Veteran reliever David Robertson looked poised to close out the 9th and preserve the 3-3 tie after rebounding from a lead-off walk to Bryce Johnson by striking out Luis González and Mike Yastrzemski.
The exasperation of extra innings started to settle in over the crowd when Flores jumped a first-pitch, center-cut slider, neatly tucking the liner inside the left field foul pole for a 2-run homer and the 5-3 win.
"Right over the 339 marker, into the tunnel, headed out to The Embarcadero for a night on the town."— KNBR (@KNBR) September 5, 2022
- Jon Miller, September 4th 2022 pic.twitter.com/8fxJHtBobQ
It was San Francisco’s first walk-off homer in…well, not that long ago. About three weeks if we’re using time as a straight-line, chronological measurement.
If time, maybe more accurately, were used as a rubbery band that stretched and jumped and bent measuring of pain, longing, frustration, etc than Brandon Crawford’s 2-run homer on August 16th occurred ages ago. A period of reserved, but legitimate, hope. A time before a four-game losing streak tailed hotly by a seven game one.
The joy of a walk-off is still legitimate. It just won’t make the San Francisco Giants 2022 season DVD because there won’t be one. No one necessarily wants to relive much from this season and no one buys DVDs anymore.
Rodón gets out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts pic.twitter.com/pP2g6HEAtb— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 4, 2022
Sunday was Carlos Rodón and he threw his typical 6 shutout innings of fiery, K-bagging baseball. He minimized potential damage on 5 hits and 2 walks by striking out 10.
His most impressive inning came in the 6th when Philadelphia had runners at 2nd and 3rd with nobody out and Rodón struck out Bryce Harper, walked J.T. Realmuto to load the bases before fanning Jean Segura and Bryson Stott to escape the jam unscathed.
In the inning notching both his 10th strikeout of the game and his 200th on the season. It was Rodón’s 9th double-digit strikeout performance of the year, tying the New York/San Francisco franchise record.
But it isn’t a Rodón start without a sparse offense and a hiccuping bullpen. The Giants knocked 3 runs off Phillie starter Ranger Suarez in the 4th with help from two BBs and three singles from LaMonte Wade Jr., Austin Wynns and Bryce Johnson, the outfielder’s first Major League hit.
First career hit for Bryce Johnson pic.twitter.com/5c50KS5s48— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 4, 2022
The 3 run lead was eventually undermined by a J.T. Realmuto 3-run homer off reliever John Brebbia in the 8th before Flores’s reclamation.
The home run also saved the bullpen and the rest of the roster from the unwanted slog of extra innings as the team will have to play 11 games in the next 10 days, with a series in Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Chicago before returning home to play Atlanta.
Don’t be surprised if time drags on during this one. It wouldn’t be shocking if Sunday’s walk off feels like a century ago by Wednesday’s game against the Dodgers.
But I don’t want to dismiss the fact that the Giants played well against a playoff contending team in Philadelphia. A blow-out win, a back-and-forth contest and a walk-off—this weekend’s been fun and it’s nice to see some (semi) fresh faces like Lewis Brinson and Bryce Johnson get some big league hacks.
Fun and nice. Not the most vibrant of descriptors—I’ve clearly settled somewhat this season and that’s okay.