Ah, Players Weekend. The weekend where the players get to choose their nicknames, wear some customized gear and break out (just a tiny bit) of the box MLB puts them in 99.9% of the time. Unfortunately this year it also came with some truly, truly horrendous uniforms that were an eyesore the likes of which have not been seen since the last time the Diamondbacks were in town.
The only thing that could have saved our eyes tonight was an eight run inning. Thankfully, the Giants obliged. They were trailing 4-2 going into the eighth inning of tonight’s game. Seven hits, a walk, a wild pitch, and four pitching changes later, they led 10-4.
The runs were harder to come by earlier in the game. Both starting pitchers did fairly well, Chris Bassitt pitched five and two thirds innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs and striking out five. Madison Bumgarner fared roughly the same, going five innings, allowing four hits, two earned runs, walking one and striking out five. Bumgarner was taxed early in the game, however, and was sitting at nearly 100 pitches at the end of five, when he was pulled for Trevor Gott, who pitched a scoreless sixth.
The A’s took their lead early with a home run by Mark Canha in the second, and an RBI double from Matt Chapman to score Jurickson Profar in the third, after Profar reached on a walk.
The Giants got on the board in the fifth on a two out solo home run from Brandon Crawford and tied it up in the sixth on an RBI single from Evan Longoria, knocking in Alex Dickerson, who’d reached on a two-out double.
The A’s took the lead again in the seventh when Jandel Gustave got into trouble. Gustave allowed a lead-off double to Profar, where Marcus Semien knocked him in. Gustave was pulled from the game after a Chapman single, and the Fernando Abad cashed in another of Gustave’s runs. Sam Coonrod was able to get out of the inning after that on a sac fly and a groundout.
And then, as I am fond of saying, the magic happened.
Stephen Vogt flied out for the first out of the inning. This will be relevant later, so hang on to that bit of information. Jake Diekman was pulled after this for our old friend Yusmeiro Petit. Petit faced his old battery mate, Buster Posey, who singled to center. Alex Dickerson singled to center as well, his second of three hits on the night.
Longoria hit a bloop single to right to score Posey and move Dickerson to third. At this point, Petit was pulled for A.J. Puk. Puk would, spoiler alert, not fare much better. He was due to face Brandon Belt, but Belt was pulled for Austin Slater. During Slater’s at bat, a wild pitch got away from catcher Josh Phegley and allowed Dickerson to score and Longoria to second, before Slater drew a walk, which would be it for Puk.
This brought in Lou Trivino to face Kevin Pillar, who doubled to deep right field, near the foul pole, scoring Longoria and Slater (the third and fourth runs of the inning). Donovan Solano singled to right, moving Pillar to third, bringing up Brandon Crawford, who singled to right (a popular location in this inning) to score Pillar and knock Trivino out of the game as well. Ryan Buchter became the fifth pitcher of this inning and managed to get the second out, when Mike Yastrzemski struck out.
Just when it looked like Vogt would make both the first and third out of the inning, which would have been notable on its own, Vogt crushed a three-run shot to left center field to score the Giants’ eighth run of the inning and give them a 10-4 lead.
It took me about ten minutes to stop laughing after this and if you haven’t yet stopped laughing, well, I don’t blame you. Bless the A’s bullpen. We needed this after the Cubs series.
Anyway, Shaun Anderson entered to pitch the bottom of the eighth, where he walked Chad Pindler but got a double play to clean it up. Unfortunately, Profar then walked (his second of the game) and scored on a double from Phegley (for the second time in the game) to cut the Giants’ lead to five. Reyes Moronta entered after another walk was issued, this time to Semien. Moronta got Chapman to pop up to end the inning.
Will Smith pitched a nearly clean ninth, aside from walking Mark Canha. So the Giants (and their terrible, terrible uniforms) get to go home happy.