clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Giants beat L.A., take first game of series

Justin Maxwell was the hero, and then he was the hero again. Tim Lincecum held the Dodgers to a run over six innings, too!

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

See? That was fun. Baseball can be fun again. Come out of there. Here's a graham cracker. There's the shower. Freshen up. Baseball can be fun again. Take as much time as you need. We'll be here.

Well, don't take up too much time. There's another game tomorrow. You should probably just enjoy this one now.

The five wins of the season, ranked:

  1. That one
  2. Opening Day
  3. Chris Heston at home
  4. 1-0ing the Padres at Petco in extras
  5. Chris Heston on the road

They're all beautiful, surely. Like picking your favorite child or Nick Drake song. But Tuesday night's win was extra fun. It was the first Dodgers game of the year, for one, and it featured nonsense that favored the Giants exclusively. There was cool stuff in between, but there didn't need to be. The Giants won a home game against the Dodgers because of Giants-favoring nonsense? Oh, honey, they're playing my song.

It wasn't all nonsense, of course. There was defense. There was a ball hit 109 mph and 430 feet. The Giants got 12 runners in scoring position and even got four hits when they were there. The Giants don't win this game if they don't do more than a few things right.

There was still plenty of nonsense. The first run came on a bunt hit with two outs. The second run came after two infield singles. The third and fourth runs came after an infield dribbler, a double, an infield hit, and an error. Now imagine a Dodger fan watching the Giants succeed with that mess, while watching the Dodgers hit into hard luck all over the place.

The top of the first inning ended on a screaming liner that would have been first-and-third, one out if it were hit a foot in either direction. The top of the second inning started with a leadoff walk and ended with a double play. The top of the third inning featured a single, a walk to the pitcher, a ball hit 400 feet, a missed catcher's interference call, and no runs.The top of the fourth inning featured a leadoff walk, Casey McGehee actually catching a ball to start a double play, and no runs. After four innings, the Giants were up, 4-0, and it wasn't exactly equitable how it happened. Like we care.

You'll hear or read good things about Tim Lincecum's outing, and why not? When the offspeed stuff was down in the strike zone, hitters swung at it. He pitched well enough to miss bats, which isn't always the case with the New Lincecum. His strikeout of Jimmy Rollins in the fifth was sublime.

On the other hand, read that inning-by-inning account again. Lincecum left pitches over the plate, as he's wont to do, and they were usually hit hard, just right at someone. Which was funnier and funnier every time. He's earned that kind of luck from the baseball gods. They've been greedy with him over the last three seasons.

This game on Tuesday, it seems, was a horse. This game was a horse, and it was free of charge. Take the horse. It's a gift. Just take it. Don't look for gingivitis in front of the people giving you the horse. Just take the horse.

Good horsie. Good game. The Giants' magic number is 154.


The Legend of Justin Maxwell grows.

The original camera shot didn't show the catch, and Duane Kuiper didn't see it, either. Suddenly you saw a ball spittt-tooooo into the infield, and everything made sense.

As much as I adore Sergio Romo and his magic slider, I can go the rest of my life without seeing him face Puig as the tying run again. Maybe that catch didn't mean anything special because Romo just would have struck out the next two batters anyway, I have a hunch it meant a great deal. If Puig reaches in that at-bat, Gonzalez comes up with the bases loaded. Javier Lopez's mastery of the nibbling arts isn't quite as effective without the threat of an open base.

Then Maxwell did this, which led to a Twitsplosion of "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" jokes. Certainly, Astros fans didn't react the same when he led their team in homers three seasons ago. We're all the first ones to think about it. It's a good gag.

I'm an Abbey Road snob, though, and I have a dark spot in my brain for the worst song on the album, so I prefer to make Maxwell "Ascension" jokes. This home run was the highest of the high, alright.


Has a bat.


Has a bat.


Doesn't have a bat. Where'd the bat go? Goodbye, bat, it is too bad that you were covered in millipedes.

Maxwell isn't exactly an up-and-comer, but he does have something that's a common theme for Brian Sabean dustbin pickups: a skill that the internal competition can't really keep up with. Andres Torres was a switch-hitter with defense and speed. Gregor Blanco had a minor league career that hinted he could get on base better than the typical fourth or fifth outfielder. And Maxwell has power, enough that just a year-and-a-half ago, the Royals gave up an actual prospect for him. The Giants didn't have any spare power laying around in the minors, so they took a chance on him.

Looks pretty smart so far.


The best part of a play like this is that every single time, from now until the rapture, the announcers will be required to bring up the play you were already thinking about.

Say, that reminds me of a play. It was from the seventh game of the 2014 World Series. Now, hear me out ...


Hey, we don't even have to talk about Casey McGehee's night!

(It was impressive. It was kind of metal, really. Dark nihilism and polyrhythms, all around. He's got a chance to be special this year.)