I don’t have a flashy, thrilling recap like I did for Friday’s game. Because the San Francisco Giants didn’t have a flashy, exciting game. There was no lost lead. There were no stolen home runs. There was no additional sleeve theater.
Other than the opponent, there was nothing particularly noteworthy about the Giants’ 11-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
That’s not to say it was a boring game – none of that. The Giants played exceptionally well, and it’s never boring unless you … listen, there’s no right way to endure, but if your team is playing well is boring, maybe it’s time to find a new hobby.
It was just a straightforward, high-quality, compelling baseball win from a team that racked up more in the first two months than you had expected for the entire season.
A week after registering just 3 hits against Julio Urías, while striking out 10 hits on strikes, the Giants had 11 hits against Urías and only struck out 5.
They had 16 hits, including 7 for extra bases. They shot 5 walks to 11 strikeouts. Logan Webb, returning from the 10-day injured list, allowed just 2 baserunners – one hit and one batter hit – in 5 innings, while striking out 7.
Matt Wisler put out 4 of the 6 batters he faced. The Giants won as comfortably as they could against a ridiculously talented team that overcame a 3-point deficit in the ninth inning the night before.
They just played good baseball and were rewarded with good results. It was simple.
Of course, the hindsight is 20/20. It’s easy to sit here now, on my lovely pink lounge chair from where I write when I’m feeling too classy for my plebeian desk, and go through the score in the box and think it’s alright past.
This was not the case.
There were a few moments that made you question the Giants’ ability to win. Last year they just didn’t have enough talent to have a margin for error – if they weren’t playing perfectly they couldn’t beat good teams. This is not the case this year.
Austin Slater led the game with a single, but was eliminated trying to steal second place on a 3-0 count. Buster Posey hit what would have been an RBI double on the next pitch. The Giants wouldn’t score in the inning.
In the third inning, with the Giants leading 3-1, Donovan Solano made mistakes not just on back-to-back hitting but on back-to-back shots. The Dodgers scored a run as Webb didn’t allow a single base runner on his stats card.
In the sixth inning, the Giants turned to the bullpen when Webb had thrown just 62 rather brilliant shots. This has always been the plan, and I will never lament or criticize the Giants for prioritizing health over victory, but that’s exactly what it was. And it manifested itself when Scott Kazmir and José Álvarez both allowed two runs.
But the Giants got around those issues. Quite easily, I would say. And while they still lost twice as many games as they won against the Dodgers this year, it highlighted the difference between this year’s Giants team and the three or four teams. last years. In the past, the Giants couldn’t make those mistakes and beat the Dodgers on the road, let alone me, a baseball analytics prodigy, rate their performance as “high quality.”
Still, it was high quality.
With the exception of the pitchers, everyone who has batted for the Giants has had a hit. Most of them were tough. Many of them were loud.
They scored in different ways which is always fun. It was an old-fashioned rally in the second set, when they turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead. Wilmer Flores, Solano, Brandon Crawford and Mauricio Dubón registered singles in back-to-back at-bat appearances, and later in the inning Mike Yastrzemski pulled off a basics-laden walk.
It was a more satisfying rally in the third round when Solano -esh out of his two-error round – blew a two-point dinger over the wall for sweet, sweet redemption.
More hard knocks came later in the game, after the Dodgers threatened a big lead. Perhaps the biggest hit of the day came from Steven Duggar, who came in as a pinch hitter and ended up facing a southpaw with the bases loaded. Duggar has been used as a field player this year, but with Darin Ruf sidelined he made a pretty strong argument for some starts against lefties.
And then a round later, Evan Longoria hit another home run.
These are fun.
Think about where the Giants are now and how you feel for them now, versus where they were and how you felt for them when Albert Pujols’ flying ball was in the air. in the ninth round on Friday night.
It feels good.