With the MLB season suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are no baseball games and limited baseball news. So I’m creating a hypothetical season — complete with news and recaps — until baseball resumes. All news and recaps will have the hypothetical tag, so you can at least know when you’re suspending reality. And you can click “hypothetical season” above the headline to see everything that has happened in this “season.”
No, you did not misread the headline. The San Francisco Giants won a series. Scratch that — the San Francisco Giants won another series. After failing to collect a series win in their first six attempts of the year, the Giants now have back-to-back series victories, taking two of three first from the Atlanta Braves, and now from the Colorado Rockies.
It seemed hard to believe after Tuesday, when the Rockies, uhh . . . umm . . . well, rocked the Giants behind a pair of home runs (including a grand slam) by Nolan Arenado.
It turns out Jeff Samardzija is the type for vengeance. After watching his young teammate Logan Webb get torched by Arenado, Samardzija went out on Thursday and struck out Arenado swinging. Then he struck Arenado out swinging, again. And then he front-door breaking balled Arenado for a strike out looking, to add a little salt in the hat trick wound.
Or perhaps Samardzija was inspired by the start of the 2020 NFL Draft. He never got to experience the joy of being drafted by an NFL team, even though he was a projected first-round selection. I’d say opting for baseball was the correct choice, both for the health of his wallet and his cognition, but maybe draft day had him pumped and ready to go.
Either way, Samardzija was good, Arenado was struck out thrice, and the Giants won the game (their second in a row) and the series (their second in a row). All of which made you happy, unless your football team of choice did not draft your player of choice, in which case, I’m sorry.
Antonio Senzatela was good as well, or perhaps the Giants offense was futile, as it has been all year, and likely will continue to be. Let’s settle on both. You have to see both sides, as our world’s worst people are fond of saying.
As it is, the Giants worked only two runs off of Senzatela. One was a beauty though, when Billy Hamilton scored easily from first on a Brandon Belt double that probably wouldn’t have scored most runners, let alone easily. Buster Posey might have been out at third. The other was less of a beauty, though productive outs and sac flies are things we can all appreciate, even if they’re lacking in excitement. A sacrifice fly is like a big glass of water. It’s unassuming, rather flavorless, extremely practical, and also kind of perfect.
Especially when it gives you the second run in a 2-1 win.
On the other side of things, Samardzija didn’t just strike out Arenado. He finished with 8 strikeouts in 7 innings, giving up a lone run on a solo home run by Daniel Murphy.
Admittedly that home run was a splash hit that might have cleared country lines, but those still count for one run. At least for now. Maybe someday they’ll be worth more. That would be an incredibly stupid rule, so you can bank on Rob Manfred giving it some serious consideration.
The Giants bullpen was strong as strong can be. Jarlin Garcia pitched a perfect eighth, and Trevor Gott — who has gotten most of the save opportunities — worked around a leadoff single to close the door.
Two in a row. Feels pretty damn good, especially if you don’t look at the overall record (11-14).