Perhaps the obituaries for the San Francisco Giants season were a bit premature. With a 5-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, the Giants have now won seven of their last eight games. And while they’re very much out of the playoff picture as currently constructed, we all know how much Rob Manfred likes to change rules and implement them immediately.
What if he decides to opt for a fourth Wild Card team in each league? Or perhaps, wanting to try and leech some of that sweet, sweet football viewership, or help Aaron Judge set some records, he’ll wake up tomorrow and add 30 games to the schedule.
Either of these things would put the Giants right back in it, since apparently they’re a good baseball team again. Here’s hoping they hit the pause button on that and restart it in March.
Logan Webb pitched in a way that made me remember that he’s only going to pitch one more time this season, and then I got sad.
As much as his dominant starts — such as when he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Rockies in his last start — are fun, Webb’s resilience seems to be one of his most admirable traits.
Here’s how his night started:
Here’s how his night ended:
Webb looked like he didn’t have it in the first inning. He let the Rockies strike first. He needed 27 pitches just to get out of the inning. He looked on the verge of disaster.
But he held Colorado to a single run.
A single run that the Giants would get back on the very first pitch they saw, as Joc Pederson lifted a fly ball that the McCovey Cove gods and goddesses blew over the fence to the surprise and delight of (almost) everyone.
That was just the start of a fortuitous inning. The next batter, Thairo Estrada, hit a ground ball that was kicked, allowing him to take not just one, but two bases. The fortuitousness was in the free bases from the defense, but also in the free stat from the official scorekeeper, who awarded Estrada a double.
Take it, Thairo.
Take it he did, and then he took third on a fly ball and then he took home on a fly ball and then the Giants had the lead.
While Webb plodded away, the Giants added another run in very rare fashion: on a home run from a right-handed hitter that went right of center field, courtesy of J.D. Davis.
The “J.D.” stands for “Just Dingers,” apparently, and I promise I wrote that copy before seeing and embedding the above tweet, where the Giants had the same vision I did. I will also accept “Just Dongs” and “Jesus, Dude.”
And they added their nightly allotment of Brandon Crawford doing ridiculous ish with his glove.
Your nightly Brandon Crawford Gold Glove play pic.twitter.com/RzwD3PWxyY— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 28, 2022
And then, while Tyler Rogers was working two masterful innings and Scott Alexander was mercifully providing another exclamation point in his answer to the question, “who the hell will the lefty relievers be next year?” the Giants added on.
Added on! What a concept.
The first run they scored in the seventh inning came on two of my favorite plays in baseball: a nonsense triple (courtesy of Pederson), and a catcher (Joey Bart) scoring from first.
The Giants may have had a disappointing season. They may have nothing to play for. They may be bad.
But watch this and tell me you don’t love the freaking heck out of baseball. I dare you.
One Estrada single later, and the Giants had a 5-1 lead. Which, it turns out, they kind of needed.
Because Camilo Doval, brilliant reliever that he is, continues to pay homage to Brian Wilson, even though we’ve all repeatedly told him that he can give up the impression now. And so Doval ceded two hits and two walks in the ninth, allowing a run to score, and allowing the bases to be loaded, with the tying run on first, before he finally decided to button his shirt, do up his belt, pack the Lunchables in his lunch box, and head to work.
99-mph sinker, strike one.
88-mph slider, strike two.
101-mph cutter, foul.
102-mph cutter, strike three.
Ball game. The Giants pulled to within two games of .500 with eight games remaining. It’s not the race we were looking for, but just be thankful that this team is fun to watch again.