For a moment, the San Francisco Giants 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night had all the work of one of their losses in early periods.
The Giants are walking, living at the distinctive distance of the Cubs, but never looking at their level. Chicago came out with a 3-0 lead, behind something that April and Giants knew about: the home runs.
Robel Garcia and Kyle Schwarber have a pair of dingers, formerly one of the more splash-splash hits I can think of a man whose name does not rhyme with "hairy swans."
with Shaun Anderson preventing damage, and the bullpen that are building beautifully. The offense has shown grit, but the inability to hit the ball drastically, away, or if most of it requires it. With seven innings, Giants has nine hits, but only double by Stephen Vogt has been lost for the extra base. These scored two runs, but allowed four.
And then the eighth inning came around, and the Giants continued to make a compelling case for being a competent baseball team ̵1; a case they have been doing for two months now.
Paul Sandoval led the inning, and he was a very tough hit. Sandoval not only had too much fighting from the All-Star break, but he was 0-3 in the game, with all three out ending in an innings, including double play with runners in the corners. And get a hit he made, roping one in the right corner field, and hustling to beat a good Jason Heyward toss in the second base.
After a strikeout of Vogt, Brandon Crawford sent one back up in the middle on the Sandoval plate, and cut the lead in half. But a tailor-made ground ball from Kevin Pillar is threatened to turn a rally again.
Apologies for spraying cliches, but baseball is an inch game. The Giants survived, in part, because Anthony Rizzo scored the third run of the Cubs in a single to the right field, when a holy throw from Austin Slater was an inch later because Vogt struck the ball at rather than let it know him. On the other hand, due to Mike Yastrzemski's throwing a ball with two and two in the seventh time, it is only near Kris Bryant to make a diving grab.
And they took the lead, in part, because the Pillar hit the Dominic Toretto's nosy button down the line, and beat the slam to keep alive.
Austin Slater then made it:
And then Joe Panik made it:
And the Giants are ahead 5-4.
Did Smith not lift the ninth inning? This is almost certain because Smith had three times in the last four days, and the Giants openly tried to keep their pen resting.
However, at the end of the trade less than a week away, it is worth noting. Otherwise, it served as an audition for Sam Dyson, given the closing duties. Dyson quickly retired two batters, before getting a little bit of a mess, walking Victor Caratini, and allowing a single to Addison Russell. But, in the warmth of Tony Watson in the pen, Dyson got Schwarber to pop up and finish the game.
Speaking of relief arms, Drew Pomeranz made his first bullpen appearance of the year, and was impressive, allowing no baserunners in two moments, while striking four. He placed 23 of his 29 pitches for strikes, and gained six swing-throughs.
Two innings are too small a sample size to draw any conclusions from, but still – be my guest.
Giants today are 51-50. This is the first time that this is over .500 this year's baseball. It is almost the first time that they are over .500 years of this calendar.
The Giants are back to win for the 16th time in 19 games. Sam Dyson took the pile of "Cat Scratch Fever" and snuckled out a save. These are over .500 for the first time since 61-60 on August 14 of last season.
– Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 23, 2019
They won 16 of their last 19 games. These are from 29 to 16 from June.
One coming back, a win win is fuel for the fire of both "Giants are good!" And "LOL holy do not sustain" camps.
And more, most of all, they are happy. They are in it. And they believe that they are in it. If it's not clear, watch the double panic clip again, and listen to Duane Kuiper – tell me he's calling a go-ahead hit in the eighth inning with lively verve in May, and I'll show you a liar.
The Giants can get mad around and go to another seven game winning streak. They can only mess up and drop seven in a row and remind us why only one game is above .500 even after this wild run.
I do not know. You have no idea. They are not.
But I say that you pay attention.