The San Francisco Giants had their chances. Oh, did they have their chances.
They had their chances to not only beat the Colorado Rockies, but also take sole possession of first place in the NL West. They had their chances to not only take sole possession of first place in the NL West, but also take sole possession of the best record in baseball.
It slipped through their fingers one too many times.
It felt like the Giants played catch up all night long, starting in the first inning when Charlie Blackmon roped a two-out double off of Aaron Sanchez. They would slowly get on the board to tie the game, with one run in the first and another in the fourth. But it still felt like they were swimming upstream, in part because they squandered opportunities for more runs in both innings.
They even took a brief lead in the fifth inning on Brandon Belt’s fourth home run of the year.
The Rockies tied it up the next inning, and even though they were still in search of their first road victory of the year, it kind of felt like they had the lead. Perhaps my expectations were set too high from the Giants 12-0 win on Monday, and something as plebeian as a tie felt like a four-run deficit.
Colorado took the lead again in the ninth, against a seriously scuffling Jake McGee. And it hurt because you kind of saw it coming.
I like McGee. I think he’s a good pitcher. I think he’s a good closer. I think the Giants are lucky to have him and smart to deploy him the way that they do.
But there’s something about a pitcher who only throws fastballs that makes you shift in your seat, no matter how many times you refresh their Fangraphs page and remind yourself that they’re quite good.
McGee took the mound with a 3-3 tie and facing pinch-hitter Garrett Hampson. He started Hampson off with a 94 mph fastball over the plate, which Hampson fouled straight back. Hampson had it timed. And the scary thing about having a fastball pitcher timed is ... they’re kind of out of options.
Two pitches later, McGee threw a 95 mph fastball over the plate and Hampson corked it over the center field wall, with room to spare. No kale leaves were harmed in the making of that home run.
But the Giants had yet another comeback in them, this time courtesy of the other Brandon:
What a beautiful swing.
But the Giants could not overcome a third deficit, and in the 10th inning, Gregory Santos got quite the “welcome to the big leagues moment” and gave up a three spot on back-to-back homers by Ryan McMahon and C.J. Cron.
The Giants would briefly make things interesting in the bottom half of the inning, before losing 7-5.
And just like that, my hopes for a Rockies 0-81 road season are shattered.
Why can’t I have nice things?
A few notes:
- Mauricio Dubón had one of the more rough TOOTBLANS you’ll see, when he tried to score from first on Jason Vosler’s RBI double in the fourth. Dubón got the green light from Ron Wotus, so he put his head down and went to work, but never looked up to see Wotus give a late red light, and ended up running into the third base coach like a football pad drill. One sore player, one sore coach, and one out at home.
- Wilmer Flores hit a mammoth walk-off home run in the ninth inning about 50 feet left of the third base foul pole and Belt hit a mammoth walk-off home run in the ninth inning about 50 fete right of the first base foul pole. Them be the breaks.
- Brandon Crawford made a poor throw that didn’t get listed as an error but allowed the Rockies to score a run. It was a bit uncharacteristic but Crawford made up for it later, not only with his game-tying home run, but with a vintage DJ BC RAW defensive play. Just look at this gem, complemented by a perfectly timed mini-jump by Belt:
- There was a scary moment halfway through the game when home plate umpire Kerwin Danley took a foul tip off the mask and fell stiff to the ground where he stayed motionless for quite a while. It certainly looked like he was knocked out cold. He was thankfully able to leave the field on his own power, though he looked pretty dazed. Fingers crossed that he’s OK — they mentioned on the broadcast that he’s had a few concussions before, so that’s scary.
- Aaron Sanchez gave up only 1 hit in 4.2 innings but walked 5.
- Buster Posey had a three-hit day. He’s now hitting .351/.413/.667. Buster Posey forever. Even if the Giants lose.