The San Francisco Giants played Giants baseball in their sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies, mired in a six-game losing streak, had come into San Francisco looking to get right against Giants. They were 10-1 against the San Francisco Giants this year, poised to beat up on them.
And who could blame Colorado? The Giants are well under .500, struggling to hit, and their pitching was getting knocked around. To the Rockies, the Giants were probably that bad team good teams want to play to get right.
No so fast. The Giants woke up.
They had strong starting pitching, stellar bullpen work, solid defense, and timely hitting–the four things that were paramount in their three championship years.
In the series, they outscored the Rockies 18-8 in their first sweep of 2017.
In Game 1 on Monday, the Giants scored early and often. They had a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning en route to a 9-2 win.
Jeff Samardzija (3-9) went 6 1/3 innings, giving up just two runs and six hits. The bullpen pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings to secure the win.
In fact, the Giants bullpen didn’t allow a run against the Rockies all series.
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And equally important–the Giants didn’t commit an error in the game.
Game 2 on Tuesday was a classic, torturous grind-it-out type of win–a Giants classic.
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San Francisco’s bullpen was even more impressive on Tuesday, going eight shutout innings, striking out 11 Rockies, in the Giants’ 4-3, 14th-inning win.
One major characteristic of the Giants’ success in recent years was contributions from unlikely heroes.
On Tuesday night, it was Gorkys Hernandez who got things going with a 1-out double in the 14th inning. Two batters later, Denard Span singled in the winning run.
Hernandez went 2-for-6 in the game and scored each time he reached. Mired in a year-long slump, he’s picked it up of late, hitting .321 with a .421 on-base percentage in his last 10 games.
On Wednesday’s matinee finale, Korean star Jae-Gyun Hwang homered in the sixth inning to give
the Giants a 4-3 lead. That bolt of lightning was enough to give the Giants the win and the sweep of the Rockies.
The Giants also overcame a 2-0 early deficit, as Ty Blach bounced back to pitch 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs (one earned). Other than two errors by Blach, the Giants played championship-like defense all series long.
And oh yeah, the bullpen combined for 2 2/3 innings of one-hit ball.
Great pitching, clutch hitting, solid bullpen work, and contributions from unlikely heroes–that’s the essence of Giants baseball.
Whether it’s Cody Ross, who the Giants only claimed to block the San Diego Padres from getting him, hitting big home runs in the National League Championship Series or Travis Ishikawa–who almost quit baseball–sending the Giants to the World Series on a memorable homer, that’s what led them to their first three championships in San Francisco.
Now, can they continue that in Pittsburg? If so, their 17-game Wild Card deficit may dwindle to respectability, or at least the Giants will have their pride. And a head of steam for 2018 as they find the “Giants Way” once again.