The San Francisco Giants entered Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers riding a high. A high that came from a five-homer win on Monday, featuring a multi-homer game from the newest Giant, Lewis Brinson.
Brinson led off the second game of the series. He saw one pitch from former Giant Tyler Anderson, who had faced 586 batters this year and given up just 11 home runs.
He did this to it:
On Monday, Brinson’s first at-bat went much differently. He almost hit a home run, but pulled it a tiny bit foul. He almost hit a double, but pulled it a tiny bit foul. And then he struck out.
As I wrote about yesterday, it felt like it was going to be a metaphor for the game. You assumed the Giants would be so close yet so far, maddening you with their ability to almost score, and saddening you with their ability to be much worse than the Dodgers.
And then the opposite happened.
Fittingly, after Brinson’s first-pitch home run, you got optimistic. This team had hit five homers the day before, after all. They were on a four-game winning streak. They now apparently employ the best hitter in baseball. Another fun win felt in the cards.
And then the opposite happened.
The Giants did not continue their magic. They did not outplay the much better team that they were facing.
They did not win.
They got up to not winning very quickly. John Brebbia kept the Dodgers off the board in the first inning despite allowing a booming double to Freddie Freeman, one of the Dodgers’ many MVPs they keep in their stable.
But the second inning brought no such success, when the first three batters Jarlín García faced resulted in a double (by a left-handed hitter), a four-pitch walk, and a home run courtesy of lefty Joey Gallo.
And then came the Giant Killer.
Most people don’t know this, but just like Coco Crisp wasn’t actually named Coco Crisp, Max Muncy isn’t actually named Max Muncy. It’s a stage name. A pen name. A diamond name, if you will.
His legal name is actually Giant Killer. No middle name. Just Giant Killer. Muncy entered the game 55-223 against the Giants, with 18 home runs. He left the game 58-227, with 20 home runs. And that double I mentioned a few paragraphs ago? His as well.
Those weren’t exactly fun facts, were they?
Muncy hit a two-run shot off of García in the third inning, and followed it up with a solo blast against Dominic Leone in the sixth inning. Lovely stuff, really, and all the runs the Dodgers would need, plus a few more.
It wasn’t all bad for the Giants during those 235 pitches that turned a lead into a loss. David Villar had a two-hit day for the second-straight night. Joey Bart returned to the lineup and singled. The pitchers retired nine straight hitters to end the game. Brandon Crawford hit a Steph Curry-esque moonshot to right field.
For your listening pleasure: the Mike Krukow home run call ️ pic.twitter.com/YdjO9ADVbj— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 7, 2022
But after Brinson saw — and obliterated — that first pitch, it never really felt like the Giants were in it. They were playing a better team, and they were looking like they were playing a better team.
They’re not on the Dodgers level. And while baseball produces wacky results all over the show, sometimes it makes sense. A 6-3 loss made sense.