You can’t bring us down, Jose Altuve. You can’t bring us down, Houston Astros. The San Francisco Giants traded for Kris Bryant on Friday, and anything that happened in the game that followed a few hours later was academic.
In fact, I kind of forgot that there was a game. Why was there a game? Give the dudes a day off while they’re all on hug watch. But there was a game, and while the Giants played the non-Altuves fairly evenly, they did not play Altuve evenly at all.
Altuve led off the game and did so ominously, blasting a line drive that was juuuust outside of the reach of Brandon Crawford’s diving body. It was the start of a brutal first inning for Kevin Gausman, who needed 43 pitches and more than 25 minutes to get through matters, and had the bullpen warming up.
Still, Gausman got through the inning with just two runs allowed, and despite the Giants working a mere seven pitches in the bottom half of the inning, their ace settled down for an eight-pitch second inning that made it 77.78% of the way to an immaculate inning.
The Giants even got those runs back, thanks to a third inning rally, which featured Gausman earning a four-pitch walk and scoring on a Buster Posey double.
Disaster averted — the Giants had tied the game after the worst possible start.
And then Altuve showed up and hit a solo home run off of Gausman to open the fifth inning. Suddenly the Astros led again.
But a 3-2 deficit halfway through the game is nothing to this Giants team, so you were granted reason for optimism.
There was, however, an expiration date on that optimism. That expiration date was the sixth inning (short shelf life, I know), when the Astros loaded the bases against Sammy Long — with an assist by Darin Ruf, who had a brutal error — forcing Gabe Kapler to turn to Jay Jackson to face Altuve, who promptly massacred a baseball in the form of a grand slam.
Nothing grand about it if you ask me.
That made it 7-2 and it no longer felt like a game the Giants were in, though it became a game they were in in the seventh inning, when the Astros, faced with the novel concept of having to actually use all of their hitters in the field, dropped a routine fly ball that helped spark a two-run rally to make it a 7-5 game.
If nothing else, never forget that on Friday the Giants traded for Kris Bryant and made fun of the designated hitter.
But the Astros would gain some insurance runs, one each in the eighth and the ninth. And even though the Giants brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning with no outs, they would fall by a score of 9-6, which is the opposite of nice.
They traded for Kris Bryant, though. And the Dodgers lost.