Jun 16, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Matt Duffy (5) celebrates after scoring a run during the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
Five straight losses. Consecutive. Nine losses at home. In a row. If it sounds redundant, it’s because it felt redundant. Is it the June Swoon? Could be. It felt like we’ve been playing bottom of the ninth, two outs, bases loaded, tying run at the plate for a week now. Somebody hit it out of the park already!
Well, Matt Duffy did.
It was a pretty quiet afternoon—I expected screaming in the stands, or at least dancing like that kid yesterday—considering the Giants pulled out in front early and stayed there throughout the game. Things got a little noisier in the eighth inning. The magical, mystical eighth inning.
Angel Pagan started the noise-making, but it wasn’t shouts of joy. We were in the bottom of the eighth with a 3–2 lead and one out. Pagan was making his fourth plate appearance of the game. His first two appearances ended with the dreaded double play—one in the first inning and one in the third inning. Fortunately, those were the only two Giants GIDPs of the game. His third at-bat ended much better—with a single that plated Andrew Susac.
In the eighth, Pagan took exception to the home plate umpire’s call on a pitch that he thought was a ball, but was called a strike. So he argued with the ump and got tossed right in the middle of his at bat. Bruce Bochy came out, as Bochy always does, to back his guy and he got the heave-ho too.
Jarrett Parker finished Pagan’s at bat by striking out, but the ejection served a good purpose—it got the rest of the guys fired up, and maybe even rattled the Mariner’s pitcher. Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford were up next and they both both drew walks, bringing up Duffy.
Duffy already had my vote for player of the game. In the second inning, with one out and Buster on board, Duffy hit a high fly ball that started Duane Kuiper’s call—you know the one I’m talking about—the one that’s music to a Giants fan’s ears: “high and deep to left…it. is. outta here!” Tell me that doesn’t give you goosebumps.
So here we are, bottom of the eighth, two men on, two outs, and the player of the game at the plate. Duffy hit a little blooper to center field, scoring Buster and keeping the inning alive for the next Giants hitter—who turned out to be Casey McGehee.
McGehee, our much-maligned former starting third baseman, was brought in to pinch hit for Sergio Romo. Because I have a firm grasp on the obvious, my first thought was that McGehee needed a good at-bat. He’s had a rough season and some Giants fans have taken to bashing McGehee like he’s their personal version of a whack-a-mole. When he hit the ball out to right field, I thought “oh no, it’s gonna be caught,” but the Mariner’s outfielder didn’t get to it. When the dust settled McGehee had one of my favorites: a two–out, two–RBI, two–bagger. I just love saying that.
Tim Lincecum had a decent outing—he pitched five and two-thirds innings and gave up two runs on five hits (including a home run) and four walks. He struck out three. The bullpen was lights out for three and a third innings and Santiago Casilla shut it down to give Timmy the win.
How about an award for the defensive play of the game? That goes to Brandon Belt. Belt played left field—something Bochy has tried in the past, with lukewarm results. Belt never looked comfortable out there. But today’s game, in the second inning, Belt was shaded over to left center when the ball was hit close to the foul line. That baby giraffe galloped over toward the wall like he was being chased by a lion on the Serengeti—and he caught the ball mid-flight. It was a great play—no, it was an amazing play. The final score was: Giants 6, Seattle 2
There. That’s much better. The Giants are taking their show on the road, and since we do much better on the road…no, I’m not going to come right and claim the Giants will win, because that would just jinx us. But, I will say this, and you hear me say it a lot—I like our chances.