Sure, dingers may run in the team’s DNA, but they needed just 162 of them in 2010, 103 of them in 2012, and 132 of them in 2014.
So they tried a throwback game.
In the fourth inning of a scoreless game, the Giants went to work with their rallying ways. With one out and the bases empty, the Giants rattled off five straight hits: a Buster Posey double, followed by singles from Darin Ruf, Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford, and Wilmer Flores.
Just like that the Giants had put two runs on the board and chased Rich Hill off of the mound and into the dugout where he could bathe, hydrate, and think about what he’d done.
I hope you spent a long time contemplating why you decided to pitch so well for the Dodgers back when, Rich. I hope you feel bad about it.
But alas. The Giants could not win the old fashioned way. Kevin Gausman, who gritted through four innings without allowing a run, but also not looking his best, finally gave in in the fifth inning. A single, a walk, and a triple tied the game before an out was recorded, and the Mets would take a 3-2 lead on a sacrifice fly. It would be Gausman’s final inning.
It probably sounds like I’m recapping a loss right now, so this is where I remind you that the Giants are not an old fashioned team. They’re a newfangled team. One of the best newfangled teams, for that matter. Perhaps even the best newfangled team.
They don’t need to rely on being old fashioned, because they can just flip the switch and be newfangled. After all, they already have 179 home runs ... and there are still 43 games left on the schedule.
So, having failed at a dose of throwback baseball, the Giants turned on their home run button.
The Mets only recorded one out with the lead. After that out, Alex Dickerson had a pinch-hit double, and Kris Bryant offered up one of baseball’s greatest gifts: the single swing that turns a deficit into a lead.
That’s a swing I could get used to watching every game for the next decade or so. And right now it sure seems like that might happen.
Full quote: "I know it's all super new to me, the whole being here and playing with these guys, but there's just something that feels a little different about it. It feels right." https://t.co/jCKUOS3tVM— Brian Witt (@Wittnessed) August 17, 2021
I know that a new acquisition is not going to bad mouth their new team, especially when said team has the best record in the Majors. And I know that the organization is going to only say good things about said new acquisition.
But I’ve seen a lot of players get traded to a lot of teams over the years, and there are some things that are rarely said unprompted along the way. “It feels right,” is one of them. “I’ve never spoken to a player more excited to be coming to a new organization” — that’s a Farhan Zaidi quote — is another one of them.
It seems very clear that both team and player would like this to be a long-term relationship, and the former certainly has the money to make that dream a reality. Please understand that what I am saying is literal — this is not a metaphor for how to make a real-life relationship work.
Anyway, I’m getting away from the game, but only because lingering on Bryant is vital. Because that was not his only contribution to the day’s success. It wasn’t even his lone contribution to the dinger tally.
In the seventh inning, with the Giants clinging to a 4-3 lead, Brandon Belt entered as a pinch hitter and destroyed a baseball. Exactly one pitch later, Bryant did the same thing.
Say, Giants, while you’re handing Bryant the seven-year contract, maybe slip a two-year extension to Belt, yeah?
The lead was 6-3, but the Giants would add to it later in the inning when an Evan Longoria walk was followed up by a Crawford triple.
Crawford was 4-4 on the day, so I invite you to look at some very pleasant stats and think about how history told us we should all be worried about some serious second half regression for DJ BC RAW.
After tonight's big game, #SFGiants shortstop Brandon Crawford is hitting .427/.455/.600 since the beginning of July.— Marc Delucchi (@maddelucchi) August 17, 2021
Brandon Crawford since July 1— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) August 17, 2021
0-hit games: 3
1-hit games: 12
2-hit games: 6
3-hit games: 6 (including tonight)
4-hit games: 1
He's hitting .422 over that stretch.
That second tweet was tweeted before the fourth hit.
Hey Giants, while you’re handing Bryant the seven-year deal and slipping Belt the two-year extension, maybe slip a two-year extension to the other Brandon, yeah? You literally can just copy the contract and change the last name and ... what’s that? ... you’ve already done that?
Cool. Good offseason already, and we’ve still got 43 games and some postseason baseball to watch.
The 7-3 lead would hold, though Tyler Rogers allowed a two-run home run to make things briefly interesting before the Giants settled into a 7-5 win. In truth, the lead held because of what happened when it was just a 4-3 lead. Jay Jackson gave up an odd sequence, allowing a hit and then a bunt single that moved the runner from first to third. With no outs, Jackson got an unproductive out, then turned things over to José Álvarez, who inherited runners at the corners with one out.
Álvarez worked a pop out and a strikeout to get the Giants out of the inning with the lead intact.
Remember when the Giants bullpen wasn’t good? That was almost as long ago as when the Giants were supposed to be bad ...