Sometimes it seems like Evan Longoria is the only one who knows anything around these parts.
My my, what a reasonable thing to do! What a surefire way to secure runs! Why didn’t anyone else think of that?
Longoria got in on some interesting third-inning action, too, though it didn’t score a run. But it was weird. And funny. And weird.
Did I mention weird?
Curt Casali walked. With one out, Mike Yastrzemski hit what should have been a double play ball, but was botched by Javier Báez and, to the delight of both Báez and Yaz, ruled a hit.
But Longoria would make Báez pay for his defensive ineptitude, in a way that, if I’m being honest, was pretty rude: by launching a heat-seeking wooden missile at Báez’s fancy feet.
This is odd ... Longo’s broken bat helped him reach first pic.twitter.com/nbDBSlvJBw— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) June 29, 2022
I mean .... look .... that is, technically speaking, a viable means for securing a hit. But it’s funny. And it’s weird. And it’s rude.
But I’m OK with all of those things.
The Giants had the bases loaded and spit on it. Joc Pederson struck out looking, on a pitch that was definitely a strike but he argued about anyway, perhaps to save face. I get it, dude. We’ve all done some variation of that.
Then Brandon Belt worked an 0-2 count full, before blasting a ball the other way that fell a few feet short of being something grand.
Baseball is such a beautiful sport when it’s being kind to you, and such a useless one when it’s not. A few feet from four runs, and instead Belt and the Giants get none. Can’t they get like, two points for almost getting four? A pity run, perhaps?
They tried again in the seventh when Tommy La Stella singled and Wilmer Flores walked to start the inning. According to my advanced book of baseballing, having two runners on with no outs is the third-best situation a team can be in, behind only having the bases loaded with no outs and being at home drinking a beer because you already won.
But Darin Ruf had an unproductive out. LaMonte Wade Jr. followed it with a 185-foot pop up that, bless its heart, found the grass without interruption, loading the bases.
Then Yastrzemski hit what should have been a double play ball (again), only this time he just beat it out to score a run. Hooray! A run!
Longoria walked to load the bases (quite a nice game for him), and then Austin Slater struck out on three pitches to once again leave them full.
Four at-bats with the bases loaded. Four outs. One run.
Meanwhile, Alex Wood was experiencing one of the worst things a pitcher can experience. A shameful and embarrassing act that he did not deserve. Even though it was his fault.
Wood had made it through five innings. He’d allowed just four hits, no walks, and a single run, which had the score tied 1-1. He’d struck out six batters. He was looking mighty swell, which was a much-appreciated comeback after getting rocked beyond rocked in his last outing.
He gave up back-to-back singles to start the sixth, but Gabe Kapler left him in against Riley Greene. It made sense: Wood was dealing other than that small hiccup, and Greene is a lefty.
It also worked out, as Wood ended their battle with a double play. Two out. One on. And a powerful righty in Eric Haase coming up.
Out came Kapler for something he does more than perhaps any other manager: the ol’ catch up. Hang out. Talk it out. See what’s up. Shoot the you know what.
Kapler and Wood talked. About what? Who knows. Perhaps weather. Politics. NBA free agency. What to do when you wake up at three in the morning wondering where the years went and can’t fall back asleep because you’re filled with existential dread and the realization that you and everyone you know will one day be dead, likely without accomplishing half of the things you set out to do.
Things of that nature, perhaps.
Or perhaps about whether Wood felt good enough to stay in and get one more out.
Whatever the discussion, Kapler departed sans Wood. And two pitches later, Haase did the happy avocado dance around the bases.
Just call him Eric HaHaHaase because he's having the last laugh. pic.twitter.com/IKvIMHOVLA— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) June 29, 2022
To be fair to Wood, it wasn’t the worst pitch. It did hang a little more than intended, but it was low and in, which the scouting report says is the place to be against Haase.
But it sure is rough to talk your manager into letting you stay in the game, only to have him come out a mere two pitches later, muttering under his breath, “don’t say ‘I told you so,’ don’t say ‘I told you so.’”
And that was all she wrote.
The Giants left a runner on in the bottom half of the inning. They did that stuff I already mentioned in the seventh. They left a runner on in the eighth. And they barely showed up in the ninth to wish the Tigers a safe trip home.
And they lost, 3-2.