The thing to remember is that the Giants have been swept by the Dodgers at AT&T Park in 2010, 2012, and 2014, so when Jake Peavy takes the mound tomorrow, you might say that he is nothing more than an agent of destiny, except, here’s a funny thing, I got one parking ticket in 2010, one in 2012, and one in 2014, so that probably means something, so maybe I should just park on the courthouse lawn and drink on the hood of my car until a police officer comes by and gives me a big ol’ ticket, yeah, that’s totally what makes for championship seasons, Dodger sweeps and parking tickets, absolutely, so I’m just going to go fulfill my destiny instead of finishing this recap, because, what, the alternative is that their isn’t any even-year magic, that the Dodgers sweeping the Giants means nothing but 10 hours of frustrating baseball that will stick to the bottom of your soul? That there are no such things as omens, that superstitions don’t work? That there doesn’t have to be a silver lining through the Dodgers cloud, AND THAT WOULD MEAN WE’RE ALL JUST MAKING THIS UP AS WE GO ALONG, no, I refuse to believe that, there has to be meaning, oh, no, we have to believe in something, and I’m just going to go out and get a parking ticket and maybe arrested, and I hope you all understand, but where I go, you cannot follow, I love you all.
Holy crap, they won.
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The Giants lead Major League Baseball in walk-off wins, which is tremendous and sketchy at the same time. It takes pitching that can keep the game close (good), a bullpen that can turn a simple win into a blown save (bad), and an offense that has trouble pulling away (also bad).
That isn't to say it’s a sign the Giants aren’t good. Far from it. But there’s a reason why the Cubs have 140 wins this season without as many walk-offs as the Giants. Still, I’ll take it, of course, because walk-off wins are beautiful.
This was something of a different kind of walk-off, though. Here, let's just list the pitchers to give up a walk-off hit against the Giants since 2014:
- Rex Brothers
- Brandon League
- Cody Allen
- Jenrry Mejia
- Juan Nicasio
- J.P. Howell
- Juan Nicasio
- Joe Smith
- Steve Cishek
- Kevin Siegrist
- Adam Liberatore
- Joe Blanton
- Justin Miller
- Ryan Tepera
- Brad Hand
- Brad Hand
- Kenley Jansen
Notice a pattern? Before Jansen on Saturday, the Giants were generally excellent about getting their walk-off hits against random relievers, not forces of ninth-inning nature. Their walk-offs come in tie games, usually. You have to go back to last May to find a home win where the Giants were down in the ninth but came back to win. You have to go back to 2013 to find one of those wins against a closer all of you have heard of (Huston Street).
That’s what made this so special, a win that Bruce Bochy called the best of the year. The Giants came back against Kenley Jansen in a game they blew several times over. They should have been crestfallen and sour about the chances they tinkled away, and then they should have looked up and seen Jansen’s cutter blocking out the sun and ruining the crops. Instead, it went like this: line-drive double, line-drive single, bloop single, line-drive single. It doesn’t sound so hard when you put it like that.
Off Kenley Jansen, again.
Of course, Jansen looked lousy, falling behind hitters and leaving balls up. The movement isn’t as obvious, and the velocity isn’t overpowering. That isn't to say that Jansen is in trouble, but that the Giants didn't see the kind of performance that’s going to be sealed in the time capsule they bury under Jansenland after the museum’s grand opening. Still, the Giants had to do something with those pitches. And they did.
Off Kenley Jansen! Am I making too big of a deal about this? Probably. I’m just giddy because after the Dodgers’ second consecutive night with a late-inning, 375-foot homer and one of the league’s better closers coming in, I almost turned off the TV and typed this recap with my feet.
Double, single, single, single. Why, I’ve seen all of those kinds of hits in hundreds of baseball games every year. What’s the big deal about stringing them together with impeccable timing against an excellent pitcher?
Apparently it’s a big deal, though.
The Giants had more hits in the 10th inning than they did in the previous nine innings combined, and it ended with the Dodgers moping off the field. I like that.
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When you see some random jerk getting too close to your dream man:
* * *
This is funny on its own:
It’s a famous Bay Area sports personality getting harassed by a man in a seal costume holding a gigantic autographed head of the famous Bay Area sports personality. That’s funny, he said in his best Norm MacDonald voice.
It gets funnier.
So your team just lost a brutal game. You were diplomatic the entire time, never tipping your hand that you were rooting for the bad guys, but you’re still annoyed. What do you feel like doing?
Posing for a picture with a felt seal holding a gigantic copy of your head, probably.
* * *
Internet connection problems and assorted technical difficulties ate about 600 words about the bullpen and the unconscionably slow seventh inning, where five pitchers all conspired to bore the absolute hell out of us and give up a run. That’s a metaphor and a hint. You don’t want to read that. The Giants walked off against the Dodgers.
For the second time this year.
They aren't going into a Jake Peavy start on Sunday Night Baseball needing a win to avoid getting swept. Because they walked off against the Dodgers.
Have a good Saturday night, everyone.