Sep 5, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco (7) is greeted by manager Bruce Bochy (15) after scoring during the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
On to the good news.
The Giants win a game–if it looks like a headline that’s because it’s news.
I think a quick glance will tell you that the Giants are missing a lot of players. Manager Bruce Bochy cobbled together a lineup for Saturday’s game that looked a lot like a spring training game‒a bunch of players Bochy is just looking at to see what they can do.
But this was a roster for a big league game for a team that is still clawing it’s way up the line for play-off contention. I posted the lineup to Facebook with this warning: “this lineup will make Bruce Bochy look like a genius or a crazy man. Maybe a little of both.”
He had Alejandro De Aza batting clean-up for the first time in his MLB career, Nick Noonan playing first base for the first time…ever‒which is actually false, because after the game, he admitted to playing first base in little league. The big bats: Belt, Buster and Marlon Byrd were not in the lineup.
Belt was out because he had stomach issues, Buster had the night off because he was hit by a pitch last night, fouled off his foot and he is supposed to catch Madison Bumgarner tomorrow. Byrd has been struggling at the plate and was given the night off.
Reactions from the fans ranged from “bye bye playoffs” and “pretty scary” to “looks like Bochy is giving up” and “yikes” but the reactions from some of the writers were pretty spot on. John Shea tweeted “this is the kind of lineup that will score ten runs at Coors Field.” He was pretty close.
Jake Peavy was on the mound for the Giants and he pitched five and ⅔ innings of good, solid baseball. He allowed three runs, four hits, one walk, and he struck out five. The bullpen held the game, and they were practically perfect, pitching the remainder of the game‒Hunter Strickland allowed one hit and Santiago Casilla gave up one walk.
The Giants bats came out to play. Angel Pagan got a base hit in his first plate appearance in the first and then in the third he hit a home run‒his first since 2014. Gregor Blanco got a couple of hits, but the big one‒when he led-off the seventh inning‒was a home run.
The Giants scored a few runs Giants-style, base hits, moving the line. But back-to-back doubles make scoring on base hits look like a simple math equation. In the second, Sanchez hit a two out thunder double and scored when Noonan followed him at the plate with another double. Two plus two equals home.
Peavy doubled in the fifth, Blanco followed with a walk and they both scored on Matt Duffy’s double. In the sixth, Buster got a base hit and Noonan followed with a force out, reaching on the fielder’s choice, sending Buster back to the dugout.
Of course, I was mid-tirade: mouthing off about how I hate that the force out takes the lead runner off the table…and then wham! Peavy sent a line drive to centerfield for a double and Noonan scored. Now I’m not saying Buster is slow, but if he’d been in front of Noonan on the base path, I’m not sure a run could have scored. So I shut up. Stop trying to picture what that looks like.
The last Giants runs were scored in the seventh. After Blanco’s big fly, De Aza singled, Brandon Crawford followed with a single and Buster drew an intentional walk. The bases were loaded when Noonan drew a walk, scoring De Aza. The final score was: Giants 7, Rockies 3
I’ve been saying it? Haven’t I been saying it? Don’t stop believing. The Giants ain’t dead yet. It ain’t over til it’s over. How many platitudes can we come up with? It might take a miracle, but we’re Giants fans. We believe in miracles.