against the Rangers was met with little more than a collective shrug of the shoulders.

It’s possible baseball fans are more accustomed to seeing teams use openers now than they were two years ago, and it’s also likely that Giants fans are more trusting of the organization’s decision-making process after watching Kapler and his coaching staff lead the club into first place in the National League West.

The Giants ultimately lost Wednesday’s game 4-3 in 11 innings, but the opener strategy worked exactly as the coaching staff drew it up.

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