Aug 27, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants infielder Kelby Tomlinson (37) is congratulated by catcher Buster Posey (28) after hitting a grand slam against the Chicago Cubs in the eighth inning at AT&T Park. The Giants defeated the Cubs 9-1. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs for the second time this season. Should I repeat that?
The San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs for the second time this season.
And when you consider how many Giants have been placed on the DL by the Cubs, we owe them a few more.
The latest injury–Matt Duffy‘s ankle–is different. Lucky for the Giants, Duff is made of tuff stuff. Plus, it wasn’t a broken bone like Hunter Pence and Nori Aoki both suffered at the hands of the Cubs pitching staff. No, Duffy sprained his ankle during Wednesday night’s game. His reaction? Tape it up.
Need Duffy for Thursday’s day game? Sure thing, the Dirtbag said, tape it some more. What in the heck did we do before Duffy got here? Oh yeah, that’s right–we had the Kung Fu Panda. Enuff said.
You know the other day when I said Byrd is the word? And so is Bumgarner? Might as well add Kelby, Duffy, Buster, Belt, Aoki, Perez, Peavy….let’s just say the entire Giants roster. 25 men. With one goal. Word.
Didn’t I tell you the Giants are the greatest team in the MLB? They are. Look at Thursday’s game. They got tired of the opponents bashing the ball over the wall in their yard. On Thursday they did a little bashing of their own.
Congrats to Kelby Tomlinson–he got his first big league big fly. The best part about it was the bags were loaded when he hit it. The Cubs pitcher had just walked Marlon Byrd to get to Kelby. You’d think these other pitchers would learn: insult one of our rooks, and odds are they’ll make you pay.
We all know the Giants like to play small ball, but they used the long ball to their advantage in Thursdays game–kinda like taking a shortcut. They put men on bases Giants-style, i.e. small ball, like in the second inning when Kelby singled and scored on Juan Perez‘s double.
But in the third inning they changed things up a bit. Aoki walked, stole second and scored on Duffy’s single. Belt took his turn at the plate and singled, so there were two men on when Marlon Byrd came up to bat. If he just singled or even doubled, one, maybe two runs would score. Instead, he smacked that ball so hard he scared the kale, his home run landed on top of the garden’s netting. He took a shortcut, by way of a long ball and scored everyone, including himself.
Kelby proved to be even more efficient in the eighth. Belt drew a walk, Buster doubled and like I already mentioned, the Cubs pitcher intentionally gave Byrd a free pass. I think he learned a tough lesson, one that all opposing pitchers eventually learn: it’s never a good idea to insult a Giant, and never underestimate a Giants rookie. Kelby’s first big league home run was a grand slam–that’s exactly how they write it up for the movies. When the sea gulls came to feed, the score was: Giants 9, Cubs 1
File this one under: Aoki is fast, but not as fast as he thought, or as I thought for that matter. In the seventh, with one out and nobody on, Aoki hit a high fly ball deep to left that ended up on the warning track with the Cubs left fielder scrambling to get some leather on it. When he finally came up with the ball and realized Aoki was still running, he sent the ball to the infield and it was relayed to the catcher. It arrived before Aoki, who tried, but failed, to slide under the tag. I was sure he was gonna make it.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think Bumgarner is getting stronger as the season goes on. While other pitchers are drooping, having trouble hitting their spots, or just plain wearing out by the fifth or sixth, Bumgarner seems to be just picking up steam. He won all of his starts in August, and even picked up a sideline: pinch-hitting. That’s just crazy. He’s tied, with Jake Arrieta for the most wins in the NL with 16.
Speaking of crazy…I’ve heard of football players taking ballet lessons for coordination, but did you see–in the third inning–the perfect pirouette Bumgarner turned after receiving the toss from Belt, reaching with his toe to put the Cubs runner out at first? I was impressed–I’ve seen ballerinas that have less coordination.
Next series the Giants face the team all the talking heads refer to as the best team in baseball. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the St. Louis Cardinals may have the most wins in baseball, but come Friday those Redbirds will be facing the greatest team in the MLB.