The San Diego Padres waited until the second inning to strike against the San Francisco Giants, which was kind of them. But a second inning double by Tommy Pham gave the Padres a 1-0 lead, and your heart already began to sink.
The Giants needed to win.
The Giants had a deflating loss on Thursday.
The Giants have been horrendous against the Padres.
The Giants have been horrendous in doubleheaders.
The Giants had only 6 innings left to catch up.
You could start penning the obit.
And then the bottom half of the inning, and Brandon Crawford, who has calmly and comfortably reversed his regression for the best offensive season of his career, made Oracle Park look tiny.
Suddenly you had hope. That hope was briefly mocked in the top of the third inning, went Trent Grisham hit an absolute bomb to right-center to lead off the inning. But the ball fell a few inches short of clearing the wall — the broadcasters mentioned that Statcast called it a home run in all 29 other parks — leaving Grisham at third with a leadoff triple.
Somehow, with the top of the order coming up, Tyler Anderson got out of that unenviable situation, getting Fernando Tatis Jr. to ground out, and then getting a double play out of Eric Hosmer after walking Manny Machado.
Against all odds, the game remained tied, and you were allowed to retain your hope.
That hope was rewarded in the fourth inning, when Wilmer Flores followed in Crawford’s footsteps.
Flores give the Giants the lead with his 10th home run of the season pic.twitter.com/FxQlN9RUs3— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 26, 2020
A 2-1 lead was not comfortable, and you grimaced later in the inning when Mauricio Dubon couldn’t get Evan Longoria home from 90 feet away with just one out.
But Joey Bart was there to pick up his teammate, singling Longoria home for a slightly more comfortable 3-1 lead.
And yet, it is a little known truth that 5-1 is more comfortable than 3-1. It takes a baseball expert to know that, which is exactly why the Giants brought back Mike Yastrzemski for the doubleheader. Not every baseball player is smart enough to know that a home run would be a smart baseball play in that situation, but Yastrzemski isn’t the Giants MVP for nothing. He knew the smart thing to do.
The Giants then tried to make that 5-1 lead disappear. Oh did they try. They took it into the seventh and final inning, allowed three runs, and let the tying run reach base before an out had been recorded.
But Tony Watson bit down on his mouthguard and got the job done in the most patently Giants, torturous way possible.
Tyler Anderson was very good. The home runs were very great.
And the Giants won 5-4, just as they had to.