Greek Giant

Every path to a championship includes games like these, slug fests where starting pitchers give up two two-run homers in an inning and where a reliever experiences getting hit so hard that he will end up waking up in cold sweats with flashbacks for a month or two. This is when your bats need to come alive and carry the team. For the Giants in last night’s 11-8 victory that is exactly what happened.

Alex Dickerson hit a grand slam so hard and so deep that, as Jon Miller said, the ball landed among the crowd in the right field bleachers before the fans heard the crack of the bat. It was a  bomb. It was the kind of home run that can turn a career around. For Dickerson, whose days as a Giant appear to be numbered in light of the Kris Bryant acquisition, the grand salami could complicate matters for Giants management and it came during the Giants five-run fifth inning that gave them a 7-1 lead. But on this night a six run advantage was not enough as Anthony Desclafani gave up the aforementioned twin two-run homers in the bottom of the fifth. The second came immediately following a mound visit by Gabe Kapler in a conversation that I imagine went something like this:

Kapler: Our six-run lead is rapidly vanishing and I’ve got some concerns..

Desclafani: Did you see Dickerson’s grand slam? Wow! He could hurt some people with a ball hit that hard.

Kapler: Cabrera is your last batter. Get him out and you get the win. (No pressure)…

Wilmer Flores gave the Giants a bit of breathing room with a booming home run to left in the top of the sixth but unfortunately that three-run lead would vanish quicker than you can say “snakes in the desert” when the DBacks scored three in the bottom of the 7th. Jay Jackson was the victim in that debacle of an inning. For the Giant reliever it was his third straight tough outing and after a superb debut, it is safe to say the righty may be in a bit of a slump.

Mike Yastrezmski got the slugging party started with the obliteration of a belly high fastball on a two-strike count in the top of the third inning. They were the first runs of the game and were a sign of things to come. Yaz, by the way, is now one of the Giants hottest hitters since the All Star Break. By “hot” I mean home run, not average. He is the type of player who will hit 240-250 and get you the big blast when you need it. He is the type of player whose defense and power make him valuable despite the lower batting average. The homer was his 18th of the season and it leads the team.

Tony Watson, Welcome Back. He pitched a clean 8th to reacquaint himself with the orange and black. Jaslin Garcia pitched the 9th and 10th innings to get the win. Garcia was impressive again and even his Manager took note:

“I thought (Garcia) was incredible. Super impressive and we’re thankful for him.”
-Gabe Kapler

That win, which by the way, came largely as a result of a superb at bat by Buster Posey in which he doubled in a run on a shot to left the tenth inning and then tagged up from second to advance to third on a fly ball to center by Alex Dickerson. Buster had an eventful night with a passed ball that allowed the first Arizona run to score and bases load walk when with a 3-2 count earlier in the game. In that at bat with the bases loaded Posey took a killer knee-buckling slider at the knees and just outside to draw a walk and score a run. It was kind of a super-human take to be honest and even the announcing crew was impressed.

Steven Duggar wold follow Buster’s double with a sharp single to drive in a run and the final run would score when Donovan Solano would safety squeeze on a bunt to the pitcher. It was a strategic move that worked well and added an insurance run on a night when a six run lead evaporated faster than dew drop in the desert.

With the win the Giants are now 3.5 games ahead of their rivals down south.

Yaz goes Deep

Alex Dickerslam

(Love that!)

The Box

Tonight’s Game

Game 2 of the series in Phoenix will see Johnny Cueto match up against Madison Bumgarner. Game time is 6:45 PM.