For a while it looked like it would be a funny game. It looked like the San Francisco Giants hitters were going to record
27 24 outs without a run in between them and still cruise to nine-inning victory over the New York Mets.
That’s a rare thing to have happen.
It’s rare because it requires three rare things to happen, two of which are rarer when added together, like a unicorn that speaks seven languages.
The first thing that needs to happen is you need to score runs before recording an out.
The Giants did that. The did it by having LaMonte Wade Jr. lead off the first inning with a single, and for Tommy La Stella to follow it with a towering home run to right-center field.
The second thing that needs to happen — and this is the one that becomes rarer when conjoined with the first thing — is the opposing pitcher needs to immediately settle down and start dominating.
Marcus Stroman did that. After those pre-first out shenanigans, Stroman mowed through the Giants for six innings, allowing only two walks, an infield single, and an outfield single. He struck out nine batters and made the Giants (and Buster Posey in particular) look foolish. That’s no easy feat, especially the parenthetical.
The third thing that needs to happen is the Giants pitcher needs to be dominant, and as he pretty much has been since May, Logan Webb was.
Webb cruised into the eighth inning having allowed just five hits and a walk, while striking out eight. He kept the Mets entirely at bay thanks to a steady dose of pitches that were very difficult to hit, and double plays turned by his brilliant defense. Such as this Brandon-to-Brandon inning-ender with runners at the corners.
Extend Brandon Belt already, Giants. Give us this for more years to come.
So the Giants had all three parts of the equation. What kept them from accomplishing this rare, and ultimately meaningless type of victory?
Well, Evan Longoria for starters. Longoria interrupted Stroman’s dominance by blasting a dinger to lead off the seventh inning. It was his first home run since returning from the Injured List, and it served as your daily reminder as to just how deep this team is.
But if you were upset at Longoria for scoring a run after the Giants had recorded their first out — which would be really silly of you, but baseball is a silly game so I’m not here to judge if your fandom drinks from the same trough — it didn’t last long. Because for all of Webb’s dominance through seven innings, the Mets caught up to him in the eighth courtesy of a two-run blast off the bat of Home Run Derby champ Pete Alonso.
Suddenly it was a close game.
But the Giants held on. Tony Watson replaced Webb and got two quick outs, throwing seven of his eight pitches for strikes.
It was fair to criticize the Giants for giving up three prospects — even if they were low-level ones — for Watson, who was having a rough season. But it sure is starting to seem like they knew what they were doing, as Watson has now allowed two hits, no walks, and no runs in eight innings since joining the Giants, and has thrown 73 of 108 pitches for strikes.
They made things briefly interesting in the ninth — it wouldn’t be a Giants game if they didn’t — when Jarlin García allowed a leadoff single, but Dominic Leone entered with two outs and a runner in scoring position and struck out former Giant Kevin Pillar on three pitches.
Another win. It’s starting to get boring.