Baseball can be a beautiful game. Unfortunately, the world can be a horrifyingly ugly place.
This is not really a recap of the San Francisco Giants 13-12 win over the New York Mets which, in a vacuum, is one of the best games of the year. With yet another heartbreaking school shooting taking place earlier in the day, I don’t have it in me to write a traditional recap.
These are the days where I’m reminded that it doesn’t matter. The Giants and Mets traded leads back and forth, and my heart did nothing. The loss that at one point felt inevitable sounded no worse than the win that also did. It’s just a game. It doesn’t matter.
Except in many ways it does. Since I started writing about sports professionally, I’ve found myself talking with fans about what draws them to sports. It’s usually something that has nothing at all to do with the definition of ... well ... sports.
Camaraderie. Hope. Sentimentality. Tradition. And so on and so forth.
A hardcore Golden State Warriors fan texted me on Tuesday. She said she had no interest watching the game. She said she hoped the Dallas Mavericks won, for Texas. She ended up watching the game anyway, with a friend. Not out of interest or investment, but in search of a distraction.
So while I don’t have a recap for you, I will tell — and show — you what happened at Oracle Park. Because maybe you need a distraction. Or maybe you need a reminder of the things that bring you joy. Or maybe you just need a brief pause from everything.
In the second inning, Joc Pederson hit a two-run home run to break a 1-1 tie and give the Giants the lead.
In the fourth inning, Tommy La Stella hit a three-run home run to add to the lead.
In the fifth inning, Pederson hit another two-run home run to really extend the lead.
In the top of the eighth inning, with the Giants leading 8-4, Tyler Rogers took the mound and gave up hits to seven of the eight batters he faced. It felt like there was an error on all seven hits, though technically speaking there wasn’t a single error. The Mets scored seven runs and took an 11-8 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, with the Giants chasing that 11-8 deficit, Pederson hit a two-out home run to tie the game.
In the top of the ninth inning the Mets again took the lead, thanks in part to a leadoff triple by Dominic Smith off of John Brebbia.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Pederson again stepped into the box with two outs and the Giants trailing, and again tied the game.
The next batter, Brandon Crawford, ended the game.