SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 03: The San Francisco Giants celebrate after they beat the San Diego Padres to win the National League West Title at AT&T Park on October 3 2010 in San Francisco California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Part two of the Tony-winning series…
5. - April 9th - Braves
After this game, the fourth of 2010, Edgar Renteria was hitting .688/.737/1.000. Totally sustainable. In the ninth inning, down by two, Eugenio Velez doubled off Billy Wagner and Renteria homered to tie the game. Read that sentence again. Have an orange slice. Chill out in the tent for a bit. When you start coming down, read that sentence about Velez, Wagner, and Renteria again. Then go to sleep, brother. Sleep it off.
I’m pretty sure this will happen again in the playoffs. That’s just logical deduction.
4. - May 18 - Padres
The Giants lost the first 764 games they played against the Padres this season. And in game 765, they were down by two in the late innings. Brian Jeffs or John James or Adam Gregs – one of those slider-throwing goofs with a 0.01 ERA and a 100/1 K/BB ratio – came out again.
Aaron Rowand hit a double. He’s showing up on a few of these things. Then Andres Torres, bench player who the Giants were playing over John Bowker, hit a booming homer out of Petco National Park. After that, the Padres had four opportunities to walk off and humiliate the Giants yet again. They sent up Ecksteins and Hairstons and Hairstons and Ecksteins, but they weren’t able to scratch a run across before Matt Downs, Eugenio Velez, Ryan Rohlinger, and Eli Whiteside combined for three runs.
This was also before Brian Wilson consumed Jonathan Broxton’s talent like some sort of talent-eating Galactus, so the bottom of the 12th was a little furry. Hey, speaking of Jonathan Broxton…
3. – July 31 – Dodgers
Jonathan Broxton used to be good. In the first half of 2010, he had a 2.11 ERA and a 55/7 K/BB ratio in 38 innings. After the All-Star break, he had a 7.13 ERA with a 18/21 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. Oh, those are beautiful numbers for a Dodger closer to have.
This game was the start of the Giants repeated second-half Broxton whompings. After being shut down all freaking day by Chad freaking Billingsley yet again, the Giants were in 2009 mode, listlessly grounding balls to the right side. Then Buster Posey was hit by a pitch, which made Pat Burrell angry. The Dodgers didn’t like Pat Burrell when he was angry.
Also of note: the best inning of Guillermo Mota’s Giants career. He came in for an overworked Brian Wilson and was nasty in the ninth. No drama.
2. –September 4 – Dodgers
The Giants haven’t come back from a lot of four-run deficits over the past few seasons. They haven’t done it in the late innings, and they certainly haven’t done it against the Dodgers’ pitching.
Buster Posey hit a long, long home run in the seventh, and a lot of folks were thinking, fine, no shut out. Great. Then Edgar Renteria hit a home run to start the eighth, and Pat Burrell hit one in the next at-bat to make it 4-3. Dingerz a poppin’. Things started getting interesting.
Juan Uribe does have a pretty good sense of timing, doesn’t he? The Giants had a lot of unexpected, game-spinning home runs this year – more than I ever remember. Uribe’s might have been the most satisfying.
1. – July 20 – Dodgers
Oh, how sweet is it that the top three on the list were Dodger games? Tastes like if you could harvest caviar from Pegasus – so, so delectable and special. Mmmmmm. You can almost taste the baby horse wings.
The Dodgers beat up the Giants pretty good earlier in the year, so most of us were still in feeling-sorry-for-ourselves mode heading into the ninth inning behind by a run. Jonathan Broxton – he’s like Johnny Appleseed, but with a taste for hot garbage instead of apples, and proud we are of him – loaded the bases with one out. Don Mattingly talked to Broxton, took a step off the mound, then returned to answer a question from James Loney. The question was probably, "Really, we’re leaving Broxton in?" Like rain on your wedding day.
Bruce Bochy saw it. Bruce Bochy complained. Bruce Bochy got George Sherrill in the game. George Sherrill was even more fetid than Broxton in 2010. Andres Torres hit a bases-loaded double, Posey followed with a single, and Jeremy Affeldt struck out two for the save.
Bochy’s rulemongering is almost less impressive now that we know that Jonathan Broxton’s talent was consumed, but not really. At the time, Broxton was thought to be an All-Star closer with great command. And the Giants were able to replace him with a non-warm Sherrill? Genius. Pure genius.