Giants Walk Off After Five Hours - 4/15/2014
Happy Jackie Robinson day! Also, its now Bruce Bochy’s birthday BECAUSE THIS GAME TOOK FIVE GOD DAMN HOURS.
Say, do you like games where both teams get a bazillion runners on base and don’t drive any of them in? You don’t? Well too bad, the Giants don’t give a shiny shit. They’re too busy hitting into eighteen thousand double plays and putting 24 runners on base and only driving in three of them.
That’s just some kind of weird, avant-garde modern art. Three times the Giants loaded the bases tonight. They left them loaded all three times. Remember, this team lead the majors in home runs and was in the top three in a runs, RBI and slugging just a week ago. One week is what it takes for a neo-Murderer’s Row to revert back to the unfathomable suck that was the 2011 Giants offense. Which is to say, it took one week for Brandon Belt to stop hitting everything over the fence.
I suppose all I can do is laugh at a game like this. Mostly just because I haven’t slept in nearly 17 hours and I’m pretty much delirious as I’m writing this. This is the sport that I chose. This is the sport that you chose. This isn’t just torture, to beat a dead horse. This is masochism. This is repeatedly being pimp slapped by something you care about. We are Charlie Murphy and baseball is Rick James, just waiting to punch us in the face or jump on our white couch with muddy shoes.
Its not all bad, though. Tim Lincecum started this game. I think. It was like an eon or two ago so my memory is a little fuzzy. His line looked great - five hits, a run, no walks, five strikeouts - but someone must have spiked his pitch count with Jonathan Sanchez. 93 pitches through five innings. His arm is obviously made of flubber - see 148 pitch no-hitter - so its not concerning or anything. Just kind of weird and annoying. If we knew then what we know now, Lincecum probably should have gone out for the sixth inning, even if it was probably ill-advised.
The only blemish to his night was a solo home run to Juan Uribe that came on a hanging slider, which is basically the worst pitch you could possibly throw to Juan Uribe. That’s all he hit in 2010: hanging sliders 15 rows up the bleachers. Still, I’ll take a one run outing is pretty much any form, especially from Lincecum.
After Lincecum came out, Bochy went to David Huff. Who pitched for all of one inning. Oooooooookay then. I have no idea why Huff only threw for an inning. He has experience as a starter and he hadn’t pitched in five days. He could have easily gone two or three innings and would have saved the bullpen a lot of turmoil. Jeremy Affeldt is supposed to be activated tomorrow and I suppose they could snag Heath Hembree or George Kontos from Fresno should the need arrive. Its still a really weird decision.
Of course, it also would have helped if Jean Machi had been in any way effective tonight. He came in for the seventh, gave up a double, a sac bunt and a walk. Javier Lopez couldn’t bail him out, and just like that the Dodgers had the lead 2-1. Juan Gutierrez, the unsung hero of the game, pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball after Lopez was lifted, which allowed Brandon Belt to squeeze one past Juan Uribe to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. Four for you JC.
Then the tenth inning rolled around. It takes special talent to have a runner at second with no one out and strand him. It takes a masterful performance to load the bases with one out against Jamey Wright and walk away empty handed. Its weird how you can hate a team so much even when they just won. On the other hand, that win was incredibly frustrating and the means to the end could have easily been avoided if the Giants could do better than 2-13 with runners in scoring position.
In the end, the real winner is the Giants fans. Well, also Hector Sanchez, who curled up into a rollie-pollie after his fourth (!) career game winning hit, as everyone just kindof fell to the ground around him because they were too tired. Even if we, Giants fans, had to sit through a five hour game, our team won. Imagine how the Dodgers and their fans feel right now. I mean, imagine it for the joy that you should feel at their expense, but also think about the fact that that could have easily been you. Remember how you felt after that monstrosity against the Mets last year, when the Giants signed Jeff Francoeur the next day? That was like taking a punch to the sprouts from a prime years Holyfield. This game? Annoying, sure. Tedious. But the Giants won. They won this game. Somehow.