The San Francisco Giants scored six runs on Tuesday, winning their baseball contest against the Seattle Mariners.
Gosh, that doesn't read like something fantastical. It doesn't read like "powerful moth-men eat through power grid; nation in chaos." It would have last night, though. The Giants scored six runs -- as many as they scored in their last five home games, combined -- and we're living in some kind of baseball fantasy. Six runs, can you imagine?
It is only appropriate to celebrate each of these six runs, for they are all special. The Giants have snapped their nine-game losing streak at home, their five-game losing streak overall. Let's celebrate the runs that were responsible.
Buster Posey scored this run. I know that baseball is random and unpredictable, but I still hold on to a few obvious, incontestable truths. One of them is that Buster Posey is incapable of having a purely wretched game against a pitcher like J.A. Happ. The left-handedness, the craft in the slot where stuff should be, the likelihood of pitches around the strike zone ... it's all Posey-bait.
One walk, one hit, two runs scored. That's about right. That's the kind of Posey game that should happen against a lefty who lives on the edges of the strike zone.
Matt Duffy scored this run. It came on a dinger, and an unlikely one, at that.
Above the belt, on the top edge of the strike zone, at 92 mph. I'm not saying its an unhittable pitch. It's unlikely dinger fuel for anyone other than Giancarlo Stanton, though, and it's especially unlikely for someone like Matt Duffy, who developed power only in the last three years or so.
The evolution of Duffy -- and the hilarious dinger race between him and Joe Panik -- is making me wonder how much of a part the organization is playing in the surprise-power theme of the season. Brandon Crawford leads the team in homers. Duffy and Panik have combined for more homers than all of the 2015 outfielders combined, and both of them have more than the projected starting outfield from March. Is this just a fluke, or is there something the Giants are doing to develop power in a way that makes it accessible for the Duffys of the world? They're not turning Ricky Oropesa into Miguel Cabrera, but there's suddenly power coming from weird spots.
Come back, Emmanuel Burriss! We've found the antidote!
Andrew Susac has had a rough season, so far. It's not that he isn't hitting, which he isn't, but that he's seemingly incapable of catching a base stealer. Even worse, he's developed a penchant for throwing the ball into center field. It could be sample size -- his throwing attempts are basically the equivalent of an 0-for-5 game, which is something we're used to brushing off.
Even worse, he's not getting enough playing time to justify his place in the majors. If he's a prospect, the #1 by some accounts, regular at-bats might be healthier for him, especially if he isn't the secret weapon against righties that he's supposed to be. Seems like a good way to hurt the player and team at the same time if this keeps up.
Here, then, is a roped double. He's been having better at-bats lately, and this one led to the third run of the game.
Also note that the run came on a complete garbage hit. The Giants have been completely without the garbage hit with runners in scoring position and two outs lately, even though they've built an organization around it. The garbage hit came from a player in a garbage stretch, who is in the garbage stretch because he can't even buy a garbage hit. That run was basically the universe unplugging the Giants and plugging them back in again. Yep, should be working fine now. Sorry about that, y'all.
Everything from here until the end happened with two outs. Angel Pagan was called out on strikes ...
... and for being Jarrett Parker, apparently. That meant there were two outs. Posey walked. Crawford walked. Duffy singled on a two-out bloop -- read that part about the universe plugging the Giants back in again -- and that was the desperately needed insurance run. The Casilla Cushion, they call it. Well, they should.
Duffy was 3-for-4 in the game. He also had admirers.
Do you know when Duffman showed up? Season 9. After the golden era of the greatest TV show in history. For whatever reason, I was skeptical of the show after Season 8, and I never gave those middle seasons a fair chance. Turns out they're pretty good. Better than whatever some of the other shows come up with.
And that's when I discovered the early-mid seasons of The Simpsons were a metaphor for Matt Duffy. He's far better than I would have guessed, and that reflects more on my judgment than his abilities.
Runs #5 and 6
After Casey McGehee hit his two-run double that was almost caught, he stood at second base, yelling at people we couldn't see. He was probably yelling something like, "I swear, if that dingus caught that ball, I would have gone out there and pulled his brain out through his nose, Egyptian embalmer style." It's been easy to poke fun at him, and some of it hasn't been very nice. At the same time, it's still pretty obvious that he's been at least a little unlucky. He might be a severely limited player, but he's probably not a true sub-Mendoza Line talent.
So good for him. You know the applause had to feel good, coming from the same people who would have booed lustily after another double play. I'm still not sure where he fits on a roster once Pence and Blanco come back, but he had a two-out pinch-hitting opportunity, and he did quite well with it. Maybe instead of Pablo Sandoval's replacement, he can be Mark Lewis's replacement. Or, for you young kids, what Ryan Garko was supposed to be. Just a guy who comes in, mostly against lefties, and worries about nothing other than hitting the ball hard.
Giants win. Finally. Tim Lincecum pitched well at times, with his curveball working as well as it has all season, but him more smitten with those six runs.
Six! Can you imagine? Six!