If you watched just the beginning of this game, or just the later half, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were two different games.
It started off as a great day of baseball for the Giants in Detroit, with J.D. Davis putting on a show and knocking in three runs, including a two-run homer. Blake Sabol also had a two-run shot of his own. The Giants had a 6-1 lead after the third inning, with the only Tigers run being a home run from Kerry Carpenter off of starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani in the second inning.
DeSclafani himself had yet another strong start, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits with five strikeouts in six and two thirds innings. It should have been a great day for all of them.
The Giants couldn’t score another run to save their lives, despite multiple baserunners in late and extra innings.
Brandon Crawford had two errors in a row. One that allowed the third run of the game to score. But he was not alone in struggling on defense today. The Giants handled the ball like it was made of lava. Fumbling and stumbling around like baby deer learning to walk while also having lava baseballs shot at them.
That might have been okay if the bullpen could hold a three-run lead. But in the eighth inning, John Brebbia gave up a single and walked the next batter to bring up Javier Báez with no outs. It was at this point that I predicted a repeat of last Saturday’s collapse, telling my best friend Báez would likely hit a game-tying home run. He did not, but he did hit a line drive over the head of a pirouetting Sabol in left field that scored both runners.
This knocked Brebbia out of the game, and brought in Sean Hjelle who got Carpenter to fly out, but gave up a single to local boy Spencer Torkelson to tie the game.
In the 10th inning, the Giants had Mike Yastrzemski on second to start the inning followed by a walk from Davis. The next three batters went down in order. The 11th inning saw Crawford at second to start things off, and saw David Villar reach on a walk with one out. And yet, no score.
The Tigers did not have that problem in the bottom of the inning. Torkelson started on second, and took third on a wild pitch from Taylor Rogers (who replaced Tyler Rogers, important to note these things). All it took was a base hit up the middle, splitting the defense, for Miguel Cabrera to walk it off.
Immediately after the game was over, I struggled to wrap my brain around how to write a recap of it that wasn’t a single sentence: “Anthony DeSclafani deserved better.”