Ah, players weekend. A time for the players to let loose a bit and for us all to have a little fun. And if you turned this one off after the fourth inning, you probably thought this was one of the most fun games of the season! Six runs in four innings, Dereck Rodríguez was striking out the side and throwing a no-hitter. Really good stuff! If you turned it off there, I envy you.
It seems almost cruel to disabuse of your assumptions about how the game played out after that. Alas, it is my job to make Giants fans sad. Just like the Giants themselves. Therefore it is my sad duty to report that the Giants actually lost this game, 7-6.
After a four-run first inning that included a lead-off home run from Andrew McCutchen, a bases loaded single from Evan Longoria that was bobbled, and two sac fly RBIs, the Giants scored twice more in the fourth on a pair of singles. Six whole runs! In one game! By god, that’s a whole week’s worth of runs on these here Giants rations!
It didn’t matter. None of it mattered. Nothing will ever matter again.
Dereck Rodríguez pitched six innings of two-run ball. Not that pitcher wins mean much, but Rodríguez is probably the Giants’ winningest pitcher. When he pitches a gem, they usually win! But it didn’t matter.
The Giants actually did a pretty good job of getting on base during the rest of the game, but of course, that didn’t matter either. As they left everyone stranded.
The word “feckless” gets thrown around a lot these days. And sure, 11 runners left on base is a lot. But remember that there is currently a hurricane off the coast of Hawaii (you can help by texting “LANE” to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross). Hurricanes are bad. This is baseball. Perspective is important, as we start to talk about the rest of this game.
I’d love to regale you with more details about the awesome first half of tonight’s game, I really would. In fact, I did! In the first version of this recap. That doesn’t matter now, just like those first six innings. Because not one Giants relief pitcher was able to get out of their inning without allowing at least one run.
It happens. When you spend all season pitching pretty well and getting little run support, bitterness is understandable. This feels like a “How do YOU like it, offense?” game by the bullpen, and I can respect that.
Really, I can. I’m not even mad, this is actually very funny. Because nothing matters. The season is lost, Buster Posey is going to be gone for the season as of Monday, and there’s no point in caring enough to allow them to hurt you anymore.
But, if you do care, here’s what happened. You see, the Giants fell apart in this game the way you fall asleep, slowly and then all at once.
Reyes Moronta entered in the seventh inning and allowed a lead off home run to Joey Gallo, Giants 6-Rangers 3.
Throughout this game, I was live chatting with a friend who covers the Rangers, but is actually a Giants fan. I made two predictions: 1.) If Mark Melancon comes in, we’re probably going to be in trouble. 2.) If I try to pre-write this recap in any way, they’re going to lose. Both came true!
Melancon came in to pitch the eighth. With one out, he allowed two singles to bring up Gallo again. This time he hit a broken bat single that scored the Rangers’ fourth run of the night. Gallo twisted his ankle pretty badly on the swing and came out of the game, and I still have no idea how he even made it to first. Sheer force of will, I imagine.
Let’s pause here to briefly discuss the bottom of the eighth. Hunter Pence nearly decapitated Eddie Butler on a line out. McCutchen walked, Joe Panik singled and then Posey walked to load the bases with one out.
Enter Cory Gearrin. Gearrin, Forever Giant that he is, was traded to the Rangers and is actually good now. In 1.2 innings of work, he struck out four of the five Giants he faced. Including Belt and Longoria to end the eighth inning, stranding the fully loaded bases.
Will Smith came in to pitch the ninth inning and just when it seemed safe to believe that the Giants would win this game, Jon Miller gave a prophetic warning on the broadcast. Miller stated very clearly that Smith was not to allow Shin-Soo Choo to reach safely because of the home run prowess of Rougned Odor.
Things were looking bad, with Choo in a 3-0 count, but Smith countered with two excellent cutting strikes. With a full count, Choo hit it to Panik, who fumbled the ball between his knees and allowed Choo to reach safely on an error. Then the ghostly tones of Miller’s prophecy rang through our ears as Odor hit a first pitch home run into McCovey Cove to tie the game.
This was the Giants MLB-leading 18th extra inning game. Such fun!
Sam Dyson entered for the tenth. Dyson got a ground out, allowed a single, and was about to get a pop up out, but Panik, who did not have the best of nights, was breaking to cover second base before doubling back to try to catch the ball. Panik, Belt and McCutchen all convened on it but a catch was not to be.
And then Sam Dyson forgot how to throw strikes. After Hanser Alberto reached on a force-out, Dyson walked the next two batters on eight pitches. Now, of course, that first walk would load the bases. So the second walk would...you guessed it, allow the winning run to score.
And here come the seagulls, here to eat your dinner and your soul.— Sami Higgins (@samihiggins) August 25, 2018