June 20, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Nori Aoki (23) runs to third in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants did it again. Beat L.A., that is.
So far they’ve won the series, but they didn’t sw**p them—I can’t even say the word, because the baseball gods have a wicked sense of humor.
Am I superstitious? No more than the usual baseball nut. I mean, everyone has a collection of troll dolls who require more product for their orange hair than Brandon Crawford uses, right? I don’t want to see any posts predicting…well, you know…no pictures of brooms and no memes until after—and only if…
The Giants took the win Saturday using the Dodgers’ method: the long ball. In fact, the Dodgers gave the Giants a little demonstration during the home half of the first inning, launching back-to-back jacks, which tied the game. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The Giants jumped out in front right away, and they did it Giants-style: by cobbling—and then as it turns out, hobbling—runs together. See, the Giants were raised in AT&T Park, a pitchers ball park, which means—with some exceptions—that home runs are tough to come by. The solution: play small ball.
Nori Aoki led off the first inning and was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch. He was knocked down and it took several minutes before he got his feet beneath him, walked a bit, then jogged over to first. Joe Panik followed with a double, advancing Aoki to third base, but you could see there was a little limp to his stride.
Angel Pagan hit a sac fly that had enough juice in it for Aoki to tag up and make it home. Panik advanced to third and later scored when Buster Posey hit another sac fly. Hey, it worked for Pagan, why not do it again?
Crawford was the Giants lead-off batter in the second inning and like Aoki, he was hit by a pitch. The umpire called it a ball, and Bochy asked for a review, the call was overturned, and Crawford took his base. Crawford got off a bit easier, considering. After the game Bruce Bochy answered reporters questions about Aoki’s hurt ankle—the x-rays were negative, it’s bruised and they’ll take it day to day.
Tim Hudson settled in after giving up that two spot in the first, holding L.A. to that total through five and one-third innings. Hudson helped himself out when he was at the plate too, hitting a single in the fifth and scoring when Justin Maxwell followed up with a home run.
In the sixth, Posey drew a walk, bringing up Brandon Belt, who has been experiencing some struggles at the plate lately. But not this time. He was all over an offering from starter Carlos Frias, booming it off the top of the wall for a two-run homer. Welcome back to the home-run club, Baby Giraffe. The final score was: Giants 6, Dodgers 2
So when I say the Giants won the series, it sounds like I’m putting the cart before the horse, doesn’t it? But I’m not—this is a three-game series, so, yeah, I can say the Giants won the series because this is what the French call a fait accompli, or, as I like to say—a done deal. The only reason we’re allowed to speak about it is because it’s already happened. But the other thing? Not until it actually happens. So we’re all agreed? Good. Shhh…Don’t jinx it!