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What we learned as Giants blanks Phillies in Kapler’s return originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Gabe Kapler heard some boos when he was shown on the scoreboard at Citizens Bank Park early in Monday’s game, but he got the last laugh. 

Brandon Belt homered early, Kevin Gausman had another brilliant start, and Kapler pushed all the right buttons with a shorthanded bullpen while winning 2-0 in his first game in Philadelphia since the Phillies fired him after the 2019 season. 

The only offense in this one came on Belt’s third-inning homer, but the Giants mixed-and-matched their way through the night. Matt Wisler has struggled this month, but Kapler trusted him against the heart of the Phillies’ lineup, and Wisler had a clean seventh. Rookie Camilo Doval pitched the eighth in his second big league appearance and worked around a leadoff single. 

With Jake McGee on the IL and Tyler Rogers desperately needing a day off, Kapler was without his two best relievers. But Wandy Peralta followed Doval and picked up his second save.

Here are three more things to know …

Aced Another One

Gausman wasn’t quite at his best and had to pitch through traffic most of his night, but he was able to do it effectively. He went six shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 2.45. Through 25 2/3 innings this year, Gausman has allowed just 17 hits and has 23 strikeouts. He got 14 swinging strikes against a good Phillies lineup, nine of which came on his splitter. 

The Phillies made Gausman work hard, repeatedly starting rallies with two outs, but Gausman got out of them all. He faced one final test in the sixth when two reached ahead of Andrew McCutchen, who got ahead 3-0. But Gausman got back in the count and threw a good fastball that McCutchen bounced to third. 


Jean Segura put Gausman in a jam in the fourth, poking a line drive into left and hustling into second for a double. As the Giants took a look at the play in their video room, Segura signaled to the dugout that he wanted the baseball. Then, we saw one of the weirdest moments in an MLB game this year. 

The double was Segura’s 200th in the big leagues, which is nice and all, but hardly historic. Segura took his helmet off and tipped it to the crowd as his teammates and the fans at Citizens Bank Park gave him a standing ovation.

Gausman responded by pumping splitters at the bottom of the order, striking out rookies Mickey Moniak and Nick Maton and getting veteran Brad Miller to ground out. After the double, Gausman threw 12 pitches, eight of which were splitters. Five of those splitters got swinging strikes. 

Familiar Face

After everything that happened last season, Sam Coonrod needed a fresh start. But man, what a big arm that is. 

Coonrod pitched the top of the seventh and struck out Wilmer Flores and Mike Yastrzemski. He hit 101 mph with his final pitch to Flores, which was his fastest pitch as a big leaguer. It’s understandable that Coonrod was hyped — the Giants traded him to the Phillies in the offseason. Coonrod has allowed just one run and two hits in his first six appearances this year.