In the top of the eighth, after Pablo Sandoval made an ill-considered throw to first that wound up in the visitor's dugout following a bunt by Nolan Arenado, and after Juan Perez's ill-considered throw through his cutoff man to home plate in an effort to nail the error-advanced Arenado that failed while also allowing Charlie Blackmon to get into scoring position, I was all set to copy and paste last night's game story, CTRL+F "Diamondbacks", "Arizona", "Lincecum", and "Goldschmidt" and replace with "Rockies", "Colorado", "the bullpen", and "Carlos Gonzalez", respectively. And it would've worked, too, because aside from the orange jerseys, there were a lot of similarities, the main one being, of course, the sinking feeling that we're about to watch a train wreck get humped by a plane crash.
But no! Somehow, Santiago Casilla was able to snatch a bouncer high off the mound immediately after completing his throwing motion and, somehow, Brandon Crawford was able to snatch Casilla's wild throw to second and with preternatural skill blind tag out Blackmon before he could slide back into second base. And then Juan Perez managed to double off Jordan Pacheco after DJ LeMahieu's lineout and the Giants were assured of a lead heading into the ninth inning.
And here we are now, happy, relieved, able to look back at what this guy did tonight.
A pretty swing regardless of the player's position...
A pretty thing, but really only because of the player's position.
That position was not easy to come by, either. Madison Bumgarner had to prove himself to be better than Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Tim Hudson, and Ryan Vogelsong. I'll grant you that's not an impossible task in 2014, but given the organization he's in and given the pedigree of the competition, it remains impressive. Madison Bumgarner remains impressive. He's still just 24 years old. That's seven years younger than Lupita Nyong'o.
Although he didn't have Grade A "stuff" tonight, he was still pretty impressive. Okay, he was "impressively okay". Plenty of sluttering going on, no slutter-shaming from this guy. He did allow a lot of baserunners -- in the stretch 5 of his 6 innings; just eyeballing it from the TV it looked like his arm slot gave him trouble with some of those singles, and then that hanger to Carlos Gonzalez -- who's very likely to be an MVP candidate when it's all said and done provided he doesn't go on a prolonged DL stint -- was just a continuation of that faulty slotting that cost him two runs on one swing. And that bloop from Culberson had me like, "Whatever."
But this guy's steady. And what's another word for steady? Consistent. And what characteristic most impresses baseball managers and execs and fans? Consistency. He is our rock. Our snot-covered rock.
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One night after probably turning out a toilet, Sergio Romo wasted no time flushing the Rockies in the ninth in this edition of CLOSER STRIKES OUT THE SIDE (LOOKIE LOO EDITION):
Barnes knew it. Glorious.
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In this Summer of Brandon, it was Brandon Crawford who won the night. Spooky good glovework and a booming triple off a tough lefty. I'm not sure what the official tally is, but I'll take a stab at who's the current leader in the Brandonhouse:
BRANDON BELT: 5
BRANDON CRAWFORD: 1
BRANDON HICKS: 1
So, there you have it. Even after tonight, Brandon Belt is still in the lead as the Giants' best Brandon.
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The Giants won without Angel Pagan in the lineup and with Belt striking out three times and Juan Perez leading off and Brandon Hicks in the lineup and Pablo Sandoval's late inning defense. And now they're 7-4 and that's pretty good, all things considered.