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Giants walk their way to a win

The Giants drew nine walks and beat the Royals 6-2.

Darin Ruf trotting to first base Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

You know where to find the play by play for the San Francisco Giants 6-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night. But just in case you don’t, or if you want to save time, I can direct you there.

The point being, you don’t need me to dryly spell out to you the batter-by-batter sequence.

But I’m going to anyway, to illustrate a point. Here are the first 32 batters of the game for the Giants. I can’t color code things in these articles, but I’m still going to code them: boring, normal fonts are outs. Italics are hits. Bolds are freebies.

First 32 batters:

Luis González flied out
Mike Yastrzemski struck out
Darin Ruf struck out
Joc Pederson struck out
Brandon Crawford walked
Thairo Estrada double played
Tommy La Stella flied out
Donovan Walton flied out
Austin Wynns doubled
Luis González walked
Mike Yastrzemski walked
Darin Ruf walked
Joc Pederson walked
Brandon Crawford lined out
Thairo Estrada grounded out
Tommy La Stella grounded out
Donovan Walton struck out
Austin Wynns flied out
Luis González struck out
Mike Yastrzemski doubled
Darin Ruf grounded out
Austin Slater walked
Brandon Crawford struck out
Thairo Estrada singled
Evan Longoria walked
Donovan Walton hit by pitch
Austin Wynns popped out
Luis González flied out
Mike Yastrzemski flied out
Darin Ruf walked
Austin Slater walked
Brandon Crawford doubled

That was a silly exercise, I’ll admit. But look at all those congested freebies! We know the Giants can draw walks like few other teams in baseball, but it’s still wild to see it happen in such outrageous clusters.

The entered the third inning trailing 2-0. They got two quick outs and then a double. And then they walked four straight times, twice on four-pitch walks, once on a five-pitch walk, and once on a six-pitch walk.

The opposing pitcher, Brady Singer, had faced 145 batters this season prior to the game. He’d walked four of them. And then, in a span of four batters and 19 pitches, he walked four more of them.


That’s how the Giants tied it.

They took the lead when Estrada supplemented the walks with a hit.

And they expanded the lead when Crawford supplemented the walks with a bigger hit.

But the Royals weren’t done issuing freebies. In the eighth inning, after doubling, Luis González took third base on a wild pitch and, after Salvador Pérez opted to throw the ball to the left fielder instead of the third baseman (not the correct way to baseball, my guy), González strutted his way 90 feet down the line.

The Giants didn’t win solely because the Royals were being charitable. Alex Wood pitched delightfully well, allowing just five baserunners in six innings, and needing only 80 pitches.

Mauricio Llovera, Jake McGee, and Camilo Doval dusted through the KC lineup with nary a concern nor a hiccup. The defense was as crisp as a slightly underripe apple on a cool fall day.

But the Royals handed the Giants nine walks, a hit batter, an error, and two wild pitches. Because they are a bad team, and that is what bad teams sometimes do.

The Giants countered with one walk, no hit batters, no errors, and no wild pitches. Because they are a good team, and that is what good teams sometimes do.

When a team hands you victory you can’t dismiss it as them beating themselves, because guess what? The Giants didn’t beat themselves.

And that, my friends, is a skill in and of itself.