Ever since losing the first two games of the season by a combined score of 109-2, the San Francisco Giants have exhibited something of a trend. They usually do one of two things:
- They win a game that you’re not sure they’ll win until it’s over. Or,
- They lose a game that you’re not sure they’ll lose until it’s over.
That’s mostly it.
This game was the latter, as you might have surmised by the loss-centric headline and the gloomy atmosphere hanging over you right now.
The Giants flirted with winning — never enough to make you actually think it would happen, but enough to keep the TV turned on. That’s a helluva lot more than some recent years could say. You didn’t check out in the third inning and go mow the lawn for pleasure. You actually watched the baseball game, all the way up until the very end, unless you stopped in the eighth inning after Brandon Belt, the tying run, grounded into an inning-ending double play.
But ultimately, they did in fact lose, and...
The fifth inning felt like the defining moment. The Giants were trailing 3-0, and the back of the lineup was due up. If you’d forgotten to shower today, now was your moment to dart away from the game. If you needed dinner mid-game (when a game starts at 5:40 do you eat beforehand? Afterwards? In the middle and miss an inning cooking?) this was your opportunity to create or procure it.
Even at Coors Field the Giants weren’t going to get anything from Brandon Crawford (struggling something fierce), Mauricio Dubón (struggling something fierce, and a righty against a RHP), and Steven Duggar (struggling something fierce, this year and in his whole career), right?
Wrong. Mostly. Kind of.
After Tyler Heineman grounded out, Crawford and Dubón singled. Duggar represented the tying run, and he blasted one the opposite way that ... landed on top of the fence, resulting in an all-time great Duane Kuiper home run call, for what ultimately was ruled to not be a home run.
"IT IS...we don't know."— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 5, 2020
Kuip was confused on how to call this play pic.twitter.com/MddIZy0gNJ
The Giants may have lost but at least we got to spend two and a half hours with perhaps the best broadcasting duo in MLB history. You can’t complain too much.
Just kidding, you can complain a lot. Please. Be my guest. That’s what we’re all here for.
Duggar’s home run was overruled and turned into a double, but Dubón was allowed to score from first. It was a fair and just ruling, even though I very much don’t think a ball that lands on top of the fence should be anything short of a home run. But them’s the rules, and the Giants have certainly benefited from them in recent memory.
Either way, the Giants now had their fastest runner on second base, and their best hitter in the batter’s box, with just one out.
They failed to score, and it was at that point you realized that baseball is stupid.
Kevin Gausman looked good in his first career appearance at his home park. He gave up four earned runs, but that definitely deserves a Coors Field-sized asterisk. For instance, one of them came off of a groundball home run by Nolan Arenado, because of course.
Nolan hit it about 10 feet off the ground and it still got out. pic.twitter.com/MzlLtGBU1R— MLB (@MLB) August 5, 2020
Gausman gave up 4 earned runs in 5.1 innings, but allowed just 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 7. He had 62 strikes to 21 balls, and earned a whopping 15 swinging strikes. He pumped in first-pitch strikes to 17 of 24 batters.
He was good. He deserves better. And so I repeat,
Pablo Sandoval had the two hardest hit baseballs of the night for either team. They resulted in a single and a groundout. He also had the sixth-hardest hit ball of the night, which was a double play.
I have no greater point to make here, I just thought you might want to know.
A few notes:
- Tony Watson was given an important situation for the first time all year. He did well, retiring both batters he faced, striking out one, and getting two swing-throughs on just eight pitches.
- Seven different Giants had a hit, though none of them had more than one, and Duggar had the only extra-base knock, despite playing at a park that literally hands you an invitation to hit a double when you enter.
- A few days after having a walk party, the Giants drew just one free pass, and struck out nine times.
- This team plays some of the worst defense I have seen in my life, and I used to watch Little League games for fun. Heck, I used to be in Little League games.
- Crawford had a routine ground ball go under his glove in the first inning, so you knew the night was cursed.
- The Giants played so uninterestingly that their social media account only found one highlight to post all game long, and it was a Sam Selman strikeout.
- The road trip is off to a bad start and it does not get easier.
- Baseball is very stupid and you’re all stupid for watching it.