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Giants feed their run differential, beat Rockies 19-2

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It turns out that when you pitch really well, and hit really, really well, you win baseball games.

San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies - Game One Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

When the clock struck 1:10 p.m. PT on Monday afternoon, it marked the two-hour anniversary of the San Francisco Giants game against the Colorado Rockies.

At that two-hour mark, the Giants had scored as many runs as they had made outs.

There is usually one reason for that, and one reason only: a weather delay.

There was no weather delay.

Instead, the Giants found themselves chilling in the sixth inning at Coors Field, 16 players retired, 16 players having crossed home in a successful manner. That’ll do.

That’s how you you win a game 19-2, which is exactly what the Giants did.

The goal in any baseball game is to win. But the goal in the opening game of a doubleheader is twofold: win game one, and put yourself in the best situation possible to win game two.

San Francisco did that beautifully, by jumping all over Rockies starter German Marquez. In the first inning alone, they put up five runs, highlighted by back-to-back home runs from Brandon Crawford and Mike Yastrzemski. And yet . . .

After a 1-2-3 second, the Giants went after Marquez again in the third, chasing him out of the game after just 2.2 innings pitched, and 11 earned runs. By getting Marquez out of the game so early, they also forced huge pitch totals out of relievers Jesus Tinoco and Yency Almora, who will be unavailable for game two.

By the time the ninth inning rolled around, manager Bud Black didn’t want to ruin things for game two, so he graciously let first baseman Mark Reynolds do the work.

Reynolds promptly plunked Buster Posey with a 69 mph pitch (nice? not nice?), which led to a funny moment. Posey looked ticked off, and stared Reynolds down a little bit, but then started laughing once he got to first. All in good fun. I think.

Also in good fun was the two runs the Giants scored off Reynolds in the ninth. Sorry, pal.

But the Giants didn’t just take the right doubleheader approach offensively. Jeff Samardzija did exactly what Bruce Bochy asked off him: kept the Giants in a good spot, and ate innings.

The Shark pounded the strike zone for 6.2 innings, giving up just four hits, one walk, and two earned runs, while striking out nine.

That, combined with the team’s doubleheader roster construction - they gained two pitchers by adding Sam Coonrod as the additional player, while sending Evan Longoria to the 10-day IL and calling up Ray Black - meant the bullpen stayed nice and fresh for game two.

It might be time to talk about the Giants being a good hitting team.

Okay, maybe they’re not. But, wait a minute . . . maybe they are.

This team began the year hilariously bad at hitting baseballs. But they’ve improved every month, partially due to players hitting better, and largely due to better roster construction.

Consider the following:

On the one hand, an 11-game span is still a pretty small sample size. On the other hand, 11 games is kind of a decent sample size, and the Giants scored four more runs after that tweet was sent.

And, you know, having the best offensive stretch of any San Francisco Giants team ever is kind of a sign of doing things well.

So let’s talk about those 19 runs. We can’t do so without mentioning Brandon Crawford, who had a four-hit night that featured two home runs, and eight RBI. Remarkably, Crawford joined a very, very short list of SF Giants to knock eight runners in. The only others? Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda. You may have heard of them.

The 4-through-6 batters went absolutely bonkers for the Giants, as Alex Dickerson had a three-hit night that featured a pair of two-baggers, and Yastrzemski had four hits, and was a triple shy of the cycle.

Together, Dick, Yaz, and Craw combined to go 12-17, with one walk, three doubles, three home runs, and 12 runs batted in.

It also is worth noting that Buster Posey had a home run. Buster Posey home runs are always worth noting.

Translation: this baseball game was a lot of fun to watch. Let’s re-watch some of it:

While this game was 99% good for the Giants, Pablo Sandoval ignominiously did something no hitter ever wants to do: he was the first out of the third inning, and then the last out of the third inning.

Sandoval is now 0-12 since the All-Star break, which is definitely a small sample size, but also worth monitoring.

The Giants have now won nine of their last 11 games, and are within five games of .500.

They’re playing good baseball, and they get a chance to keep playing good baseball in a few hours.