SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — As San Francisco Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski rounded third base after launching his second homer of the night, a towering solo shot into McCovey Cove in the ninth inning to defeat the San Diego Padres, he could have anticipated the mob greeting he would have at home plate.
But this is Major League Baseball in the COVID-19 Era. No one would rip off his jersey. There would be no human pig-pile of joyous teammates. No shower of water and shaving cream. Instead, the players stood in a circle and waved their arms. Some even wore their face masks.
“That was weird. I didn’t know what to expect,” Yastrzemski said. “Obviously we’re trying to do our best to stay safe and avoid as much contact as possible. Sometimes in that situation you just have to follow the lead and everybody was doing the right thing. We just jumped around.”
Against two of the league’s best teams — the Giants — have gotten off to an unexpected 3-3 mark. On Wednesday night, they rallied from a 6-3 deficit.
Donovan Solano had a three-run home run in the eighth and Alex Dickerson also went deep as the Giants rallied to beat the Padres, who entered the game tied for the best record in baseball.
“Our players have actually talked about it … this team is full of fighters,” San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said. “These are their words and I believe them when they talk. They demonstrated that they can back those words up tonight.”
Kapler reserved his strongest praise for the Boston Red Sox great’s Carl Yastrzemski’s grandson.
“Tonight was an important moment in Yaz’s career,” Kapler said. “He just looks like a great all-around player right now. It’s starting to seem like this is who Yaz is. He’s a real leader in the clubhouse as well.”