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Giants come back in the late innings, beat Giants

If there wasn't a tank of nitrous oxide involved after the ninth inning, maybe there should have been.

Thearon W. Henderson

The pinch-hit home run is a beautiful thing, especially in the late innings, and especially when he represents the tying or go-ahead run. Pinch-hit home runs come when a manager sends up a guy with power, hoping for one thing. The crowd knows what the manager is thinking. The hitter knows what the manager is thinking. And it really doesn't work out as planned too often.

Here are the Giants' come-from-behind pinch-hit homers in the 9th inning or later since 2000:

Xavier Nady -- 9/30/12 -- @ Padres
John Bowker -- 5/7/10 -- @ Mets
Barry Bonds -- 4/26/06 -- vs. Mets
Felipe Crespo -- 5/28/01 -- vs. Diamondbacks
Felipe Crespo -- 7/8/01 -- vs. Brewers
Armando Rios -- 7/18/00 -- vs. Rangers

All of those homers came with the Giants down and a pinch-hitter up. They either gave the Giants the lead or tied the game. And … wait, I missed a detail:

Xavier Nady -- 9/30/12 -- @ Padres
John Bowker -- 5/7/10 -- @ Mets -- Loss
Barry Bonds -- 4/26/06 -- vs. Mets -- Loss
Felipe Crespo -- 5/28/01 -- vs. Diamondbacks -- Loss
Felipe Crespo -- 7/8/01 -- vs. Brewers -- Loss
Armando Rios -- 7/18/00 -- vs. Rangers

Seven times in the last 12-plus seasons now, the Giants have deployed a pinch-hit torpedo in the ninth inning or later. They've lost five of those games. Even worse, they've now lost the last four at home, a streak that dates back 12 years. The pinch-hit home run was supposed to be ...

Wait, that search didn't include the postseason. The Giants had a pinch-hit homer to tie a game at home in the postseason, too. In 2000, if memory serves. You can watch it if you want. You do not want.

In all of those games, the unexpected happened, and the crowd went bananas. It was pure mirth and revelry, from section 336 right into the dugout. And after that … a dull, deflating, extra-inning loss.


a. When a pinch-hitter is the tying or go-ahead run, he should bunt for a single

b. That's all I've got

Brandon Belt made us do that Kid 'N' Play dance where you grab one foot and jump the other foot through it. Two hours ago, you were doing that in your house. Don't lie. I was doing it, too. No shame in it. Singing "oh-la oh-la hey" as you did it might have been a bit much, but whatever.

And just a few moments later, it was all poison.

Fun while it lasted. Fun while it lasted. The quiet 4-0 losses are kind of underrated, you know. Now let's examine the rampant jackassery that followed Brandon Belt's thrilling, pinch-hit homer.


Wait, before we move on, please note that the Bonds pinch-hit homer was with first base open, two outs, and Lance Niekro on deck.

They still lost.

Alright, on to the jackassery.


With two outs and Pablo Sandoval on second, Hunter Pence hit a single to right. It wasn't a laser, but it got to Cody Ross pretty quickly. In that graphic up there, Sandoval might have been close to #3, but I'm thinking he was more of a #2.

It's easy to get on the hyperbole monorail and ride it to the next stop, so I'll be careful, here. But I'm pretty sure that's the worst wave-in of Tim Flannery's career. It might have been the worst I've ever seen from a Giants coach. Considering the arm in right, the speed of the runner, the position of the runner when the ball was fielded, and the hitter on deck … yeah, going to say it's at least in a top-ten somewhere. At least there were two outs.

I usually don't mind Flannery. At least, he doesn't drive me as batty as some of the previous third-base coaches. But that call was inexcusable. That wasn't forcing the other team to make a good play; that was forcing the other team to play catch.

And after Flannery made that kind of amazing blunder, the rest of the night kind of followed the mashed-potatoes paradigm (NSFW). Because if it's going to be that kind of party …

Didi Gregorius hit a one-out bloop that might have been caught on another night, but it fell in front of Andres Torres, who seemed to be annoyed that Angel Pagan called him off. Torres kind of preened for a bit, and Gregorius took second. Stupid.

Then Pablo Sandoval threw a ball in the dirt, even though he had all kinds of time (stupid), and Brandon Belt couldn't dig the ball out (stupid). The lead run scored when Posey stabbed at a ball between his legs (stupid), and with Casilla getting behind 2-0 to Gerardo Parra (stupid), he had to throw a fastball down the middle. The result was stupid. Tim Flannery fed the stupid after midnight and got the stupid wet and look what happened dammit no no no.

Oh, and when Belt got a single in the bottom of the 11th, he neglected to stop in his tracks to prevent a double play -- the second time this season, if I remember correctly. Belt needs to google "do a barrel roll" so he'll remember what to do next time.


I have a Paul Goldschmidt spreadsheet saved now. Let's update the figures.

Goldschmidt, career
AVG: .283
OBP: .360
SLG: .495
HR: 32

Goldschmidt, career (minus at-bats against the Giants)
AVG: .279
OBP: 351
SLG: .476
HR: 25

George Kontos should start at first against Goldschmidt, then come in to face him in every at-bat. You think I'm kidding ...