For the second night in a row, it was the Alex Dickerson show in Arizona.
Tyler Beede struggled early in the game, giving up four runs in four innings of work. And though this fits the theme of the Giants struggling early this season, the offense took up the mantle and made sure the bullpen had a lead to work with for the rest of the game.
This came almost exclusively in the second and third innings, which were practically identical, with Dickerson coming up big in each. In the second, Kevin Pillar hit a line drive that just squeaked through the fielders for a single, at which point Dickerson hit the double he was missing from last night’s attempt at a cycle, scoring Pillar from first. Brandon Crawford immediately hit him in with a single and Tyler Beede worked a walk (but both were stranded.)
In the third, Brandon Belt (playing in his 1,000th career game) singled with two outs. Pillar advanced him to second with a single. And then Dickerson hit yet another double, a roller up the first base line, to score both Belt and Pillar and give the team a 4-3 lead. Crawford knocked in Dickerson, yet again, with a single, and Beede once again walked. And if you were experiencing deja vu, you were right to do so.
Beede’s second walk was the last time the Giants would see a base offensively until the ninth inning, when Stephen Vogt would walk as well as a pinch-hitter for Tony Watson. This brought up Mike Yastrzemski, who was rocking an 0-for-4 on the night, and quickly turned it around with a two-run home run to center field.
Hidden between the hits and runs of the box score, however, was some defensive nincompoopery. Joe Panik didn’t have the best night. He went 0-for-5 on offense and was involved in some of the more unseemly plays of the night on the other end. Buster Posey tried to throw out Christian Walker in the first inning, where Arizona did most of their damage on a two-out rally, but Panik couldn’t come up with the ball and not only did Walker get the base, it allowed Eduardo Escobar to steal home.
In the second, Panik missed on a bunt from pitcher Zack Godley, that got by both him and Crawford as they nearly collided. Panik redeemed himself later in the inning with a great heads-up play, however, but the defensive shenanigans were hardly over. With runners on first and second in the third inning, Escobar hit a ball to Belt, who threw it to Crawford for the out at second, but Crawford’s throw to Beede at first base went wild, costing him an error and the team a run.
Ultimately, though, the defensive mistakes didn’t matter because the bullpen came through for both teams (mostly). With the way the game was going in the first three innings, it was easy to imagine this game getting out of hand quickly and turning into an extra-innings slug fest. With both starting pitchers out of the game after the fourth inning, however, the offense cooled off almost to a glacial level. The Diamondbacks nearly pitched six perfect innings against the Giants before Dickerson’s home run in the ninth, but the Giants’ pen was better, going five innings with two hits, two walks, and no runs.
With this win, the Giants take the series and go for a sweep tomorrow. And, because we all have the maturity of 11 year-olds, this is what I will leave you with: