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Giants beat Dodgers, 2-1

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The game ended when Yasiel Puig didn’t slide, and it’s as funny as it sounds.

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
Pulitzer
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

I would like to invite you to close your eyes and pretend that the Giants weren’t awful this year and that this meant something. In this world, a win when Bumgarner was Bumgarner isn’t an anomaly; it’s the natural course of events. Gorkys Hernandez getting on base and scoring runs isn’t a fluke; he’s the Andres Torres of 2017. The bullpen is calm and efficient because it always is, silly. All of the players you know and love on the Giants are better at their jobs than they were in the alternate dimension. Our sad alternate dimension.

It’s a beautiful dream.

In this reality, though, we’ll have to narrow our focus. The Giants beat the Dodgers in a single game, and that’s never a bad thing. Madison Bumgarner was at his best, which meant the Giants scoring two runs was a positive development. And the game ended with Yasiel Puig looking like a nincompoop, which warms the heart.

Reminder: The Dodgers have lost two games to the Giants this year when the tying run was thrown out at second base by Buster Posey in the ninth inning. Without checking, I’d reckon those are the only two game-ending 2-6 putouts against the Dodgers in history. And we’ve been able to watch and laugh at them. What a time to be alive.

The first time was Justin Turner, and it was glorious. This time was Yasiel Puig, and it was delirious.

The best part wasn’t Puig’s decision not to slide ... for some reason. It wasn’t just that the Giants won the game. It was the Many Emotions of Chase Utley.

Puig was thrown out by yet another perfect, brilliant throw from Buster Posey, who has become an expert at making Brandon Crawford’s job easier. To put it in perspective, I could complete these plays. Me. The guy whose shoulder gets sore after leading a softball practice for 8-year-olds for two hours. I could catch Posey’s throws and apply the tag. So could you. That’s nothing against Crawford. That’s just how good the throws are.

That’s nothing against Crawford because he’s going to win another Gold Glove.

The Giants scored two runs and won because of Brandon Crawford. Bumgarner (obviously) had a lot to do with it, but if those plays don’t get made and a run scores, you don’t even notice. This recap doesn’t lead with the plays at short that weren’t made. They would be infield singles, and you wouldn’t think about them again because you can’t just expect a shortstop to make those plays.

My theory is that the Giants fill you with the most joy when they don’t bother to score a lot of runs and win anyway. This is the kind of win the team prepared you for in 2009. This is the kind of win that allowed you to believe and be rewarded for that belief. Sometimes the Giants can load the bases with no outs, not score, and still win the game because the pitching was so strong. You can keep your 10-9 wins. Give me the 2-1 wins and frustrated opponents all day and night.

The heroes of the game, in rough order:

Madison Bumgarner is still a dynamo, and I’m forced to remind you yet again that this season could have been even worse. Bumgarner could have come back from his dirt bike jamboree and struggled. Low velocity. Poor location. Grimaces and pained expressions. There would have been panic. The Giants would have entered next season with an air of uncertainty about the most reliable pitcher on the team.

As is, Bumgarner is Bumgarner. Don’t take that for granted. Remember that just a few months ago, we were all googling “grade 2 shoulder strain” and recoiling in horror at the nasty words we found.

Brandon Crawford actually isn’t leading the SABR Defensive Index in the NL, which means there’s a chance he won’t win the Gold Glove. Addison Russell is a fine defender, so there would be no shame in him winning it. At the same time, Crawford is still a marvel, one of the reasons to watch a bad team in the middle of a bad season. If I watch 210 minutes of boring baseball but get to laugh at some sort of superhuman acrobatic Crawford play in the middle, it’s worth it.

Gorkys Hernandez was 3-for-4 and scored two runs. It’s still super weird that he doesn’t have a single home run in 334 plate appearances this year, but he’s hit .295/.359/.365 in his last 200 at-bats, which is some sweet, sweet fourth-outfielder nectar. The first 100 at-bats still count, and for whatever reason the defensive metrics hate his defense, but I’m still impressed. He’s probably a major leaguer, which isn’t something I was thinking at the end of May.

Buster Posey had a run scoring single and he threw out Yasiel Puig, who had to hobble off the field. That’ll do, Puig. That’ll do.

Sam Dyson is generally someone I don’t notice. That is absolutely the highest compliment I can give him.

Also, the power of Snuckles compels you.

Anyway, the Giants won against the Dodgers, who are still at least a little weirded out about how they can’t win every single game like they used to, and

Look, we’re not going to allow this to be a Snuckles fest every recap. That doesn’t make

Stop it. Save those for a tough loss when there’s nothing to talk about. Also, here kitty kitty. Here kitty kitty.

Look, the Giants beat the Dodgers. Buster Posey hit and threw. Madison Bumgarner was brilliant. Brandon Crawford reminded you why he’s a Gold Glover. They didn’t score a lot, but they scored enough. Yasiel Puig looked foolish. The bullpen was quietly efficient.

Which of those sentences doesn’t fill your heart with joy? That’s a trick question. They all fill your heart with joy. The Giants beat the Dodgers. Buster Posey hit and threw. Madison Bumgarner was brilliant. Brandon Crawford reminded you why he’s a Gold Glover. They didn’t score a lot, but they scored enough. Yasiel Puig looked foolish. The bullpen was quietly efficient ...