The San Francisco Giants 13-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night was fun. If you’re a Giants fan, that is. I imagine it was not very fun if you’re a Padres fan, though I’ve yet to verify that that’s a real thing that actually exists.
But while the game was fun, it was not particularly dramatic. It was over before the first inning ended, and then it was really over before the second inning ended, and then it was actually over when the ninth inning ended.
As such, there wasn’t really a narrative arc to the game. While most games are like a movie, this was more like a really good sketch comedy show — you enjoyed it more as a series of skits than as a comprehensive story.
So let’s remember the game as such, and take a closer look at some of those sketches.
The Giants offense has not been strong out of the gates, as evidenced by the fact that they scored fewer runs (12) in their first four games combined than in this one.
But it turned out that the cure for what ailed them was ... uhh ... Yu Darvish, the guy who hurled six no-hit innings in his first start of the season. That Yu Darvish. That was the cure.
The Giants jumped on Darvish. Not literally, of course, though the Padres would not have found that the most offensive thing the Giants did Tuesday.
Mike Yastrzemski kicked off the first inning with a loud single, and Brandon Belt followed it up by challenging the left field fences to a duel.
It was the consummate Belt performance, as he also singled, walked, and struck out twice. He’s started the season hitting 6-16 with two home runs, a double, and three walks, so that’s all very nice.
A two-run inning felt like a luxury for the Giants, but they were greedy, which may be a sinful trait elsewhere but is a good trait in baseball, up until a certain point at least. No one knows what that certain point is, but you’ll know when you’ve passed it by the glare on Bob Melvin’s face.
Anyway, three singles, two walks, and a stolen base later and the Giants had sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, and held a 6-0 lead.
Then they tried to do it all again in a four-run second inning in which they forced Darvish out of the game, brought eight batters to the plate, and had a jolly old time.
Here, let’s watch all those runs.
The hitting rendered the pitching a little bit moot, so Alex Cobb maybe didn’t get the recognition he should have. But he made his Giants debut, and firmly answered the question, “is that rumored Spring Training velocity real?”
Yes being the answer, I should note. Sorry to leave you hanging.
Cobb struck out the first batter he faced, with a fastball that was sitting 95-96, and then he just kept striking out batters, despite having to sit on the bench for minutes on end during the bottom half of the innings.
The righty gave up a pair of runs in five innings, on soft contact, and he struck out 10. Add that to Carlos Rodón’s 12 strikeouts on Saturday, and the Giants two new pitchers have already combined to have two double-digit strikeout games — something the Giants did only six times last year — and they’re still on an innings restriction. And, you know, we’re five games into the season.
I can’t remember the last time the Giants had a rotation that made you excited for every single game, but it sure is a good time.
In the top of the third inning, Giants first base coach Antoan Richardson was ejected (more on that later), which resulted in an in-game promotion for Alyssa Nakken.
You don’t see that every day, and on this particular day it made history, as Nakken became the first woman in MLB history to act as an on-field coach. What an awesome moment for someone who likely has that as a full-time job in her near future.
Taking over as tonight’s first base coach:— SFGiants (@SFGiants) April 13, 2022
Alyssa Nakken pic.twitter.com/YN7vpYnu7q
Very, very cool.
But all those fun things just serve as an appetizer for everyone’s favorite topic: unwritten rules!
The Giants apparently broke some of them. The first came all the way back in the second inning, when Steven Duggar stole second base with a 10-1 lead, which the Padres apparently weren’t too keen on. Should’ve stole third as well, says I.
But the real offense occurred in the sixth inning when Mauricio Dubón — who entered the game as a replacement for Brandon Crawford, who had a sore wrist — had the audacity to try and get on base. In this economy? In this game?
Dubón laid down a perfect bunt to lead off the inning, and easily beat it out for a single.
This resulted in a serious case of fragile men being publicly upset.
The Padres aren't thrilled that Mauricio Dubon bunted for a hit with a nine-run lead: pic.twitter.com/Jy7yrFeDwR— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) April 13, 2022
OK calm down Karen, save your glares for something that matters.
The extended glares from Bob Melvin and Associates lasted the entire inning, and Kruk and Kuip spent the entire time talking about unwritten rules and how Dubón had given the Padres something to rally around. The point they kept returning to was that instead of leaving the ballpark angry at how they played, the Padres would jump on the team bus and collectively be angry at evil Mauricio Dubón, a 170-pound man with a permanent smile and a pug named Chorizo.
And while Kruk and Kuip went on about it, I found myself just laughing and saying, “really?”
That’s not being critical of the Giants broadcasters. Their job is to relay the narratives and info, and, based on the faces in the Padres dugout, their info was correct. It’s just ... really?
How fragile can one collection of chest thumpers be?
Really fragile, it turns out, because now we return to the curious case of Antoan Richardson, as no one during the game was able to find out why he’d been ejected.
And then we found out.
A bit more info: it appears Antoan Richardson was ejected after he had words with Padres third base coach Mike Shildt after the second inning. Shildt was presumably complaining about Steven Duggar stealing second base with the Giants up 10-1 in the second inning.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) April 13, 2022
Imagine watching a team score 10 runs in two innings and then getting mad at them for trying to score more because obviously you’re not going to be able to score 10 runs in seven innings, am I right?
Anyway, if there’s one thing I love, it’s a good ol’ switcheroo that hits you in the feels, and the Giants hilarious flirtation with the unwritten rules offered that. As the inning came to a close, cameras focused on Gabe Kapler having a pretty animated talk at Dubón when he returned to the dugout. I, like everyone, surmised that Dubi was getting ripped into a little bit.
When Kapler spoke to Dubon in the dugout, he wasn’t chastising him. “I told him good job.”— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) April 13, 2022
Gabe Kapler said he 100 percent supports Mauricio Dubon stealing second there. Said Giants have talked of keeping pressure on other teams and their bullpens, which can help win next day’s game. On Dubon bunt: “The goal of baseball is to not make an out.”— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) April 13, 2022
I quite adore this baseball team.
But the Giants weren’t done. Despite the steam flying out of his ears, Melvin offered the Giants an opportunity to stick their tongues out at him when he moved position player Wil Myers to the mound for the eighth inning (side note: the Giants forcing the Padres to use position players to keep their pitchers alive for Wednesday’s day game is exactly why they kept their foot on the gas).
Now I haven’t talked to Melvin, but I presume, based on his actions at prior moments in the game, that he expected the Giants to offer up some half swings at Myers’ half pitches. To politely decline if Myers attempted to walk them or give them a nice pitch to hit at.
Instead, Joc Pederson saw a 63-mph pitch and spat on it. And then Wilmer Flores saw a 59-mph pitch and spat on it. And then the Giants collectively spat on the Padres.
Mind you, neither of those were the best moment in Tuesday’s compilation of position players pitching, as we have to go to the National League East for that distinction.
Dee Strange-Gordon takes out Travis d'Arnaud with vicious HBP. pic.twitter.com/LLHLURlApQ— Baseball GIFs (@gifs_baseball) April 13, 2022
Tyler Beede finally got into a game and it went exactly as you would expect: He had high-90s heat, displayed some mesmerizing kill pitches, generally couldn’t locate his pitches, and walked three batters in two innings.
But he kept the Padres off the board, which is the name of the game.
And after two innings of Beede, we got to witness one of our favorite things: an MLB debut, this time courtesy of righty Yunior Marte, who pitched a scoreless ninth.
Welcome to the big leagues, Yunior.
And welcome to the big leagues, Bob Melvin. Let us know if you need directions to the tissues.