There are games where the hits fall, where they roll through the open hole or over the leaping fielder. Sometimes, those games happen at the same time the home run balls just clear the fence or stay fair. Sometimes, they happen when the other team screws up.
You don’t need the corollary to those kinds of games. You’re clear on one the other end of the spectrum looks like.
So in this game, celebrate Giants good-time bingo. There were hits, and some of them went over the fence. Some of them weren’t hit all that hard, and at least one bat died a valiant death, but there were enough hard-hit balls to make you feel good. They even got two hits off Odrisamer Despaigne, which means he’s now allowed two hits against the Giants in his career.
And as long as the Giants are going to score nine runs, I’m very much into the theater of Giancarlo Stanton hitting a home run into the green screen that runs around Marlins Park, so they can CGI a baseball landing in the future. Very polite of them.
Bumgarner pitched well, even if his cutter would creep back over the plate from time to time. I’m 100 percent blaming A.J. Ellis’s home run on changes to the baseball, so even if you take away Denard Span’s home run to make it all fair, it’s a net positive for Bumgarner, who was fine.
ME, FROM THE FUTURE: Hey, it’s August where I’m from, and Madison Bumgarner has thrown at least six innings in all but one of his starts!
YOU, IN THE PAST AND IGNORANT OF THE HORRORS THAT AWAIT YOU: Wow! That’s outstanding!
ME: [snerking under my breath] idiot
If I could go back in time and mess with people, this season would have been worth it. As is, it’s August, and we’re just happy that the Giants scored with Madison Bumgarner on the mound. The Giants are now 3-8 when he pitches. That’s as good as they were when Troy Brohawn pitched in 2002!
Madison Bumgarner: As useful to the 2017 Giants as Troy Brohawn was to the 2002 Giants. Put it on a t-shirt.
The reason we’re feting Bumgarner instead of grumbling again is because of the offense. Time for a roll call, I suppose.
Denard Span was rolling around an .800 OPS around the trade deadline, bless him, and it seemed like he was good for two hits a night. He was 14 for his last 76, though, and it’s not like we got to enjoy his defense making up for it. In the second inning of Tuesday’s game, he was turned around on a ball over his head, and while I have no idea if another center fielder could have gotten to it, I’m comfortable wishing I could have seen someone try.
Before I could grumble out loud, he hit his eighth homer of the year, and he added a walk and two more hits, for good measure. He even stole a base and drew a throwing error to score his third run of the game. Span has never been vintage Kenny Lofton with the Giants, and it’s unfair to expect him to be a stellar leadoff man at this point in his career. But for a game, he was Lofton, and it was enjoyable.
Kelby Tomlinson added two hits. Carlos Moncrief got that rarest of all creatures, a pinch-hit, which means I’ve buried the lead. Buster Posey had two hits because he always does, and even Bumgarner drove in a run with a single off the wall*.
* Just so we’re clear, I timed how long Bumgarner stared at his ball and went back and timed Stanton’s stare. There was a difference of .4 seconds, which just isn’t enough for me to care. I would love it if Bumgarner would enjoy life on the mound just a smidgen more.
That brings us to Ryder Jones, who currently sports a .190 batting average and .558 OPS, which sounds bad. Except he boosted his OPS over 100 points in this game alone, and he’s hitting .286 with a .515 slugging percentage since coming back from his injury. We’re still in small sample territory, of course, but this brings up the Ryder Jones Rules of Deployment (v. 2017), which are official rules that the Giants must follow for the rest of the season. The first rule is this:
- Play Ryder Jones for the rest of the season
That is the end of the Ryder Jones Rules of Deployment (v. 2017). Don’t let him get sucked into the Mac Williamson vortex. I don’t care if it’s left or first or third, make sure he’s in the lineup, even against lefties. I want to see what the 2018 Giants have, and that’ll be accomplished by seeing what the 2017 Giants have.
Which was a win against the Marlins on this fine date. The hits fell in, and the homers dropped over. Bumgarner pitched well, and he hit a ball real hard-like. If only more games could be like this one.