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.”
Every time the San Francisco Giants visit PNC Park, I think of one moment. It’s one of the most powerful moments in Giants history.
You probably know what I’m referring to, but let’s walk through it anyway. The year is 2014, and the Giants have backed their way into the Wild Card game, where they’ll face the Pittsburgh Pirates in a single elimination game. The winner advances. The loser goes home.
PNC Park was absolutely rocking. Loud, crazy, 100% in belief that the Giants Pirates would win, and move on to the divisional round.
And then Brandon Crawford shut them all up, swiftly.
There are usually two sounds that define a great home run: The sound of the ball cracking on the bat, and the sound of the broadcasting crew describing what’s happened.
But it’s a third sound that highlighted Crawford’s tie-breaking grand slam. It’s the loss of sound as a raucous crowd realizes in one instant that doom is impending. Watch the video again, and turn up the volume, so you can hear the silence that drops over the park.
I think of that grand slam every time the Giants head to Pittsburgh, just as I think of Buster Posey’s grand slam off Mat Latos every time the Giants head to Cincinnati, and just as I think of Madison Bumgarner’s general heroics every time I even hear the words “Kansas City.”
On Friday, he did it again. The stakes were only about 2% as high. The crowd was only about 1% as loud. But Brandon Crawford again hit a line drive grand slam in Pittsburgh, propelling the Giants to victory.
And damn if it wasn’t beautiful.
It gave the Giants a 5-2 lead, and it came off his old teammate, Derek Holland. Hunter Pence — perhaps Holland’s closest friend when they were teammates — also hit a solo blast against his buddy.
Jeff Samardzija was adequate. That’s kind of Jeff Samardzija in a nutshell, right? Adequate? Eats innings, pitches well enough, I guess, sort of, and then comes back five days later and does it again. There are worse things to have.
The Giants won 6-3. Won 6-3 on another Brandon Crawford PNC Park grand slam, which, while not nearly as meaningful as the one six years ago, will surely haunt Pirates fans anyway.
San Francisco has now won 3 in a row, and hits the 50-game mark with a record of 23-27.