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Did the Real San Francisco Giants Show Up Thursday Night?

Aug 18, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Eduardo Nunez (10) celebrates with right fielder Hunter Pence (8) after scoring against the New York Mets in the fifth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Eduardo Nunez (10) celebrates with right fielder Hunter Pence (8) after scoring against the New York Mets in the fifth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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The San Francisco Giants have not played well over the past month. And fans are frustrated. But let’s forget about the losing and the slumping for now, so that we can revel in the Giants’ outbreak Thursday night against the New York Mets.

It wasn’t a perfect night by the Giants, but it sure was a spectacular—and much needed—performance that, at least for now, revives hope that this can be a championship-caliber team. Their ace started and won. He also hit a home run. The team racked up 17 hits. Their most recent offensive addition did what he was acquired to do. And their closer quickly extinguished the opponents’ last hope.

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Perhaps most impressive, and something that cannot be overstated, was that the Giants offense destroyed Mets starter Jacob DeGrom, scoring eight runs off him in five innings. One of the best pitchers in baseball, DeGrom allowed that many runs in all of July. In fact, that marks the most runs DeGrom has given up in 74 career starts. His ERA inflated from 2.30 to 2.74.

How did the Giants do it? Eight of the Giants’ nine starting hitters got hits. Five of them had multiple hits, led by Eduardo Nunez and his four-hit performance. The team hit for the cycle, getting three doubles, a triple from Nunez (who also stole a base) and Madison Bumgarner’s home run.

If it wasn’t for one unfortunate pitch by Bumgarner, which resulted in a grand slam, this game would have been a blowout. The net effect of the granny wasn’t even that bad when considering Bumgarner got half of that back in the same inning, with his two-run bomb.

The middle relief ran into some trouble, though not for long. Returning from the disabled list, Cory Gearrin gave up two runs, and Will Smith allowed another. But then Derek Law came in to get two outs, and then the veterans Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo combined for a flawless eighth inning.

Up one run at that point, Buster Posey provided some breathing room with a two-run double off the brick wall in right field—just the kind of big hit expected of the perennial all-star.

Finally, while Santiago Casilla might be much maligned for his rocky season as the team’s closer, he sure looked like the real deal against the Mets, preserving the three-run lead and win without incident—other than a shift-beating infield single by Jay Bruce.

All in all, it was a great night at AT&T Park that gave Giants fans plenty to cheer about…

…Okay, now that we’ve had time to enjoy the victory, let’s get back to reality. They’re still a half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, and one game does not end a team-wide slump.

CSN Bay Area’s Amy Gutierrez told the MLB Network Friday afternoon that Manager Bruce Bochy called a team meeting to discuss their collective struggles.

Next: Giants Bring Back Joe Nathan—13 Years Later

So, despite the big win, the big boss in the dugout isn’t feeling relief. Nor should anyone who has an interest in the Giants getting back to their winning ways (or whose emotional well-being is directly correlated with Giants wins).

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