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Giants embrace the power of the small ball rally

The Giants beat the Rockies 9-2 with a lot of small ball.

Luis González awkwardly diving into third base Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 9-2 on Tuesday night, and now that we’ve gotten that important detail out of the way, let’s discuss how they got those runs, because it would make the 1960s very, very proud (and what are we doing here if not that?).

I’m gonna skip the narratives. You don’t need to know the tension. You don’t care for the almosts and the so closes and the fakeouts. You care about the nine runs. So here’s how they were scored:

Run No. 1 — Luis González infield single

Run No. 2 — Curt Casali/backup catcher single
Run No. 3 — Error on said single by Curt Casali/backup catcher

Run No. 4 — LaMonte Wade Jr. fielder’s choice
Run No. 5 — Brandon Belt double (hey, that’s more normal)

Run No. 6 — Austin Slater walk
Run No. 7 — Curt Casali/backup catcher walk
Run No. 8 — LaMonte Wade Jr. sacrifice fly
Run No. 9 — Thairo Estrada double (hey, that’s more normal)

If you’re keeping score at home (and you should be, what else are you doing at this hour?), that’s two runs on outs, two runs on walks, a run on an infield single, and a run on an error.

That’s how the Little Leaguers do it, and Little League, I’ll have you know, is awesome. Except when it isn’t. But that’s a different story.

I’m fond of this sort of attack. Yeah, home runs are great, and sure, a parade of extra-base hits is one I’d like to attend. But 12 hits — eight singles and four doubles — combined with the mystical power of outs and an opposing defense committed to not playing well is a damn fun way to score nine runs.

I give it the Brady Seal of Approval.

Now hit a minimum of three (3) dingers tomorrow, Giants. Thanks.

On the pitching front, Alex Wood was not the dominant force that Carlos Rodón was on Monday, but he still managed to be more effective at preventing runs. Nothing that Wood did was particularly remarkable, save for the “0” under the column labeled “earned runs.”

It turns out that’s an important one.

He made it through 5.1 innings, but needed 104 pitches to get there. Only 67 of those 104 were strikes, and 12 of those 67 were swings and misses. He gave up seven hits and two walks, and struck out just four.

But again: no earned runs, and the only stain on the resume was an unearned run after a rather fugly error from González, who continues to look like the the next great Giants find when in the batter’s box, and the fourth outfielder on the hungover intramural softball team when in the field.

This is the Alex Wood experience. Sometimes he mows batters down, and sometimes he just uses his funky robotic three-act delivery to keep runs off the board in ways that don’t look particularly sustainable, yet are.

It’s fun. As is the defensive play that Estrada made on Wood’s final out:

Wood left the game with two on and one out in the sixth inning, albeit with a seven-run lead. The Rockies had a chance to make things mildly interesting, especially when Zack Littell allowed a single to load the bases.

Then Littell struck out Garrett Hampson on three pitches and Sam Hilliard on four, and that was that. You knew what the end result of the game would be, you just didn’t know the final score.

Now you do. 9-2.

A few notes from this one:

  • Jarlín García pitched two perfect innings. He’s now 11.1 innings into the season and has yet to allow a run. The Giants aren’t putting him in many high-leverage situations, but that might change soon.
  • This happened:
  • Jake McGee got a chance to avenge Monday’s garbage time roughness with another garbage time appearance. He gave up a triple and a run, and generally looked quite hittable, but his fastball was the fastest we’ve seen it all season.
  • Casali was 3-3 with a walk. That was quite nice to see.
  • The Giants have won four games in a row and once again look like a very good baseball team. You love to see it.

Dusty Bakers for everyone.