You know what happened next. They gave up 6 runs without ever recording that out, and lost in true Coors Field fashion. And then they lost again on Wednesday, turning a series that was 99% of the way to being successful into a bit of a failure.
Wednesday’s loss was not as heartbreaking, because they were 17 outs away from victory when the fecal matter hit the fan, instead of just 1 out away. But the catalyst was the same: a 6-run inning by the Rockies in which Coors Field did the thing that Coors Field does best: it took a game where the pitcher — even a bad one — has an inherent advantage over a hitter — even a good one — and flipped it. For one inning you fully expected every Colorado hitter to get on base, and they almost all did. You temporarily forgot that it’s supposed to be the batter, not the pitcher who has a .240 success rate.
Coors Field may be known as the lone park where home runs are as prevalent as overpriced beers, but I think the real defining feature of the park is how easy it is to get and sustain rallies, even without the big hit. When the bleeding starts, there are no bandaids, no cotton swabs, no shirts you’re willing to ruin, and you’re left to try and quell the flow with some old magazines you’ve forgotten to unsubscribe from.
To wit: the Rockies didn’t hit a single extra-base hit in their monster inning. Or in the game, for that matter.
But after Logan Webb struck out Raimel Tapia to open the inning — making it 10 up, 10 down — he allowed 3 singles and 3 walks to the next 7 batters before Gabe Kapler had seen enough. In came Matt Wisler, who allowed back-to-back singles before ending the inning. The Rockies had their 6 runs, and it was all they needed.
It was a shame, really. Other than that inning, the Giants held the Rockies to a single at-bat with a runner in scoring position. The pitchers and defense did their job for 8 of the 9 innings but whew, that outlier inning, as it so often does in Denver, was brutal.
The Giants made things interesting before getting on their plane, which was good of them but also made the loss sting a little more. Trailing 6-4 entering the final inning, the Giants tried to start a rally for free. Brandon Crawford and Wilmer Flores drew walks to open the inning, and Curt Casali loaded the count. Casali tried to take ball 4, but his check swing was ruled as a swing. It was one of those 50/50 plays where you can logically understand the call, but that didn’t make it an easy pill to swallow.
It also resulted in Alex Wood getting ejected.
Giants say Alex Wood was ejected for yelling from the dugout after Curt Casali struck out on a close call. Tim Hudson would be proud.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) May 5, 2021
Steven Duggar then worked a count to 2-2 before taking strike 3 on a pitch that he definitely should have swung at, but was called a ball many times throughout the game.
Then, just for some added Coors funkiness, the Giants put on a double steal, which drew a throw into center field. Suddenly it was a 6-5 game, and the tying run was 90 feet from the plate. But Darin Ruf grounded out, and the Giants lost the game and series.
You can’t fault the Giants for having uninteresting games this series, that’s for sure. But they led for more than 80% of the series and still lost it.
A few notes from the game:
- The Giants got two beautiful home runs in the game, courtesy of Crawford and Ruf.
- Flores and Buster Posey both exited the game early, the former after fouling a pitch off his knee, and the latter due to hamstring tightness. It sounds like both players are fine.
Buster Posey felt his right hamstring tighten up running to second base. He was taken out as a precaution. Wilmer Flores is contused after the foul off his upper knee area.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) May 5, 2021
Contusion for Wilmer Flores. "No long-term concerns," Kapler said.— Mark W. Sanchez (@MarkWSanchez) May 5, 2021
- The game was delayed due to weather for about an hour, which would normally be an annoyance on getaway day. But with a short flight back home and an off day on Thursday, it doesn’t really matter. Still, if it makes you hate Coors Field even more, I won’t stop you.
- It’s hard to know what to make of Webb’s start, as he was spectacular for 3 innings and couldn’t make it through the next. But it does appear that his time in the rotation is done for now, as Johnny Cueto will return this weekend.
- Randy Winn temporarily took Mike Krukow’s spot on the broadcast for the series and I was pretty impressed. There were some newbie hiccups, as you expect, but I thought he did a really solid job.
- The Giants now get a day off before yet another series against the Padres. And they’re still in first place in the NL West.