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Giants beat A’s, Ty Blach dominates everything

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The A’s were leading the season series. Then it was all Ty’d up.

Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The closest I’ve come to a major league clubhouse is coaching 8-year-old girls in softball. I never had to tell them that they stunk and needed to go home because I was adding 7-year-old girls to the team. So I don’t know what difference the Giants’ roster shakeup made in their clubhouse. Possibly none. Conor Gillaspies come, and they go, and that’s how the major leagues work.

I can tell you what the difference felt like from the other side of the TV, though.

That’s the best swing Ryder Jones has had in the majors.

Look at Jarrett Parker get that bat around on that lazy sinker.

That’s the best swing Ryder Jones has had in the majors since the last one.

Look at Jarrett Parker get that bat around on that lazy sinker.

Honey, I’m leaving you for Ty Blach, even though he doesn’t know who I am. This is like Jonathan Safran Foer and Natalie Portman, but for real, and ... look, I’ll call you from the cab.

It was invigorating, fresh. And while I’ll have no problem going back to the default if the Giants fall behind in the first inning on Friday, I’m not going to pretend that it wasn’t much more fun to watch new players do good things. All of the old players have done good things in different games this year — every single one — but there’s something about that new player smell.

To put it another way: Ryder Jones and Jarrett Parker had four combined hits in 46 plate appearances before Thursday night. They had five combined hits in the game. They actually got more hits in one game than the 16 games between them this season, and it makes me giggle to think about it even now. It doesn’t have to mean anything other than two tangentially connected players having a solid game on the same night. But if you couldn’t at least pretend that things felt different, you weren’t watching.

Ty Blach’s start, on the other hand, can most certainly mean something. It’s a cloud drifting by above you as you lie on a sun-kissed meadow, and you get to pretend it’s a hippo or a PT Cruiser. I’m going to say that the cloud looks like a guaranteed spot in the 2018 rotation, which is kind of abstract, sure, but you can see it now that I’ve shared that.

It is truly remarkable that of the six pitchers with a chance to be in the rotation in March, Blach is the only member of the rotation who hasn’t had a completely bizarre season. Madison Bumgarner fought gravity and lost, Jeff Samardzija is a weird mix of historical effectiveness and obvious ineffectiveness, Matt Cain is more 15th starter than 5th starter, and Matt Moore ... cripes, man.

While this has all been going on, Blach has been throwing six or seven innings, allowing a couple runs here and there, rarely making you change the channel. This is his fourth straight start with at least seven innings pitched. Which I guess makes him like a Samardzija who doesn’t allow as many runs? I think that broke my brain.

A comparison that heals my heart, though, is to contrast Blach with Moore. Not to keep picking on Moore, but watching them back to back is so very instructive on the art of pitching. Moore has the extra mile per hour or three. Blach has the command.

Something like that. Although Moore would have lopped off both ears and a toe in that GIF, but, let’s stop the jokes and appreciate Ty Blach some more. In and out. Down and up and down and down. In and up. In and down. Out and up. Out and in? Yeah, whatever, I’ll go with it. The oasis of the rotation has been Blach, and it’s been one of the very best parts of the season.

And, uh ...

That was the first three-run homer at AT&T Park by a Giants hitter this year. Considering that an additional 15 three-run homers there wouldn’t have gotten them within 20 games of a postseason berth, I guess I’ll trade them all in for this beautiful creature of a home run.

It would be possible to end the recap here, to focus on Ryder Jones, Jarrett Parker, and Ty Blach and smile smugly into that good night. Yet that would be ignoring ...

  • A strong Brandon Belt home run
  • Another solid Hunter Pence double
  • Brandon Crawford had a run and an RBI, and he made a great jumping catch
  • Buster Posey exists
  • Every starter on the Giants scored a run, including the pitcher
  • The pitcher was Ty Blach
  • He crushed a ball a million feet, too
  • Ty Blach Ty Blach Ty Blach

It was a very good game. And in conclusion:

Same.