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Tim Hudson, Giants sink Rockies in extra innings

The Giants looked doomed. Never tell them the odds.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After complaining last night about the expansive outfield and general coorsness of Coors, it's only fair to point out that for eight innings, Coors Field was downright normal. There weren't any weird homers, there weren't any 200-foot bloops that looked like outs off the bat, only to make you recoil in horror as the camera cut to two outfielders streaking in from 400 feet away. It was normal. For eight innings.

Then there was a Coors death fog that suffocated us all in the ninth, and as we lay dying, all we could think of was the weird carbonated-banana taste of Coors Light that was in our mouth. Gack, it was in our nose, even. The Giants were 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position on Saturday night. In a field that plays like there are seven fielders at any given moment, max, that sort of performance is a cruel, slow-moving nightmare.

It all worked out! It all worked out. The Giants won a one-run game in Coors Field, which is at least as satisfying as winning the NLDS. The ninth inning was as predictable and stupid as the end to a Shyamalan movie, and the reviews were even worse. Don't focus on that. Focus on the win, which took the smallest of small-balls to work in the 10th. They didn't win with a 500-foot dinger, but I'll take it.

Wait, no, no, now I'm picturing a 500-foot-tall dinger, standing behind home plate, gyrating in the pitcher's direction. Hellllllllp.

The bulk of the praise goes to Tim Hudson, who is almost certainly the only person in the world who hates Coors Field more than you or I. Sinkerballers are supposed to be okay in Coors, that's why Billy Swift won three Cy Youngs there. For whatever reason, though, Hudson has been hot death there, and for well over a decade. The grounders have found holes against him, always and forever.

Instead, Hudson was perfectly fine. Better than fine, his quality start was basically a park-adjusted one-run complete game. When Susac's mitt went down, the ball usually went to it. This was the Hudson that was so remarkable last year -- he made the All-Star team, remember, the All-Star team, like a regular Kevin Correia, just 10 months ago. It's hard to remember when there's a gap that long between the fancy Hudson and the one we were all dreading in the postseason.

I have a new theory, though, to help you tell if you're in the middle of a solid Tim Hudson outing. I call it the Tim Hudson Theory of Sinkerballing Effectiveness. It goes like this:

If, after the second inning, Tim Hudson's pitch count resembles something like [(inning +1) x 10], you're probably in the middle of an effective Hudson outing.

In the third inning? Hudson is probably at 40-45 pitches if he's effective. In the fifth inning? He's probably at 60-65 pitches. If he's not, he's struggling. If he's holding true to that pitch count, but he's allowing runs, it's probably something to do with bad luck. He's an efficient pitcher when he's right, more so than any pitcher in recent memory, even considering the legacy of Giants pitching over the last six or seven years. He was an efficient pitcher on Saturday night, praise be unto sink.


Great, so Justin Maxwell is obviously a franchise cornerstone now, so here's my trade ideas for Hunter Pence. First, I don't think the Giants need a prospect, per se, but they can get ...

Fine. Maybe not. Also, I will cut you if you trade Hunter Pence. Still, this has been the Week of Maxwell, and it's not like he's hitting dinks and dunks all over the place like that D.J. LeMahieu jerk. He truly reminds me of Marco Scutaro in the 2012 NLCS, in which the only way to make sure he doesn't hit the ball hard is to not throw him a strike. Because when he gets a strike -- fastball, breaking ball, whatever -- he always seems to put the best possible swing on it.

Now, never forget that when players are in a hot streak, it always looks as if they have the game of baseball figured out. That's why we have stats. We're just dumb recency-bias monkeys. And the stats suggest that what goes up, must come down.

On the other hand, Andres Torres trolled the world for a year, and we don't have to give that back. Let's ride this baby to the bottom of the hill.


The question of the day: Should McGehee bunt with runners on base?

First, the stats. McGehee is now on pace to hit 94 double plays this season, assuming 600 plate appearances. If you're skeptical that he would get that many plate appearances if he were hitting that poorly, fine. In 300 plate appearances, then, he would shatter the all-time record for double plays in one season, with 47. He's got a chance. In each of the last four opportunities he's had to ground into a double play, he's done it. It's like watching Bonds in 2001, only less so.

I'll hold fast to my original opinion, though. No one is 94-double-play bad. No one. It's possible that Matt Duffy is the better player right now, but there's no sense in rewriting the rules of baseball probability based on the three-week stretch of a slumping player. McGehee hit .400 for the game, after all. If those hits come in the right spot, he's a hero. Can't plan for that. Be patient.

And skeptical. Be very, very, very skeptical.



Could Matt Duffy have turned a double play in the ninth? Not with Santiago Casilla running directly at him for no apparent reason.


Watching the replay 30 times, I'm pretty sure they had a shot at home. Except for the part where Casilla was running directly at him for no apparent reason. It's a funny misunderstanding now that they won.

Ha ha ha hoooo. What a funny misunderstanding.


Hands up, everyone who thought the Giants were going to win when Nolan Arenado had a 3-1 count with a runner on first and no outs in the bottom of the 10th! Keep them up. I'm going around the room. Keep them up. Keeeeeeeep them up.


Reminder for any of you DVR-minded people out there who like to avoid spoilers: Duane Kuiper is your enemy. He will murder your post-Giants television x`plans in their sleep. If there's an important Niners, Warriors, or Sharks game going on during the Giants game, he will bring it up. If you don't realize that by now, it's your character flaw, not his.

Dang it.