The Giants have played 1,262 games at AT&T Park during the regular season. On Friday night, they got more hits than they did in any of the previous games at home.
That's just so precious and special. Just think of the idea of a hit. Giants get a hit, crowd cheers. Giants get a hit, crowd cheers. Giants get a hit, crowd cheers. It's why you go to the park, to cheer good-time events like that. The last time I went to the park, the Giants got just two dumb hits. On Friday, they got 22, except I'm writing this in the eighth inning, so I have to keep going back and changing it. This is like the first .
It's impossible to write about a losing team when you think they should be winning. Not to get too meta, but if the Giants were losing every game 7-6, I could point at obvious gaps in the rotation. That's not how they were losing during the streak of misery, though. They were losing 4-1 and 3-0, making us wonder about the rotation and the lineup.
But the lineup's good, I mumbled to myself in a dark room. But the lineup's good.
Here's a glimpse of a good lineup, then. Hits! Runs! Dingers! It would have been cooler if the Giants could have freeze-dried a few of the runs and sent them back through time, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a spiritually fulfilling game. The Giants didn't even do this against one of the Phillies' lesser starters, like Sean O'Sullivan, Jerome Williams, Jamie Brewington, or Jeff D'Amico (the bad one). They did it against Cole Hamels. He's, like, really talented. Really, really talented. I want him in a Giants uniform. Especially now that he's gotten whatever in the hell that was out of his system.
How do the Giants score 15 runs in one game? It goes a little like this:
- Angel Pagan got to hit against a left-hander, and he's been excellent against them this year. There was an eighth-inning 250-foot power swing against a right-hander that reminded us we're not out of the woods yet, ha ha, but he sprayed the ball all over the park, getting three hits.
- Joe Panik had four hits, raising his average to .313, and he hit a delightful bomb in the seventh. There's something so pure about Panik dingers. Like, I know he can break my elbow in an arm-wrestling match, but he's just not that strong compared to his peers. His homers come on pure, beautiful swings. Level, quick, direct swings. Flat, through the zone, quick, my wife is coming.
- Matt Duffy had four hits, raising his average to .292. Is it silly to bring up batting average, here, in 2015? Probably. But it seems like the best way to explain this year's Giants team, for better and for worse. Duffy had been in a bit of a gutter funk, too, so the hits were most welcome.
- Buster Posey had two hits, and then the Giants let him hang out for the rest of the game, cucumbers over his eyes, resting his hamstring. That might have been the best part of the night, really.
- Hunter Pence had one hit. What a loser.
- Wait, that hit was a grand slam. To the opposite field, no less. I'd put fun facts here, but the tyranny of the bullet points would screw the format up something fierce. Fun facts to follow.
- Brandon Crawford was the only starter not to have a hit. And he calls himself an All-Star.
- Brandon Belt had two hits and two walks. He worked some extended, focused at-bats, including one where he was hit on the knee, but drew a walk after the ump didn't call the HBP. He looked like he's getting ready to go on one o' them freaky stretches where he's figured out the Barry Bonds secrets of the universe.
- Justin Maxwell was 4-for-4, raising his average to ... well, that's not important, but, still, four hits in four at-bats. He's done that before, back when he was with the Astros and teammates with Matt Downs. Maxwell was a homer away from the cycle on Friday, too. He's never going to be a starting outfielder on a good team, but I'd rather have him on the roster than, say, the player who was literally the cleanup hitter for the other team.
- Madison Bumgarner was 2-for-3, but he left a couple runners on base, so, it was kind of a mixed bag.
Before Friday night, the Giants had played 69 games at AT&T Park in which they scored 10 runs or more, which is nice. They won 66 of those games.
Before Friday night, the Giants had played five games at AT&T Park in which they scored 15 runs or more. They won five of those games. The first one was the Shawn Estes grand slam game, if you were curious.
My point is that it's a good thing when the Giants score a lot of runs at home, whomping grand slams and embarrassing other pitchers. My other point is that this was a very, very fun game to watch.
The Giants have hit five grand slams this year. Still just one three-run homer, but we'll have to agree to ignore that in favor if the happier factlet. It's not a record, and not especially close. They had seven in 2000, another seven in 1998, six the year before that. Grand slams aren't that rare, either, with the Giants hitting one in every season since 1979.
Still, grand slams are the best because you're thinking it, no matter who's up. Neifi Perez up?
You know, if he hit a grand slam here, the score would be...
Tim Lincecum is up?
Hey, if he was going to pick a good time for his first major league homer, ha ha.
Every time the bases are loaded, these thoughts come, unbidden, all jinxy. The 2015 Giants, as it happens, are better at hitting grand slams than most of the Giants teams in the past. There's still about a half-season left, too.
It's time for the great list of opposite-field Giants homers at AT&T Park from right-handed batters.
|2000-08-20||Ellis Burks||ATL||Tom Glavine||down 3-1|
|2001-05-13||Jeff Kent||NYM||Kevin Appier||tied 0-0|
|2002-05-19||Reggie Sanders||FLA||Vladimir Nunez||down 4-1|
|2002-09-10||Benito Santiago||LAD||Kevin Brown||ahead 0-4|
|2003-06-27||Pedro Feliz||OAK||Michael Neu||ahead 0-5|
|2003-08-08||Andres Galarraga||PHI||Randy Wolf||tied 0-0|
|2004-04-17||Pedro Feliz||LAD||Eric Gagne||down 5-3|
|2005-06-20||Pedro Feliz||ARI||Lance Cormier||ahead 2-4|
|2006-05-02||Pedro Feliz||SDP||Woody Williams||down 5-1|
|2006-05-09||Lance Niekro||CHC||Scott Eyre||ahead 1-4|
|2008-09-26||Bengie Molina||LAD||Scott Proctor||down 2-0|
|2010-07-17||Buster Posey||NYM||Hisanori Takahashi||ahead 0-5|
|2012-07-23||Buster Posey||SDP||Clayton Richard||ahead 1-4|
|2014-04-30||Brandon Hicks||SDP||Robbie Erlin||ahead 0-1|
|2014-05-15||Mike Morse||MIA||Nathan Eovaldi||down 4-1|
Right-handed Astros hitters have hit 99 opposite-field homers at Minute Maid Park since 2000. Even more Rockies hitters have done it at Coors. When the Giants do it, it's a rare butterfly, fluttering into the horizon. A gift to appreciate. Aw, heck, let's watch it again.
It wasn't just an opposite-field grand slam. It also gave Cole Hamels food poisoning.
Didn't Pence used to be on the Phillies? It almost feels like ... yeah, he was on the Phillies, says so right here. They traded the farm for him so they could win another championship, but they didn't, and then the Giants won two? Weird.
Also, I don't feel bad about being an ass like that because of those stupid Tim Lincecum signs behind the Giants' dugout in 2010. Those bought just a ton of leeway in moments like this.
We'll miss you, Jack White.
/chants "oh oh whoa oh oh ohhhh oh whoah oh" while carrying a small coffin