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Hypothetical recap: Giants squander late rally, fall in 11th

So close. And yet . . . so, so far.

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

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.”

The San Francisco Giants will win a series this season. I think. Probably. Maybe.

Okay, let’s start over: The San Francisco Giants should win a season this year, assuming they don’t want to be the worst team in MLB history.

It’s just a matter of when. And for now, the when is “not right now.”

The Giants entered a Sunday day game against the Dodgers with hopes of earning that first series win of the year. On damp grass from some light morning rain, the Giants gave it their all.

It turns out their all is not enough. Not against the Dodgers, at least.

But unlike in yesterday’s absolute stinker of a 13-1 loss, the Giants made this one interesting. They trailed 4-1 most of the game, with new Dodger superstar Mookie Betts being pretty rude and hitting a grand slam off Kevin Gausman, who was better in his second Giants start than his first, but still not particularly good.

Alex Wood mostly kept the Giants off the board, and had only allowed one run (on a Buster Posey sacrifice fly) when he departed after 6.1 innings, even though the Giants threatened with some regularity. The game seemed destined for a 4-1, or perhaps a 5-1 or even 6-1 conclusion.

Yet the Giants had more fight in them than I gave them credit for, and they came clawing back. Two batters after Wood left, Evan Longoria drove a ball into the artist formerly known as triples alley (“doubles alley” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it). The double scored Mike Yastrzemski, and put a second run on Wood’s stat line.

Then, in the eighth, Wilmer Flores got the Giants a step closer, cutting the two-run deficit in half with a solo home run.

The Giants entered the ninth down 4-3, and you thought, “hey, that’s great, they’ve done just enough to give me hope, so now they can really disappoint me,” and, well . . . it didn’t play out exactly as you anticipated, but you were completely right.

The bottom of the ninth brought a rally with it. Brandon Belt worked a one-out walk off of Kenley Jansen, and took second base on a wild pitch. Two batters later, and down to both their final out and final strike, the Giants found the hit they needed, courtesy of a soft opposite-field liner by Brandon Crawford.

On to 10th inning we went, and the Giants survived. All right. Way to go, sports.

On to the 11th inning we went, and suddenly things got hairy. Cody Bellinger led off the inning by blasting an Andrew Triggs fastball to dead center. It seemed destined to clear the fence, but somehow bounced off the top of it, good for a leadoff double. Triggs kept the Dodgers from getting another hit, but a groundball to the right side, and a fly ball to center were enough to give the Dodgers a 5-4 lead.

You’d be forgiven for entertaining hope in the bottom of the 11th. The Giants had clawed back from a deficit before — you expected them to do the same again. Maybe. Or maybe you’re a realist and thought they’d go down in order to lose the game.

They went down in order to lose the game. No series win. And now they’re 3-6.