After getting a couple of opportunities in the last series against the Colorado Rockies, Nick Noonan made his first Major League Baseball start for the San Francisco Giants and left a big impression in a 7-6 comeback victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday afternoon.
Noonan filled in for Marco Scutaro at second base and batted eighth in the lineup. In his five at bats, Noonan got three hits, touched home plate twice, and had two strikeouts.
The day didn’t start off easy with Noonan making an early throwing error in the bottom of the first after it was deflected by starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong. Starlin Castro advanced to second and later to third on a wild pitch by Vogelsong, but no immediate damage was done.
Noonan got his first hit as a starter on his first AB in the top of the second. After Vogelsong sacrificed to move Gregor Blanco and Noonan to third and second, respectively, Angel Pagan struck out to end the inning.
Pagan had a better effort bringing in Noonan the next time, hitting a ground ball single to make it just a 5-2 deficit at the time. The Giants would score two more runs to make it 5-4 after the top of the fourth.
Noonan packed the bases with a bloop shot into center field in the following inning. All three of those base runners would score to make it a 7-5 lead for the Giants, which is all they would need to hold on to an eventual one-run victory.
Outside of the error in the first inning, Noonan looked comfortable at the plate and on the defense despite being in at second base instead of shortstop. If the offense continues he should be the first to replace Scutaro or Brandon Crawford when they need a day off, and potentially could be a go-to pinch hitter.