You can say a lot of bad things about the San Francisco Giants. I’m not sure you can say a lot of good things about them, but you can certainly say one good thing:
The Giants have a helluva lot of fight in them.
It seems like every game the Giants play features them falling behind, maintaining confidence against their better judgement, and climbing out of a hole. Sometimes when they emerge from the hole they find a friend there, waiting with an ice cold beer to share, and they unfold a deceptively comfortable chair and stick their feet in the sand. Other times they look around, think the surface life looks rather grim, and jump back down into the hole to stay for good.
If we’re keeping this truly horrendous analogy going, Monday’s game saw the Giants emerge from their hole, crack open the first beer, take a few swigs, swirl it in their mouth pretending to be a ritzy connoisseur who knows things about beer, and then say “meh” and peacefully retreat into the darkness.
It was a funny comeback attempt. The Giants trailed 7-4 going into the ninth inning, but quickly brought the tying run to the plate, thanks to a double by Wilmer Flores and a single by Brandon Crawford. A Chadwick Tromp sacrifice fly cut the deficit to two runs, but also put the first out on the board. Then Pablo Sandoval hit a sharp grounder to Ryan McMahon, who reached for the two-for-one special and came out with a handful of goodies: a fielding error and a throwing error.
That put the second run on the board, and the tying run at second base, in the form of pinch-runner Austin Slater. But Mike Yastrzemski grounded out and Alex Dickerson flew out, and the Giants lost 7-6.
You can’t mention the Giants fight to comeback without first mentioning that they allowed a comeback of their own. They once led the game 4-1, before squandering six unanswered runs.
It happened in the most Rockies-esque manner imaginable. With Johnny Cueto pitching the sixth inning, Charlie Blackmon reached on an infield single, before Nolan Arenado launched his first home run of the year because of course he did. It’s the Giants, after all. That’s open season for Arenado.
In came Wandy Peralta, and, with the help of a very costly error by Dickerson, the Rockies tied the game and then took a two-run lead.
It was one of two errors on the day for the Giants (the other coming courtesy of Evan Longoria), and continued the Giants theme of playing February defense. I’m almost impressed by how bad it is.
I’ve said a lot of bad things about Dickerson now — his error gave the Rockies the lead, and he missed his shot at redemption in the ninth — but he also had one of the more remarkable and valuable plays of the game, when he managed a one-handed, one-legged, one-cheeked home run.
Even at Coors Field, where home runs are handed out like energy drinks outside a High School campus, that was impressive.
He wasn’t the only one to pop a ball over those weirdly-designed green fences. Chadwick Tromp had his second career home run — and his second in as many days — and Yastrzemski continued his trend of being the greatest player in baseball history by launching one of his own.
First career HR yesterday. Second career HR today. Chadwick Tromp pic.twitter.com/TOVqXirdxK— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 4, 2020
Those were fun. Lots of fun.
It was a rough loss considering that the Giants can’t afford to have many winnable games slip through their fingers if they want to taste the postseason. They still have nine games left on this road trip — including three each against the Dodgers and Astros — and failing to secure this win could bite them in the butt over the next week and a half.
But it’s hard to be too disappointed, because Johnny Cueto did this:
This is a Hall of Fame shimmy by Johnny Cueto pic.twitter.com/qE9GFgcfsA— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 4, 2020
It’s a stupid season. I’ll take the grins, thank you very much.