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Hypothetical recap: Kevin Gausman twirls a masterpiece

The Giants beat the Rockies 3-1.

San Francisco Giants v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Norm Hall/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.”

I have a bad habit that I suspect many San Francisco Giants fans have. I often make the mistake of thinking that the Colorado Rockies are a really good offensive baseball team.

I presume that I make this inaccurate assumption for two reasons:

  1. The Rockies play half of their games at a comically hitter-friendly ballpark, and my internal park factors adjuster isn’t charged or calibrated.
  2. Nolan Arenado exists.

In reality, the Rockies aren’t a good offensive baseball team. They just give the appearance of one by scaring the Giants and calling Coors Field home. Last year the Rockies were 26th in MLB in team wRC+, with a mark of 86. For perspective, that means they were 86% as good offensively as the average team. For further and more grim perspective, the Giants team wRC+ was 83.

All of that is to say that when the Giants marched into Denver for a four-game series, I expected the Rockies to just hit the snot out of the baseball, and had to keep reminding myself that that wasn’t the most likely outcome, even in their home park.

And when Kevin Gausman shut them down on Tuesday? Holy heck was that a nice sight that surprised me.

Even when I remembered the reality of the Rockies, I was still surprised.

But Gausman did indeed shut down the Rockies, and gave the bullpen a fair amount of rest in the process. He lasted 7.2 innings, giving up 5 hits and 1 walk, and striking out 10. He gave up just 1 run, on a homer by Trevor Story.

He allowed a two-out double in the eighth inning, which is when Gabe Kapler marched out, but Tyler Rogers got out of the inning easily, and Trevor Gott shut the door in the ninth.

That, plus the nice elevation of Coors Field, gave the Giants offense all they needed to succeed. Brandon Belt had two doubles off of German Márquez, one of which scored a pair of runs. Mauricio Dubón hit a solo home run, and that gave the Giants a clean 3 runs, which is truly a wild night of run-scoring for this squad.

That was the final score: 3-1. Kind of a funny, low-scoring affair for a game in Denver, but again, these teams were 26th and 28th in offense a year ago. Give them some encouragement. They deserve it.

The Giants are now 19-23.