I’ve been writing at McCovey Chronicles for a few years now, and I’m pretty sure every single shutout victory that I’ve covered in that time has featured a quip about how when you score runs and don’t allow them, you usually win, and hey, maybe a team should hire a smart guy like me and pay me a handsome salary for such advanced insights and knowledge.
I’m going to avoid doing that today, and instead just tell you about how I used to do it, which manages to have the same effect but somehow use three times as many words.
They jumped out early, scoring once in the first and twice in the second to take the steering wheel of the game. They added on mid-way through, with a four-spot in the fourth to kick the Mets out of the car entirely. They piled on with a run in the eighth inning to do some donuts in front of the Mets because why not? Arrogance is bliss — that’s the saying, right?
There were home runs, as has become the Giants specialty, something I’m still not accustomed to. The Giants losing out in their quest to add first Giancarlo Stanton and then Bryce Harper (with Shohei Ohtani thrown somewhere in there as well), and then promptly becoming baseball’s dinger-masheriest crew of lovable dorks is not a narrative arc I would have come up with, but I guess that’s why they only trust me to tell the story retrospectively.
Brandon Belt had two home runs, which is always exciting because A) multi-homer games are exciting, and B) literally every home run Belt has ever hit is cause for celebration in my neck of the woods (and since you are all currently dwelling in my neck of the woods, that means you get to party; don’t worry, it’s an open bar and the food is good).
Let’s watch them, because my favorite thing to do after watching a good Giants game is immediately rewatch the best parts. I really wish movies had this feature.
Let’s admire this absolute unit of an outta here.
The second happened immediately after LaMonte Wade Jr. smashed a homer. Back-to-back homers are a joy to all (except the Mets), so let’s watch them together.
Though we didn’t know it at the time, it was an emotional performance by Belt, who was mourning the loss of his grandmother.
Brandon Belt is dedicating the rest of the season to his late grandmother, who passed away this morning pic.twitter.com/6kjeSNz5mw— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 25, 2021
Not to make light of a sad situation, but I too played a sports game the day that my grandmother died. Let’s just say I hope I have other talents because I did not honor her as well as Belt did.
Sandwiched between Belt’s mammoth homer and Belt’s Wade-preceded homer was a Bondsian two-run shot from Mike Yastrzemski.
Yaz has been scuffling something fierce this month, hitting just 10-55 with 2 home runs, 2 doubles, 4 walks, and 16 strikeouts entering the game. So seeing him have not just a home run but a HOME RUN (even if it was a 1-5 day overall) was a happy sight.
Couldn’t hit a homer on his actual birthday so had to do it tonight instead pic.twitter.com/nvLeF9bApY— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 24, 2021
That was enough runs for a bad pitching day, but thanks to Sammy Long it was not a bad pitching day. In fact, it was a very good pitching day.
“Dominant” probably isn’t the right term for Long. He needed 92 pitches to get through 5.1 innings, threw 61 strikes, and had just 9 whiffs all day long. But the Mets looked utterly incapable of doing damage to any pitches in Long’s repertoire, and he gave up just 3 hits and 1 walk, with 4 strikeouts.
The swinging strike numbers may not depict dominance, but the eye test sure gave you reason to think the Giants might have found something special here.
It wasn’t all strawberry shortcake and cognac though. Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford both left the game early with mild injuries, though we can hope that the Giants were extra cautious thanks to a healthy lead.
Gabe Kapler said Brandon Crawford came out with some lower back tightness. Crawford and Buster Posey are considered day to day.— Maria I. Guardado (@mi_guardado) August 25, 2021
This was the first of a 16-day stretch in which the Giants play every day. Let’s hope for health, and more 8-0 wins.
And perhaps some Dodgers futility, if we’re getting greedy.