The San Francisco Giants just seem to find a way to win. The Washington Nationals think of the Giants as “contact-crazy, pesky” players that somehow, inexplicably, managed to get the job done, 3-2, Friday afternoon in Washington. But the truth of the matter is, contact is the name of the game, and whereas hitting upper-deck home runs certainly wakes up the crowd, hitting singles brings home the bacon.
Well, the Giants butchered the hog and delivered it at the feet of Jake Peavy, Friday in DC, as they intruded on the plans of Nationals, for at least one game. However, Nationals fans realize that losing the opener of a five game series, at home, even with an award-winning majestic round-tripper, is not an auspicious beginning to the playoffs for the Nats.
Aug 7, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavy (43) pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
It’s not that the Giants eschew the home run in favor of small ball, as the Pirates will attest to, it’s just that they are experienced enough to recognize that there are many different ways to skin a Nat. Facing a red-hot Stephen Strasburg, the Giants stuck to putting the ball in play, based on where it was pitched. More importantly, they used measured, level swings-even Pablo Sandoval-and also tossed in a bunt for good luck.
No one Giants player feels he has to win the game with one stroke of the bat. Hey, you miss out on some of the personal glory of hitting the big fly, but the Giants have won two world championships, following a philosophy that puts the team first. And putting the team first means making contact, hitting the ball hard, and then scampering around the bases until it’s time to stop. They have each others’ back.
So the Giants played small-ball in Washington and struck out only two times against the National League’s strikeout leader. They hit ten singles, a double and a big triple, with no upper deck home runs, and won a close game on hostile grounds.
Following this line of reasoning, the Giants have won a National League record nine consecutive games. That does nothing to guarantee a win in the second game of the series, on Saturday, but it has sure has kept the team well-stocked in bacon for their BLT’s.
Hunter Pence likes his with kale and avocado.