What a difference a few rounds make.
When the San Diego Padres led the San Francisco Giants 6-3 in the eighth inning, I started writing this recap. That was my opening sentence:
This game was silly in a lot of ways, because once the San Diego Padres took a four-point lead it was like a done deal that the San Francisco Giants would lose.
And now, two innings later, all I can think of is how fun and invincible this Giants team is.
Okay, so maybe I’m overreacting (I’m definitely overreacting). Hyperbole aside, it was a sensational, magnificent, very memorable game that we will remember for the duration of the season, which is both very long and very short.
So how did we get to this, “there” being a place where I’m pushed to profess my love for Mike Yastrzemski and Donovan Solano in the title? Well let’s skip this part because it’s not as much fun. Just know that the Padres once again hit a disastrously loud pair of home runs that got you thinking “fuck, I wish the Giants would make a dinger.”
In all fairness, the giants fact. They had solo shots from Yastrzemski in the third inning and Alex Dickerson in the sixth, and just like that, the team had doubled their home run production this year.
But since the rest of the offense was virtually useless, those two home runs were only worth two points combined, even though the Padres got five points on theirs.
So fast forward to the eighth round. The track of the giants 6-3. A Dickerson walk sandwiched between the strikeouts gives the Giants one goal, but two strikeouts. Brandon Crawford finds the right lawn for a bachelor, and your pessimistic mind thinks, “great, sure, they’re going to bring the race tied to the plate, just to play with me when we all know they’ll fail.”
Part of what makes a difference is knowing that they will fail. Once you think you know what’s going on, it ceases to be true. This is how they got you.
And by “they” I mean “Donovan Solano”.
I screamed. I’m not ashamed to admit it.
In ninth we go, and Tyler Rogers had his best run of the year, making up for a walk by bouncing Tommy Pham in a double play.
And so we’re heading down the ninth, with the Giants having only one path to victory: a start.
Yastrzemski has led the way and let me start by saying that Yastrzemski has entered the game as the best giant of this young season. And when he got to ninth he was already 2-4 with a home run.
And on the sixth pitch of the bat, a high fastball and from a left-handed pitcher, Yastrzemski absolutely pitched one.
One of the most intriguing storylines of the year was whether Yastrzemski could maintain the stellar game he brought to the Giants a year ago. Even then, players do not suddenly break in their late 20s very often and it is durable.
We’re only six games away, but he picked up where he left off and then some. He was the only giant to start every match, and he hit .409 / .500 / .773.
He can hit.
If you’ve watched NBC Sports Bay Area shows, you may have noticed a new sponsored segment. It happens every year because companies want to donate money to broadcasting stations to try and pretend that a consumer product perfectly reflects a niche baseball game.
You know the guy: “This groped double game turned into a single game brought to you by Diet Twizzlers, the perfect snack to almost turn a double game” and “Now is the time for our warning track to exit the game, brought to you by the used Fiat dealership in Cupertino. That sort of thing.
The flavor of the year 2020 is the Roman Split Screen, where a coin is presented from multiple angles at the same time, with a giant Roman logo. Roman is a men’s health brand, meaning they are a viagra seller throwing in some hair growth products to show off.
Regardless, the Roman Split Screen was a replay of the home run of Dickerson, the man who induces a phallic chant in the dugout canoe every time he hits a home run.
To be honest, he put wood on that ball. Really stroked the central field wall, which is a tough place to hit a home run.
Tyler Anderson picked two runners in one run which isn’t something I ever remember.
Not only did he pick two runners, but the second – Fernando Tatis Jr. – was almost taken out an earlier pitch, prompting broadcasters to say, “Anderson would have had him with a better pitch.”
And then he had a better shot.
If you’re a Padres fan you probably thought they were both reluctant which blah blah blah tell someone who cares.
They were really reluctant, just… tell someone who cares.