In what was supposed to be a big night for Tyler Beede, making his Major League debut, it was Andrew McCutchen, the strangeness of the Giants offense, and bullpen woes that ended up being the bigger stories.
Beede had a rough night, ultimately going only four innings with three hits, two runs, three strikeouts and five walks.
On the bright side:
On the not so bright side, two of Beede’s walks were to the opposing pitcher. Wait, what’s that?
Okay, okay. But Timmy didn’t do all of that in the same game. And Tyler Beede is no Tim Lincecum. Well, he’s no Tim Lincecum in his rookie year, at least.
He struggled from the start with his command, with only his slider working for him. The large and questionable strike zone shrunk as his night went on. He threw nearly 90 pitches in those four innings and roughly half of them were out of the strike zone. And did I mention how questionably large that strike zone was? However, he ultimately managed to grind through his innings and hold the Diamondbacks to two runs, and from the way it was going, it could have been much worse. So it wasn’t a terrible night for the kid.
The bullpen had mixed results after that - Reyes Moronta had two impressive and scoreless innings and was a low-key highlight of the night, with three strikeouts. However, Josh Osich came in to start the seventh and gave up back-to-back doubles, erasing a hard-fought lead the Giants had just scratched together. Cory Gearrin, Tony Watson and Hunter Strickland combined to close it out smoothly.
Or at least that’s what WOULD HAVE HAPPENED if Paul Goldschmidt weren’t evil incarnate. However, considering the fact that he is literally Paul Goldschmidt, eater of Giants, the game couldn’t end there. He hit a no-doubt homerun off of Strickland to tie the game yet again in the top of the ninth.
And that brings us to the strangeness of the Giants offense.
The bottom of the sixth is when the Giants started to look alive. Having struck out nine times against Patrick Corbin, they were finally poised to strike back. In the strangest of ways.
Gorkys Hernandez came in as a pinch hitter for Moronta and immediately got a single up the middle. Austin Jackson and Brandon Belt followed with singles of their own, with Hernandez being held at third on Belt’s with no outs. With the bases loaded, this would be a prime time for some hits with runners in scoring position. None were to be found, however.
Andrew McCutchen walked in Hernandez, Buster Posey hit a sac fly to score Jackson, and Evan Longoria walked the bases loaded yet again. Hunter Pence then hit another sac fly to score Belt. And that’s where things get weird. Or, weirder.
So far we’ve got runs scored on a walk and two sacrifice flies. And then Brandon Crawford hit a single! An honest to goodness hit with runners in scoring position that was primed to actually knock in a run!
Until it turned into a double play, of sorts. McCutchen slid in to beat the tag at home and was called safe. Meanwhile Longoria tried a late push for third and was tagged out and the inning was over, but the fourth run had scored. Or so it would seem. The Diamondbacks challenged it, saying that McCutchen didn’t touch the plate before the tag, and the replay umpires ultimately agreed and overturned the run.
Osich’s two doubles in the top of the seventh immediately re-tied the game, before Cory Gearrin came in and got out of the jam.
In the bottom of the eighth, oh man, did things get weird again. With Andrew Chafin pitching, McCutchen walked (again), Posey singled, and up came Evan Longoria. Sounds familiar, right? Longoria battled before striking out, and that’s when both McCutchen and Posey went for a double-steal. Buster Posey isn’t exactly known for his speed, so Alex Avila should have, by rights, been able to at least make it close. Unfortunately for him, it was a wild throw, ending up in shallow center field, and allowing McCutchen to make a break for home to re-take the lead.
At this point, I most certainly did not have my recap mostly written and ready to go. No, sir. I showed the utmost respect to Paul Goldschmidt and...who am I kidding. I switched to radio and allowed myself a brief moment of trust that Strickland could close it out. And that...didn’t go so well.
And here came the bottom of the ninth. And with it, crushing despair and Jorge De La Rosa, who was just here to give me a chance to re-write as much of my recap as possible in the millenia he takes between pitches. Of which there were many. Because he walked everyone.
A walk to Kelby Tomlinson started things off. This was followed by an intentional walk of Jackson, and what might as well have been an intentional walk of Belt in four pitches. And if this is starting to sound familiar, my apologies, but this brought up the man of the week, and the man in almost every scoring scenario of the night, McCutchen. Here, he wasted no time, swinging on the first pitch and knocking a single to left for his second bout of walk-off heroics in four days.
And with that, my friends, I’ve recapped my very first Giants win. I’m not going to lie, I was starting to get a little concerned that Bryan was going to bench me if this went on much longer. There’s only so many times you can throw someone out there only to have them bring home a loss before you have to admit that they are the problem.
I’m no stranger to jinxes, having once been kicked out of my ex-boyfriend’s bar during the 2010 postseason because I let slip that every time I watched a game with other people (rather than at home alone) they lost. So I’m happy to share this curse now that it is no longer in effect.
Bless Andrew McCutchen. And good night.