The San Francisco Giants did not have an extra-base hit on Wednesday. Not one double, though they would have had one were it not for the mystical powers of the TOOTBLAN. Not one triple. Not even one of those home run things they’ve been so good at this year.
And yet despite not utilizing the tools most frequently associated with good offense, the Giants managed to have a good offense. A really good one, at that.
They put up four runs in a single inning. They had the Colorado Rockies bullpen in action in the second. They knocked Germán Márquez out of the game after four innings. And they scored enough for a smooth 7-3 win.
But they didn’t have an extra-base hit.
What they did have is, it turns out, arguably as valuable: walks. Lots of walks. All kinds of walks.
The Giants drew nine walks on the day. Four of those nine walks ended up moving to second, and then third, and eventually home. Three of those walks — including two drawn by catcher Curt Casali — came with the bases loaded and knocked in runs.
It was one of the more dominant walk performances in recent memory. The Giants had the presence of a dinger-mashing offensive juggernaut, despite mashing nary a dinger nor a three-quarters dinger, nor even a half dinger. The Rockies pitchers — who admittedly walk people as often as I say “fair point” when met with even the tiniest conflicting opinion — looked uncomfortable with the Giants hitters, and tried to avoid walking them to the point where they just walked them even more.
The Giants added 9 hits to go with the 9 walks, finishing with 75% as many baserunners as outs. Pretty good equation for scoring runs.
On the other side of things, Alex Wood was dominant, at least for a while. He carried a perfect game into the fifth inning and a no-hitter into the sixth, and thanks his get-it-and-go approach, was running through innings in mere seconds. He stood on the step of the dugout while the Giants batted, sprinted to the mound the moment the third out was made, and then rushed through his pitches until the inning was over.
Look, I don’t know much about Alex Wood, but I do know that he clearly had an early dinner reservation at Manresa.
He also had the two most bizarre plays of the night, in succession. First, he drew a walk, despite literally standing in the batter’s box with a sign that said, “Don’t worry, not gonna swing.” That’s how eager and generous the Rockies pitchers were.
And then, once he reached second base he ... tried to steal third? It resulted in an easy pickoff, but Wood, not wanting his embarrassing baserunning mistake to be in vain, added a backwards somersault as he attempted to avoid a tag, and made the whole thing look super cool. Embarrassment avoided.
Alex Wood: Threat on the bases? pic.twitter.com/ul4QAqSaHy— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) April 29, 2021
Wood fell apart a bit when he lost his no-hitter, but still finished with 6 innings, 4 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs, and 9 strikeouts.
Mike Tauchman made his Giants debut and had three hits, which is the same number of hits he had all season for the New York Yankees. He also made a few strong defensive plays in center field.
He can stay.
Camilo Doval inherited a bases-loaded, no-outs situation in the seventh inning, and managed to get out of the ordeal with only one run scoring. The Brandons helped him out with an immaculately-turned double play.
I’m gonna miss that when it’s gone, but I’m not gonna think about that now, because the Giants are 16-9 and tied for the lead in the NL West.