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.”
On Friday, less than ten minutes after the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in their home opener, the team announced that they had agreed to a seven-year, $235 million extension with Drew Smyly.
Okay, that obviously didn’t happen (
technically speaking, nothing in this article happened). But you’d be forgiven for thinking it should have.
Just six days after Smyly pitched seven scoreless innings against the Dodgers in his Giants debut — leading San Francisco to their first win of the season — he again twirled a masterpiece against the evil forces that be.
Smyly didn’t put up a blank this time, but he allowed a mere one run while going eight innings — the most a Giants starter has so far in this short, short season (which, I regret to inform you, is already 4.3% complete).
He mostly shut down the Dodgers, allowing just three hits and one walk, while striking out nine. The lone damage came when Enrique Hernandez got the better of a 2-1 mistake, and hit a low bullet right down the third base line that just cleared the cars in left field.
Other than that, it was the Drew Smyly show. And for a while, it was reminiscent of Matt Cain.
It was clear from the first inning that Smyly had it going, but for the longest time, Ross Stripling had it going as well. Hernandez’s fourth-inning dinger gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead, and there was an ominous feeling that Smyly would be Cain’d. Welcome to the Giants, Drew.
But then! Like the true American hero that he is, Buster Posey was there to save the day.
Posey has saved many, many days in his Giants career. He’ll certainly save a good number more before all is said and done, but it’s safe to say there’s more of it in the rear windshield than in the front windshield. So enjoy it, is what I’m trying to say.
Posey came up in the bottom of the seventh after Mike Yastrzemski had worked a one-out walk. The at-bat lasted eight pitches, with three of them being those patented Posey stay-alive swings, where his feet stick in the ground like nails, his torso bends over like someone attempting rehabilitative yoga for the first time, and he pokes at a ball a good bit outside of the strike zone, and purposely drives it foul. The Posey special.
It served its purpose, as Buster treaded water until he got what he was looking for: a lazy, hanging breaking ball from Stripling.
Posey offered a vintage swing, continuing his early-season trend of looking much more like the Posey of old than the Posey of recent years. Not like the Posey of 2012, but at least like the Posey of 2016 or 2017. The ball cut through the wind, and carried about eight rows deep into the left field bleachers.
It would stay that way. Smyly handled business in the seventh and eighth innings, before Gabe Kapler offered to give the save opportunity to Jarlin Garcia, as the Giants have seemingly only had luck against the Dodgers when using lefties.
1-2-3 went the ninth inning, and the Giants sent the Oracle Park masses out of the gates smiling after the home opener.
Just as it always should be.
The Giants are now 3-4. We’ll take it.