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Giants, Buster Posey crush Rockies' comeback dreams

The Giants blew a lead, and then they blew the game open with a big eighth inning. Here's a blow-by-blow account of how that all happened.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

In a just world, this recap would focus on Madison Bumgarner's sixth-inning performance, a masterpiece of snot and fury, in which a very large man decided that he wasn't going to allow another run. It took approximately 474 pitches to finish the inning, but finish he did, and it probably the hardest we've seen him grind in a ballgame since Game 7.

This is not a just world.

In a dumb world, this recap would focus on Coors Field being the worst, a soul-snatching burial ground that makes you question your faith in everything. With a three-run lead and one out, Javier Lopez walked two straight batters, and when the grease fire started up, Bruce Bochy called for a pail of water. Nolan Arenado was an offseason renovation away from tying the game, and Carlos Gonzalez finished the job. Boy, howdy, are those two annoying baseball players.

This is not ... well, it's not always a dumb world.

In this world, the Giants finally had another one of the innings that have been mostly eluding them over the past three weeks, stringing their hits together at the right time, and pretending like they were a competent offense in the best hitter's park in baseball. Which they are. So, there. That will do.

The Giants scored 10 runs in a game for the first time in a month, and they did it convincingly, with a minimal amount of bloops and tricklers. They hit two homers in the same game for the first time in 23 games (!), and they both came from the MVP catcher who was just a liiiiiiittle too close to Trevor Brown in the home run category.

In the end, it was a fine game, a welcome outcome in an unjust world, which isn't usually the case when the Giants play at Coors Field. Bumgarner didn't get the win he deserved, but the Giants didn't crash into a Dinger-shaped roadblock again after careening down winning-streak mountain. It's a fair trade.

Allow this GIF to be a metaphor for the afternoon:

In the seventh inning, with the bullpen tossing hand grenades everywhere, we were like Mark Gardner, running away, covering our heads in fear. In the top of the eighth inning, though, we were George Kontos and Eli Whiteside, hearts filled with joy, arms aloft, like we were riding shotgun with Luigi down Rainbow Road.

Madison Bumgarner pitched a great game, and Buster Posey hit the Giants to victory. In a warm, friendly world, every game fits that description. It's not always warm and friendly. But it sure was today. Except for those moments with the bullpen. Which we shan't talk of again.

* * *

Buster Posey improved his RBI total for the entire season by 33 percent on Saturday. While it's never a good idea to use RBI as a serious tool for evaluation, boosting your season total by a third is probably a good indication that a player had a good day.

If you're like me, you're expecting good things every time Posey comes up with runners on base. It doesn't matter if he's in a gutter slump, and it doesn't matter if the Giants are in one of those weird scoring droughts. Every time he comes up, my brain is wired to think, "Yeah. The Giants are set up nicely." And as his slump kept going, I doubled down on the Great Pumpkin-type faith. He was coming around. He was coming around. He was coming around.

He came around. His first dinger:

It's the effortless, always surprising power that's been missing, the swings where you're not sure if he got enough, only to realize he absolutely crushed the ball far over the fence, which makes you feel ashamed for not being good at watching baseball. He's clearly a strong hitter and a world-class athlete, and yet there's always something so surprising about his center-opposite power.

If you needed another example, why ...

If you're going to throw Buster Posey a 2-0 fastball, try not to throw it here.

At least, don't throw it there right now. Over the last couple weeks? Sure, test your luck. But Buster Posey is so very hot right now. Welcome back.




* * *

It wasn't all fun and dingers. Javier Lopez came in to face two left-handed batters with a three-run lead. He walked them both. Every third time he's come into a game this season, he's left without recording a single out. This was the third time he walked everyone he faced and left without an out.

This is not an exciting development. On the one hand, Lopez has thrown 155 pitches all season. He's pitched 8⅓ innings. We could be dealing with sample size issues that we wouldn't dare impose on a starting pitcher.

On the other hand, he came with a three-run lead to face two left-handed batters, and he couldn't even let them put the ball in play.

Eh, every reliever is entitled to a bad day. If Lopez really is broken, I would expect it to show up in hits allowed and homers given up, not unconscionable walks in unfortunate situations. This year's version of Lopez still might be lousy after all, but I wouldn't look at this game as anything other than an anomaly.

Two walks with a three-run lead, I mean ...

* * *

Cory Gearrin is tied for the highest batting average in major league history, tying a franchise record, too. His RBI hit in the eighth inning gave us a precious, rare moment:

Look! Now Cory Gearrin is smiling, and everyone else is sneering. What a reversal of fortune this turned out to be. Fine work, all around.