Following ‘reset’, Paul DeJong shines in SF Giants debut

Aug 24, 2023, 9:21 AM

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - AUGUST 23: Paul DeJong #18 of the San Francisco Giants in action again...

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Sometimes, a change of scenery can do wonders for a struggling professional athlete.

Just hours after joining his new team, San Francisco Giants shortstop Paul DeJong came through in a big way during Wednesday’s game in Philadelphia.

Needing a big hit in the top of the tenth inning with things knotted in a 5-5 tie, DeJong laced a two-run single in the left-center field gap to give the Giants a 7-5 lead that would prove to be the difference in an 8-6 win for San Francisco.

In his first game in black and orange, DeJong went three-for-five with a home run, two singles, and four RBI.

After hitting .068 with one RBI over 13 games with Toronto this season, it only took DeJong one game in a Giants uniform to find success in the batter’s box.

“It is hard to put into words,” DeJong said following the win. “I was happy to be out there and contributing on the first day. I am happy for the opportunity and glad that it worked out for me.”

DeJong, a 30-year-old who was named to the National League All-Star team in 2019 while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, was recently designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays just 18 days after being acquired in a trade deadline deal on August 1st.

Over 94 games this season with the Cardinals and Blue Jays, DeJong has struggled to a .211 batting average while striking out 105 times over 350 at-bats (30% strikeout rate).

Although it was one game, the veteran infielder looked like his old self while coming through in the clutch for his new teammates.

“It was almost like a reset, and that’s how I felt today,” DeJong said of his success at the plate. “To have a clean slate did great for my mental approach on this one.”

DeJong’s two-run blast in the top of the fourth inning was his 14th long-ball of the season and first since July 20th.

Along with DeJong’s impressive display at the plate, Giants manager Gabe Kapler made a point to highlight his new infielder’s impact in the field.

“I don’t think he could have come up any bigger throughout the game,” Kapler said. “The defense will probably go less talked about, because there was a home run in there and a huge base hit late in the game. But the defense was equally important.”

As Brandon Crawford (forearm strain) continues to heal up and work his way back to the active roster, San Francisco hopes that they have found something in DeJong, who tapped into his All-Star form during Wednesday’s win.

Upcoming San Francisco Giants Schedule

  • Friday, August 25th-Sunday, August 27th – vs. Atlanta Braves
  • Monday, August 28th-Wednesday, August 30th – vs. Cincinnati Reds
  • Thursday, August 31st-Sunday, September 3rd – @ San Diego Padres
  • Monday, September 4th-Wednesday, September 6th – @ Chicago Cubs
  • Friday, September 8th-Sunday, September 10th – @ Colorado Rockies

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