Sunday was shaping up to be a real bummer of a day in the Bay until Thairo Estrada leaned back and golfed a first pitch sinker into the bleachers for a walk off 2-run homer that rescued the Giants’ 3 game sweep over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
THAIRO FOR THE WIN pic.twitter.com/iI1IxjpuOZ— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 14, 2022
Missed match-ups, double clutches, free bases, bad throws, blown leads, a dropped pop fly—in the latter half of the afternoon game against the Bucs, it appeared that neither team showed a particular interest in winning.
The San Francisco Giants saw a 5-0 lead in the 5th dwindle, disappear and transform into a 6-5 deficit in two innings and two waves of Bryan Reynolds’s bat. A tired John Brebbia looked particularly unkempt in the 7th, surrendering 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk to the four batters he faced. Bryan Reynolds’s bash towards Berkeley being the final beard-scratcher.
The inning was eerily similar to a 3-run fifth in which a single from number 9 hitter Jason Delay turned the lineup over on starter Alex Wood who then walked leadoff man Kevin Newman before being ambushed on the first pitch by Reynolds for a 2-RBI double.
Reynolds went 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored and 5 RBIs on the day (which I’m pretty sure is Andrew McCutchen’s RBI total for his half-season tenure in the Orange-and-Black). It could’ve been worse too: he came up with the bases loaded and 2-outs in the 2nd before flying out to Mike Yastrzemski in center to end the inning.
Down a run in the 7th, a 2-out and 2-on Brandon Crawford popup wiggled around three outstretched gloves to find grass, and grace, in shallow center. The cardinal sin of that inning for the Pirates: lefty Eric Stout missing the matchup advantage by walking lefty Mike Yastrzemski on four pitches to push Wilmer Flores into scoring position.
WHOOPS pic.twitter.com/Wnrgcjh0BI— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 14, 2022
The “RBI double” somewhat undeservedly tied the game…but don’t worry, Evan Longoria had no problem sending that run right back to Pittsburgh via a priority mail overnight shipping no signature needed throwing error in the 9th that allowed the Pirates to retake the lead.
The coaching staff has been pretty cautious with Longoria in his recovery. He hasn’t played a lot of defense in his return. The dribbler up the line was the first ball hit his way of the day and his skill in palming it was admirable and for a brief moment as he slung his arm back to prepare for the off balance throw it felt like 2009 again—but 13 years of wear and tear and a nasty shoulder injury can rear its head pretty quick, and Longo was lucky the throw to first didn’t end up over the protective netting and in the stands.
That misfire felt as though Lady Justice had evened her scales and found level. An error for an error. A run for a run. The Pirates leap-frogged a stagnant Giants offense in the late innings and deserved the win. We play 9 innings in the Big Leagues. Every team gets their ups, their 27 outs.
But it’s 2022 and justice is dead.
In the 9th, a fumbled exchange on a tailor made double-play ball meant Pittsburgh had to settle for one out with the tying run still on first. The scales went wonky on the next pitch. Let’s watch it again.
San Francisco finished off a weekend sweep of the Pirates with an 8-7 walk-off win. Neither team played clean baseball, but we’re at the point in the season in which neither team has the benefit of caring about that.
The Giants especially are going to be face down in the mud day in and day out for the next month and a half. There will be no whistling in the elevator, no evening strolls. Even the sunny Summer Sunday games are going to burn their retinas and have them upchucking in the outfield from sun poisoning.
It’s going to be a real dog and really fun to watch—especially if things go the way they did today.
No matter what, Wilmer and the Giants will continue to fight pic.twitter.com/wf0Tkoy9j9— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 14, 2022
Yikes. I got through this whole recap without mentioning LaMonte’s bomb.
STAY HOT, LAMONTE pic.twitter.com/0tUBvSPaao— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 14, 2022
Home runs are like bananas—they come in bunches. (Nailed it). LaMonte has 4 in his last 7 games.
Also really dig Mark Hallberg airing on the side of “what the hell” by sending both Brandon Crawford and Joc Pederson home on two separate base hits to the corner.
Craw scores from first base pic.twitter.com/55hi6BxvxL— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 14, 2022
It’s the time of year to get aggressive and make opposing teams make plays. The throw beat Crawford but the bounce was too high and hairy to handle.
Shortstop Oneil Cruz had visions of another StatCast Twitter frenzy on his relay to home to hose Pederson but he double-clutched the ball and it came in late.
Two risks. Two runs. What do we have to lose?