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Giants walk off in 14 innings

Nolan Arenado was bunting, and everything was perfect.

Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

On Tuesday night, the Colorado Rockies watched the Giants celebrate. The celebration spilled into the outfield, as Denard Span ran away from his frenzied teammates, laughing, giggling, excited. Somewhere, a time zone away, the person who squeezes into a foam dinosaur costume was sad. Rockies fans cursed seagulls and the dumb park they call home.

We don’t have much this season, but we have this.

The Giants won in 14 innings, and I’m not sure how they did it. Consider that Sam Dyson — in the middle of one of the worst relief seasons of his generation — was tasked with facing Nolan Arenado in the top of the 10th inning with a runner in scoring position.

BOCHY: [flashes four fingers several times]

BILL WELKE: You walking him?

BOCHY: Nope. Just send him home. Giving him an intentional walk, but he doesn’t have to stop.

WELKE: I don’t think that’s how that ...

BOCHY: Just do it and leave us alone.

Instead, Dyson got Arenado on a comebacker. A harmless, quaint comebacker, and it was hit so perfectly from the Giants’ perspective that they got the lead runner, even.

It was fun, until Arenado came up with a runner on in the 13th inning. He was going to hit the Coke bottle. The Coke of Ages was going to shoot out like a geyser, and Arenado would dance in the downpour, with each member of the Giants proclaiming their fealty in a ceremony on the mound.

Arenado bunted.

I don’t know why. I don’t know why. I appreciate the heck out of it, though. Arenado couldn’t hit Sam Dyson, and then he handed the Giants an out with a runner on first base in extra innings. Here, take this out. I don’t know what to do with it.

But it wasn’t just what Arenado didn’t do. It was what the Giants did, too. The bullpen threw eight scoreless innings. They scored four runs, sure, but they looked like a bunch of grinding play-the-right-way masters when they did it. And there was defense. Plenty of sweet, glorious defense.

I spent my time looking up Kelby Tomlinson home runs and pitchers with walk-off hits. This was a strange, beautiful game in retrospect. I’m pleased that it wasn’t a strange, dumb game after all. We’ve had enough of those.

We’ll go through some heroes of the game right quick because it’s late, dammit.

Cory Gearrin threw three scoreless innings, and you could see the Rockies die just a little bit more inside with every out. They’re wearing their losing streak like chainmail, and Gearrin was there to give them that sinking feeling lolololol I don’t even care it’s so late.

He also looks like Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and I just wanted to point that out.

Denard Span had three hits, including the walk-off. Also, he gets credit for bringing the walk-off scrum into the outfield, a bold aesthetic choice that expands the limits of what we thought the walk-off celebration could be.

Also, he’s a danged hero.

If you’ll remember, Span was supposed to be scared of birds.

"Yea, I’m afraid of fish and birds," Span confessed.

"Fish, and birds and MRIs," Bickel said. "I’m with you on the MRIs."

"What’s so fearsome about birds?!" JP Flaim asked.

"I’m not an outdoorsman," Span explained.

"Even though your job entails you being outdoors like half the year!" Auville zinged.

"You know, I’m okay with someone throwing a fastball at my head," Span countered. "But a bird flies at my head, I’m more terrified."

Danged hero.

Buster Posey wasn’t havin’ it. When the game got into extra innings, the Rockies thought they were the 1985 Cardinals, and they kept trying to steal their way into scoring position. Except Posey isn’t Miguel Montero, and he wasn’t havin’ it. I can’t wait to watch him show off his catching technique tomorrow!

Matt Cain was having his best game of the season. His two seamer was moving. His curveball was biting. He left a couple pitches over the middle of the plate early in the game, sure, but the results were clean. He got the double plays when he needed them.

A pitcher’s arm is a 1000-piece puzzle that’s slowly assembled for the first 21 years of his life, and then the dog snorfles a couple of them up. A toddler tears a few. Some of them get lost under the couch. Some of them get lost down a heater vent. Eventually, you can barely tell it’s supposed to be Starry Night.

This is how the body works for most people, even the best athletes. Sometimes, someone like Ryan Vogelsong will find the pieces under the couch and fake it for a few years. It’s a lot of fun when that happens. It’s usually not what happens.

So if this is it, if this is close to the end, let me have all the quality starts. Let me have all of the decent outings. Do not let him go down in flames. Let there be three runs, let there be six innings.

And let there be cainings, I guess. Zero run support. Let him twist for something he did in a past life. Reminds me of the old days.

Brandon Crawford did this. And it was good.

Sam Dyson pitched well again. You can understand why the Giants are taking a chance on him. Don’t know if it will work. Please don’t gamble amongst yourselves. But you can understand why they’re interested, at least.

Mark Melancon pitched a beautiful inning. Just one though. Guess Bochy didn’t want to stretch him out, ha ha ha ha.

Brandon Belt has a 10-game hitting streak, and this was his first two-hit game in 10 games. I love that.

Gorkys Hernandez had two hits, and he’s raised his average about 50 points in the last couple weeks. And you wanted to release him. The Giants would still be playing if you were the GM. Shame on you.

It wasn’t a necessary win. But it was an enjoyable win. And I still can’t believe Arenado bunted.

Now go to bed.