We should have suspected that it was going to be a good night in Arizona once the Giants managed to score a run in the first, something they haven’t been able to do a lot of lately. But it also didn’t hurt that Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Godley was living up to his high sevens ERA to start this game. Godley, who pitched in relief in his last three appearances, didn’t make it out of the fourth inning tonight, as he allowed four earned runs on six hits with two walks and three strike outs.
The Giants took advantage early, thanks in large part to the top half of the lineup. Steven Duggar, Buster Posey and Brandon Belt were each 2-for-5 on the night, while Joe Panik was 1-for-3 with two walks.
The combination of Panik and Duggar proved quite effective, as the pair each singled to start the first inning, setting up Evan Longoria to knock Panik in for the first run of the game. In the third, Panik walked and scored from first on Duggar’s triple down the right field line and he was gassed. They cut to the dugout afterwards and Panik looked like Belt looks after doing anything strenuous during a game at Coors Field.
Posey followed that up with a single to left field that scored Duggar. Then Belt used some kind of magic to weave a single through the infield defenders and into the outfield. Longoria and Brandon Crawford each hit sac flies to advance and then allow Posey to score to give the Giants a 4-0 lead.
The Diamondbacks did their damage a little more slowly, with a solo shot from Eduardo Escobar in the bottom of the fourth, but I’m actually getting ahead of myself here because in the top of that inning, there was something kind of...tragic? Magical? Tragical?
Something kind of tragical happened in the top of the fourth. Madison Bumgarner walked, which knocked Godley out of the game. Panik hit what should have been a single, but they ruled it a force out because Bumgarner...ran to second base? I get the rules as written say he should have avoided the fielder trying to make the play, but he would have been out so it was a lose-lose situation for him. He was called out for interference, and as I was trying to write that down, Panik was picked off almost immediately.
Anyway, aside from the solo shot by Escobar, Bumgarner’s problem was walks. Every batter he walked managed to score. He walked Blake Swihart in the fifth, and he was knocked in by Adam Jones. Then he walked Nick Ahmed and Carson Kelly in the seventh. Ahmed scored on a double by John Ryan Murphy that knocked Bumgarner out of the game, and Kelly scored on a ground out by Jones, his second RBI of the night. Kelly would later hit a solo home run in the ninth inning against Will Smith for the Diamondbacks’ fifth and final run of the night.
Which would have been enough if the Giants hadn’t managed to add on runs, but they did! And that’s where things really get fun!
Longoria walked in the sixth inning and it was like third inning all over again because Brandon Crawford hit a triple up the right field line, allowing Longoria to score from first while Crawford just beat the tag at third. Mac Williamson singled in Crawford after a lengthy at bat.
And now, the dingers. Pablo Sandoval came in to pinch hit in the top of the eighth, where he hit yet another home run, briefly tying Belt for second most on the team. When asked how he felt about that, Belt said “Not today!” and smacked a home run directly into the pool!
If that doesn’t get counted as a splash hit, I will eat my hat. Belt became the second player to do that this season. The other? Hunter Pence.
Brandon Belt, when told Hunter Pence owns the other swimming pool homer in Arizona this year: “Really? Splash brothers!”— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) May 19, 2019