When Michael Morse hit a ninth-inning, game-tying home run, he lost control of his body. He raised his arms up, did a jump-step, whomped himself on the helmet, and pointed madly toward the dugout. Russ Hodges wasn't calling the game on radio, but Morse acted like it.
When Sergio Romo got out of a runner-on-third, one-out jam by striking out Carlos Quentin, Romo pointed toward the sky, screaming. He acted like Quentin personally set his house on fire and tossed the family parakeet back in. Romo is probably still screaming somewhere.
When Hunter Pence hit a hustle double in the 10th inning, he wildly gesticulated toward the bench, screaming expletives in a language no one could really decipher, but everyone understood.
When Brandon Belt hit the game-winning home run, he blinked a few times as he rounded the bases, but they were really demonstrative blinks.
These were out-of-character histrionics, all around. Morse is an excitable player, but we've never seen anything like that. Romo has always been a sky-pointer with his heart on his sleeve, but he was being electrocuted as he walked off the mound. Pence is a rah-rah guy, but the craziness in his eyes was legitimate craziness, not the standard, isn't-Pence-wild-eyed that we like to have fun with. This was the national game in a lot of markets, so there were more than a few non-Giants fans watching. Those people were probably wondering what in the heck the Giants' deal was.
It was the kind of display you'd expect from a nasty blood rivalry. It wasn't exactly Mike Marshall, but you would have thought the Giants had a serious, serious problem with the Padres. They didn't. I wouldn't be surprised if you asked everyone on the 25-man roster who the Giants just played and every one of them answered something different, with at least three of them saying "... Expos?"
No, the Giants were in the middle of a nasty, ugly rivalry game with themselves. This was a part of a 25-game series, and the other guys were being jerks the whole time. The losses piled up, and the Giants had to watch the Giants rub it in. The Giants kept throwing beanballs at the Giants, and the Giants just had to sit there and take it. Finally, finally, finally, finally, these Giants beat those Giants. Which somehow led to a Giants win? I haven't figured that part out. But for one game this month, they were better than the Giants. And they freaked out.
You could tell the other team was the evil Giants team because they had goatees.
Over the last few weeks, I've read a lot of Internet comments about the Giants' slide because I hate myself, and everyone has a solution. Trade Pablo, get pitching back. Call up Gary Brown, release Gregor Blanco. Bench Blanco, fix everything. Tell Joaquin Arias to get on the wrong plane, watch the wins pile up. Have closed-door meetings, open-door meetings, screen-door meetings. There were always solutions out there, always just out of the Giants' reach.
There were never easy fixes. Those Internet comments were -- hear me out -- wrong, for the most part. The Giants needed to play better. They needed to stop being awful. That was the solution. They needed to stop being completely awful at baseball, and almost everyone had the capacity to do it.
When they were yelling at each other, yelling at the sky, and twitching madly, they were Mike Marshalling themselves. Screw you, awful team. We're going to take this back, now. This is our team. /high five
I don't believe in momentum. But I know what catharsis looks like. The Giants had been humiliated by the Giants too many times. Tonight, they got even.
Just do it 10 more times in a row, gentlemen, and we'll get off your back.
It's worth noting that Cameron Maybin popped out on a hanging slider with the winning run on third and one out in the ninth inning. It's not worth dwelling on it, but it's worth noting. It feels like that's a break the Giants haven't had in a month.
While feting the other Brandon, do not forget about this Brandon:
The Giants are .500 with both Brandons in the lineup over the last two days. I never thought I'd write this, but I'm so jazzed about this .500 play lately.
After hitting the game-tying dinger, Michael Morse showed off Igoo range in left, allowing the leadoff hitter to reach on a single that would have been an out if almost anyone else were playing in left. Pedro Feliz, Pat Burrell ... anyone.
It was about to be the perfect metaphor for the season. Regression doesn't work like that? Oh, well that's a good theory, and here's a stretch of lousy play that immediately cancels out the surprising play from the first two months. Morse giving a game away with his defense right after winning it was just like that. The good and the bad is supposed to be spread out over time, dang it. It's not supposed to be a right hook when we're giggling and watching a fuzzy bunny in the left hand.
And then ... the right hook never came. Sometimes baseball isn't that obvious. Most of the time, baseball isn't that obvious. It's just been that obvious for a month. Glad to have the respite, even for just one game.
Bartolo Colon's helmet fell off again tonight. Brandon Belt's helmet fell off on an eighth-inning strikeout. He was supposed to be the one-man cavalry, the player who would pick the ship out of the water and fly it to safety. Instead, he was Bartolo Colon in a game the Giants were going to lose.
Then he won the game the Giants were going to lose.
This isn't going to make a difference in any game other than this one. The Giants aren't going to hit a 3-2 slider better on Sunday because they're thinking about the swell hit from Belt.
But it can't hurt.
The other stuff could hurt.
I didn't like the other stuff.