The San Francisco Giants beat the Seattle Mariners 10-1, but don’t let that aesthetically-pleasing score fool you.
It wasn’t good. It wasn’t impressive. In fact, I’d go so far as to call it pathetic.
A nine-run win? In this economy?
On most nights a 10-1 win is noteworthy; it’s the talk of the town.
But on Wednesday it paled in comparison to the Atlanta Braves, who decimated the Miami Marlins 29-9. And it paled in comparison to the Milwaukee Brewers, who stomped on the Detroit Tigers 19-0.
Seen through the lens of what other teams did on Wednesday, the Giants plebeian 10-1 win has me scrambling to write a few thousands words on whether they were good or just lucky. They say it’s better to be the latter than the former, but I say it’s better to just be both.
The Giants have used the power of the long ball this year, which isn’t something we’ve been able to say in recent years.
So everything felt according to plan when Mike Yastrzemski got the scoring started with a three-run home run that nearly landed in the water. It came with two strikes, against a left-handed pitcher, because this is Mike Yastrzemski we’re talking about. He defies typical notions of advantages and count leverage.
2 strike counts are no problem for Mike Yastrzemski. #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/z5dYzSaPnP— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 10, 2020
And then after that ... they just kind of rallied in normal, non-highlight worthy ways.
They didn’t hit any more home runs. They had three doubles, off the bats of Wilmer Flores (twice) and Darin Ruf.
But they had 13 hits, 3 walks, and a hit by pitch, and they scored in four straight innings from the third through sixth.
That was enough to give them their third game of at least 10 runs at Oracle Park this year, where they’ve played 23 times.
Last year, in 81 games, they scored 10 or more runs at home once.
Yastrzemski and Flores had two-hit games. So, too, did Evan Longoria, Joey Bart, and Mauricio Dubón.
None of it was flashy, other than the Yastrzemski moonshot. It was methodical. Cruel almost, like an older sibling slowly and mechanically picking apart their younger sibling. The Giants never looked like they were concerned with the Mariners; they never looked like the outcome would be in doubt.
Except for at the very beginning, when Nick Margevicius set down the side in order in each of the first two innings, while striking out 5 of 6 batters. But once the third inning came around, the Giants slipped off their warmups and went to work with confidence, calmness, and precision.
I like these Giants.
If you look at the predictive stats, Tyler Anderson didn’t have a notable start. He struck out just 4 of 22 batters. He threw 100 pitches with 65 strikes, and got just 7 swing-throughs.
But if you look at the descriptive ones — you know, those antiquated stats that tell you what actually happened — it was a tremendous start. 3 hits, 1 walk, and 0 runs in 6 innings? The Giants will take that seven days a week, and twice on
Sundays days when they have a doubleheader.
He also had another pickoff.
*LEADS MAJORS* pic.twitter.com/3UvxNCCdwA— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 10, 2020
Anderson and the defense allowed the Giants top relievers to take a night off, which is no small thing ahead of a four-game series against the blistering bats of the San Diego Padres. Trevor Gott and Rico Garcia handled the back third of the game, and the Giants put things on cruise control for their fifth-straight win.
It gets harder now, with that aforementioned Padres series.
But against all odds — or at least against a few of them — the Giants are in this darn thing, with ability and outcomes that are currently matching their confidence.