I could do it. Should I do it? I think I’ll do it.
Here’s the start of the recap I posted for the San Francisco Giants 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, that I then copied and pasted into the start of the recap for the Giants 4-2 win over the Reds on Tuesday.
It still applies for today for the Giants 4-0 win over the Reds on Wednesday.
So here it is.
I would not call the San Francisco Giants season boring, but it has become a touch formulaic. You know the drill by now: the starting pitcher will be somewhere between good and dominant, either mowing down hitters or pulling a Houdini act to escape stressful innings. The offense will put runs on the board — not as many as you grew accustomed to in 2020, but certainly enough. And then the keys are handed to the bullpen, and that’s where the excitement comes in.
Think of each Giants game like a Sue Grafton novel. You know what’s going to happen for the first two-thirds. Read the first two-thirds of one book and you can start with the final third for any of the others. Watch the first six innings of any Giants game, and you can start with the seventh inning for any.
Of the Giants 16 losses, they’ve entered the seventh inning with a lead or a tie half of the time.
If you watch baseball for the calming catharsis of the event, tune into innings 1 through 6. If you watch it for the thrill of the unknown, do something else for the first hour and 45 minutes, and check back in when the seventh is getting started.
Yeah, still applies.
Kevin Gausman was utterly sensational against the last team he pitched for before joining the Giants. He pounded the strike zone with confounding movement, and allowed just one hit and two walks in six innings, while striking out 8. He carried a perfect game into the fourth inning. He was on cruise control. He’s been on cruise control most of the year. In nine starts this year he’s given up more than one run just once.
SIGN HIM TO AN EXTENSION YESTERDAY I hope he’s in a Giants uniform next year.
It wasn’t until the ninth inning that the offense showed up in earnest. They gave Gausman — and then Zack Littell and Jake McGee — just a 1-0 lead, courtesy of a double by Mauricio Dubón and an RBI single by Mike Tauchman.
And then came the ninth inning damage. And my oh my was it needed.
It again started with Dubón and Tauchman, who singled and walked, respectively, with one out. After they advanced a base on a wild pitch, the Reds issued a four-pitch walk to Alex Dickerson to load the bases, create a force play, and face a righty.
At first it worked out, as Austin Slater hit into a fielder’s choice, with the out coming at home to keep a run from scoring. The sacrifice was off, and the Giants needed a hit or an error to add an insurance run.
Enter Buster Posey, who had a third of the Giants nine hits. Enter three insurance runs.
The Giants needed those insurance runs, desperately. It’s easy to look at the 4-0 win and assume they would have won even if they only scored once.
Not quite that simple.
With Tyler Rogers assuming the role as closer after McGee was shifted to setup man, the Reds threatened. A leadoff walk followed by a single put two on with no outs. When Eugenio Suárez hit a grounder to first it looked like a double play, but Darin Ruf bobbled it, had no play at second, and needed a replay review just to get the out at first.
That put runners at second and third with one out. If the Reds were only trailing by a run, they likely would have been hunting for a sacrifice hit. Instead, knowing that the tying run was still in the on deck circle, they had to hunt for bigger game.
They came up empty. Rogers struck out Tyler Stephenson and then worked a game-ending groundout.
4-0 Giants, with just three hits allowed. They’ve won the four-game series, and go for a sweep on Thursday. They’ve won the eight-game road trip. They’re 11 games above .500. They’re good.
Now enjoy this Evan Longoria highlight.