If you wanted to know what it would feel like for time to move in reverse, then tonight was the game for you! Not only was it soul-crushingly slow, but they broke records! Not good records, of course, but records nonetheless! It was the most runs ever allowed by the Giants at Oracle Park. They also hit the same batter three times, tying the major league record. If you’re going to lose in a way that feels as though we, the fans, were personally being punished, do it in a historic manner. That’s been my motto since 2016.
On a night where the Giants really needed their starting pitcher to eat up some innings, Drew Pomeranz couldn’t even manage to get through three, ending the night with 2.2 IP, eight hits, five earned runs, one walk and six strikeouts. And he was not alone! The only pitcher who managed three whole innings (two scoreless) was Derek Holland. Which was its own form of punishment, as we’ll get to later.
The game started off promisingly enough. After Pomeranz gave up a solo shot to Ildemaro Vargas in the top of the first, the Giants showed some signs of life against a Robbie Ray, who usually has ownage on them.
Donovan Solano smoked a ball to right field for a double, and if it had been hit at a slightly higher angle it would have been well up into the bleachers. That was inspiration enough for Tyler Austin, who followed it up with a booming home run to the scoreboard, giving the Giants a 2-1 lead. This was Austin’s third home run in his last three at-bats (over the course of three games).
They looked poised for a rally after that, with Kevin Pillar hitting a single just under the glove of Nick Ahmed, followed by a walk from Steven Duggar. Unfortunately, despite a lengthy battle, Mac Williamson ended the inning with his sixth straight strike out. Williamson has now struck out in nine of his last 12 at-bats.
Nick Ahmed singled to start the top of the second, followed by a walk from Carson Kelly. Ketel Marte singled in Ahmed, and Vargas singled in Kelly to overtake the lead. In the third inning, Adam Jones and Ahmed singled, and with two outs, this brought up Tim Locastro. In just 24 plate appearances this season, Locastro had been hit by a pitch in four of them. Shockingly, this one also ended in a hit by pitch, meaning he is averaging a hit by pitch once in every five plate appearances. Or fewer, as it would prove, when he got hit again in the sixth inning, and AGAIN in the seventh, a club record.
You almost should have expected the double that Robbie Ray hit immediately afterwards, scoring two runs and knocking Pomeranz out of the game. This brought in Trevor Gott, who quickly managed to get out of the third inning, but there would be nothing quick about his fourth inning.
Eduardo Escobar and Jones singled, followed by back to back walks to both load the bases and score the Diamondbacks’ sixth run of the night and knock Gott out of the game. And they weren’t done yet. Oh, how I wish they had been though. Locastro was back, and he singled to score two more, as Nick Vincent cashed in Gott’s runs.
Anyway, you can sense that the theme of tonight is that the Diamondbacks scored in every inning of the game thus far, a trend that would continue through the seventh inning. In the fifth, those runs came from Jones’ fourth hit of the night, a three-run home run. Not to be outdone, Escobar hit a three-run home run of his own in the next inning, continuing the trend. Followed by ANOTHER one by Marte in the seventh.
At this point, rather than getting angry, the crowd started chanting “LET PABLO PITCH!” and at least he gave them something to cheer for, as he entered the game in the seventh inning and got a single, which was greeted with an ovation befitting a grand slam. This was the first of Sandoval’s two hits, one of only two Giants to do so (as opposed to the four Diamondbacks who had three or more).
But the Giants, not in the mood to give the fans anything they wanted tonight, declined. Derek Holland came back out for the eighth, and naturally, that was the first scoreless inning of the night for any Giants pitcher. This was greeted by a lot sarcastic clapping from me, and completely removed the last tiny sliver of a reason to keep watching this game (to see if the Diamondbacks could score runs in every inning).
But hey, at least the Giants went down quickly and in order most of the time, doing their part to balance out the pace of play to a mere...
Three and a half hours.