This is the Giants’ 101st game of the year. Of those, I’ve written the recaps for 84 of them. I’m not sure how many of them were dreadfully boring, but I can tell you what those kinds of games felt like: They were dreadfully boring. The other team hit, or they didn’t. The Giants didn’t. And the innings would stretch on and on and on, and eventually there was an Osich or an Okert or an Obonn or an Orbox pitching in the game, and when it was time to write, I made stuff up.
This was not one of those games.
This might have been the most eventful game of the season.
Start with Eduardo Nuñez getting traded. This is a place to discuss the Giants’ 10-3 win, not the trade, but it at least merits a mention.
The Giants didn’t just have one of their most explosive offensive performances of the season. They treated their fans to a real-life hug watch. Although someone needs to talk to Nick Hundley. It’s a hug watch, not a “double butt tap watch.” That’s the name of a movie that I tried to watch through scrambled cable when I was 13. ANYWAY, Nuñez is gone, and he left behind a couple hits in his last game as a Giant. I’ll miss him.
Before there were hugs, though, there were runs. A AT&T Park’s dozen worth of them! Nuñez had two of them and two runs in his swan song. Denard Span continued his absurd stretch of hitting with two hits and runs of his own. Buster Posey had three hits and two runs, and he also hit an umpire on the leg with a line drive.
MITCH HEDBERG: I didn’t get two RBI on a line drive up the middle. But I did hit a guy. And that was waaaay more satisfying.
Brandon Crawford had two hits and two runs scored. Brandon Belt had two hits, a run scored, and an RBI. Madison Bumgarner had a hit and a run scored. Hunter Pence had two hits and two RBI. Even Gorkys Hernandez — the only starter who didn’t have a hit in the game — had an RBI.
And Joe Panik, well, he had the biggest hit of all.
Panik clears the bases! 6-0 Giants! pic.twitter.com/ddVUk079kK— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) July 26, 2017
That’s the one that made me think the Giants were actually going to win a baseball game. It was the line drive they’ve been missing all year. The Giants are a team that was built on line drives into the gap. They have been mostly devoid of line drives into the gap. There was one, and it came with the bases loaded.
It also went past Jose Osuna, who stands out because of just how poorly he played the outfield. It seems like every outfielder the Giants face is some unholy abomination of Ender Inciarte and Andruw Jones in his prime. Perhaps that says something about the contrast between the rest of baseball and the Giants. Or perhaps the Giants just haven’t been hitting the ball where they ain’t all season. All I know is that it was nice to see somebody wearing a different uniform bumbling around in the field.
This goes for Josh Bell, too. Everyone really conspired to make the Giants have a fun, hug-filled night.
If you’re looking for something to take with you, though, something that will help you feel better about the 2018 Giants, this game had that, too. Madison Bumgarner didn’t just get his first non-homer hit of the season. He pitched well. Five innings, one walk, four strikeouts, one run allowed, and just 80 pitches. The Giants scored so early, so often, that the Giants could afford to let Bumgarner leave without any weirdness.
Oh, and the Giants won. Bumgarner has started seven games this season, and the Giants have won one of those games now. His ERA was never bad, and he never had a miserable start. It was just one of those things. And now it’s not. Until the next start. But let us have this one.
Of note: The Giants had scored 12 runs total in Bumgarner’s previous six starts. Two of those runs came on his own home runs, so it’s almost cheating to include them. They scored 11 for him in this game, and I’m not even going to complain.
The Giants scored a lot of runs. Madison Bumgarner pitched well. The line drives were sailing into the gap. Heck, Chris Stratton even got a save for all you fantasy players out there. The lights on the Goodyear Blimp were saying something about Bobby Evans, I couldn’t really read it, but I’m sure it was nice.
There will be some news to report in a little bit, I’m sure. Only time will tell if we get the Panda of old ...
Or if we’ll be stuck with an unfortunate imposter.
Man, this season has been weird.