The San Francisco Giants hit five home runs on Tuesday, and each one felt very important, in the heat of the moment and in hindsight.
Let’s take them in chronological order.
The first came in the fifth inning, with the Giants trailing the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0. It came from Buster Posey, and it was merely a solo shot. A solo shot doesn’t do all that much to eliminate a 4-0 lead — a four-run deficit doesn’t feel much bigger than a three-run deficit.
But it broke the ice for the Giants, and even though you didn’t expect them to rattle off nine more runs, doing so suddenly felt possible. You quickly remembered Duane Kuiper and Javier López telling you just minutes prior that Philly is a place where a four-run lead isn’t safe.
They just needed to get that first run to crack the ice, you told yourself.
They got that first run. Buster got them that first run.
Buster gets the Giants on the board pic.twitter.com/DLLsiWi9jv— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) April 21, 2021
Fittingly, the next home run came later in the same inning, this time on a two-run jack courtesy of Tommy La Stella. Suddenly the 4-0 deficit had turned into a 4-3 deficit, and the game was right there for the Giants to take.
The Giants did not, however, take the game. At least not right away. They proceeded to give back everything that La Stella had worked so hard to acquire.
Which brings us to home run No. 3. It’s the sixth inning and the Giants trail 6-3, and Posey saunters back into the batter’s box.
There was a time where a starting pitcher would not be allowed to face Gerald for a third time when Posey had already launched one off of him. This is no longer that time, but Posey is fighting like hell to bring back the past.
A solo bomb pulled the Giants to within two, and reminded you that this team can take not just one punch, but a few of them.
It was Posey’s first two-homer game in five seasons. I am liking this development.
That 6-4 deficit held until the eighth inning, where things got really exciting. The Giants got a rally going, courtesy of a double by Evan Longoria and a walk drawn by Brandon Belt. You might have found yourself pining for a single that would cut the deficit in half, and give you hope going into the ninth inning.
Alex Dickerson did you one better, with the Giants fourth homer of the night and ... whew. I could totally do that. Totally.
That gave the Giants the lead, but with Citizens Bank Park playing like a Top Shot course, it didn’t feel fully secure.
So the Giants rallied again, with singles courtesy of Posey (an infield single!) and Brandon Crawford, and Wilmer Flores stepped in and used his pinch-hitting duties as a prime opportunity to put a bow on the quintet of Giants dingers.
Five home runs, which accounted for all of the Giants runs in their 10-7 win. Five home runs, all of which looked like big leaguers stopped by the intramural softball game to show off.
And one victory that came from relentlessly tearing down a large deficit, until that large deficit was a small one, until that small deficit was a small lead, until that small lead was a comfortable one.
- Logan Webb does not look likely to earn a spot in the starting rotation back anytime soon, and will probably keep playing the role of spot starter when someone is injured, which, given the track record of the Giants starters, might mean he leads the team in starts. Webb allowed 7 hits, 2 walks, and 4 earned runs in 4 innings, while striking out 4. The Giants miss Johnny Cueto already, but if they can win the games when he’s replaced, that will go a long way towards a winning record.
- Posey has 4 home runs in 42 plate appearances. In 2018 and 2019 he had 12 home runs in 893 plate appearances.
- Jake McGee returned after his brief vaccine-driven stint on the Injured List. He gave up a run (thanks again for the insurance, Flores), but pounded the strike zone. Tyler Rogers pitched another perfect eighth to lower his ERA to 0.77.
- The Giants have now won two of their four road series this season and have guaranteed to have at least a .500 record through their first road games. They’re 11-6, and that’s a pretty aesthetically pleasing record.