I don’t have a flashy, thrilling recap like I did for Friday’s game. Because the San Francisco Giants didn’t have a flashy, thrilling game. There were no blown leads. There were no stolen home runs. There were no extra inning theatrics.
Save for the opponent, there was nothing particularly noteworthy about the Giants 11-6 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
That’s not to say it was a boring game — anything from it. The Giants played exceptionally, and that’s never boring unless you ... look, there’s no right way to fan, but if your team playing well is boring, it might be time to find a new hobby.
It was just a straightforward, high quality, convincing baseball win, from a team that’s racked up more of those in the first two months than you anticipated for the entire season.
A week after recording just 3 hits against Julio Urías, while striking out 10 times, the Giants had 11 hits off of Urías, and struck out just 5 times.
They had 16 hits, with 7 of them going for extra bases. They drew 5 walks to 11 strikeouts. Logan Webb, in his return from the 10-day Injured List, allowed just 2 baserunners — a hit and a hit batter — in 5 innings, while striking out 7.
Matt Wisler struck out 4 of the 6 batters he faced. The Giants won as comfortably as you can against a laughably talented team that overcame a 3-run ninth inning deficit the night prior.
They simply played good baseball and were rewarded with good results. It was straightforward.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20. It’s easy to sit here now, on my lovely pink chaise lounge that I write from when I’m feeling too classy for my plebeian desk, and peruse the box score and think it was all smooth.
There were a few moments that made you question the Giants ability to win. Last year they simply didn’t have enough talent to have any margin for error — if they didn’t play perfectly, they couldn’t beat good teams. That’s not the case this year.
Austin Slater led off the game with a single, but got picked off trying to steal second on a 3-0 count. Buster Posey hit what would’ve been an RBI double on the very next pitch. The Giants wouldn’t score in the inning.
In the third inning, with the Giants leading 3-1, Donovan Solano committed errors not just on consecutive at-bats, but on consecutive pitches. The Dodgers scored a run despite Webb not allowing a single baserunner on his stat card.
In the sixth inning the Giants turned to the bullpen when Webb had thrown just 62 rather brilliant pitches. That was always the plan, and I will never bemoan or criticize the Giants for prioritizing health over winning, but that’s exactly what it was. And it showed up when Scott Kazmir and José Álvarez both allowed a pair of runs.
But the Giants worked around those hiccups. Rather easily, I might say. And even though they still have lost twice as many games as they’ve won against the Dodgers this year, it highlighted the difference between this year’s Giants team and the teams of the last three or four years. In the past the Giants couldn’t make those mistakes and beat the Dodgers on the road, let alone have me, baseball analysis prodigy, assess their performance as “high quality.”
Yet high quality it was.
Save for the pitchers, everyone who took an at-bat for the Giants had a hit. Most of them were hard. Many of them were loud.
They scored in a variety of ways, which is always fun. It was an old fashioned rally in the second inning, when they turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead. Wilmer Flores, Solano, Brandon Crawford, and Mauricio Dubón had singles in consecutive at-bats, and later in the inning Mike Yastrzemski drew a bases-loaded walk.
It was a more satisfying rally in the third inning when Solano — fresh off of his two-error inning — popped a two-run dinger over the wall for sweet, sweet redemption.
More hard hits came later in the game, after the Dodgers had threatened a big lead. The biggest hit of the day might have come from Steven Duggar, who entered as a pinch-hitter and ended up facing a lefty with the bases loaded. Duggar has been used as a platoon player this year, but with Darin Ruf sidelined, he made a pretty strong case for some starts against lefties.
And then an inning later, Evan Longoria hit yet another home run.
Those are fun.
Think about where the Giants are now, and how you feel about them now, relative to where they were and how you felt about them when Albert Pujols’ fly ball was in the air in the ninth inning on Friday night.