Greek Giant

The Giants have won nine straight baby!

Last night Joc Pederson walked on a close 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to plate the winning run for the Giants in their 4-3 clutch win over the San Diego Hot Doggers. It was the first time the Giants had a lead in the game and once again, they fell behind early to a starting pitcher, Seth Lugo, who looked like he was going to pitch a perfect game after two innings that saw him strike out five Giants.

It was the third walk off of the season for the Giants and the first time they did it in back to back games since 2019.

Lugo was firing 95 MPH BBs and dropping curve balls on the black. He was simply dominant early on. It felt like it was going to be a long game for the Giants and that winning streak seemed very much in Padre jeopardy.

The Padres took an early lead scoring two runs in the top of the third off Anthony Desclafani who was pitching in and out of trouble throughout his five innings of work (eight hits allowed, three runs, a walk and an error). Juan Soto hit an opposite field double down the line in left to score Trent Grisham who singled to lead off the inning. Then Manny Machado hit a ball to David Villar, who was playing first base, with runners on second and third and one out. Villar tried to make the aggressive play and throw home to cut down Fernando Tatis Jr. But that throw was a bit high and it was too late for the tag by Bailey. Two runs are now in and the Padres had runners on first and third. A rally was happening right before our eyes, it seemed. But Desclafani bucked up and recorded the final two outs of the inning without allowing a run. That may have been the turning point in the game.

The Giants scored their first run in the bottom of the fourth thanks to an Estrada double down the left field line, a swinging bunt infield hit by J. D. Davis, and a double play by Conforto that scored Thairo but killed the rally. It was runners on first and third and nobody out and all of a sudden, one run in, two outs and nobody on. It happens.

The mystery of the game is why Bob Melvin lifted Seth Lugo after only five innings and 65 pitches. That meant the leaky San Diego bullpen had to preserve the lead and like on Monday night, they could not. In the bottom of the seventh inning the Giants scored a run on a two-out single by Brandon Crawford. That set the stage for Joc Pederson’s heroics.

First, the big lefty hit a towering solo home run in the bottom of the eight inning, right after Duane Kuiper suggested Joc was looking to go deep. The lead of the inning and the fans at Willie Mays Field were going wild, sensing that winning streak was still alive.

In the bottom of the ninth that went like this:

  • Yaz flied out to center
  • Matos walked (it was huge)
  • Bailey singled to left
  • Schmitt walked
  • Joc walked

The last two walks came off Josh Hader, the all-world reliever who the Giants appear to own. One might recall his struggles against our boys last year.

With the winning run scoring the crowd and the Giants went nuts! Nine games in a row were won and here we are today setting the state for a sweep of the San Diego jerks.

The win gave the Giants a record of 41-32. They are now only 2.5 games behind the Arizona baseball team that lost last night.

What a turn of events!

The Padres Are Very Detestable

So, as I watched the condensed game and examined the Padres two things came to mind, well actually three:

  • Machado, Tatis Jr., and Soto are incredibly, epically talented ball players
  • They are also unbearable hot dogs
  • Money cannot always buy a championship.

This Padres team is going nowhere with these prima donnas running the show. Trust me.

When Tatis hit his homer to center (which I conveniently neglected to mention above) he made an incredibly stupid and embarrassing dancing gesture that paused his home run trot just as he was reaching third base. Such theatrics are not only classless and selfish, they demonstrate a general lack of conscientiousness about your place on a team that is underperforming by any measure and that by no means was guaranteed to win the game.

All these vain antics and lack of hustle just sicken the old school baseball player in me. I realize how times have changed but I cannot help to think that a team with so many absurdly huge egos has no room on it for humility and sacrifice, team play and class, some of the core ingredients you see in most championship clubs.

Today’s Game

The Giants go for a win in game three of the four-game series today at 6:45 PM, Willie Mays Field time. It will Ryan Walker pitching the first inning in a bullpen game for the Giants against Yu Darvish.

Giants Negro Leagues Tribute Set for 2024

Espn is reporting that Major League Baseball will stage a Negro Leagues tribute game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, on June 20, 2024, between the Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals. The 10,800-seat stadium, opened in 1910, is the oldest professional ballpark in the U.S. and a National Historic Site. The stadium was home to the Birmingham Black Barons from 1924-60.

The game will honor former Giants great Willie Mays, an Alabama native who began his professional career with the Barons in 1948.

“Willie played there, oldest ballpark in the nation,” Kapler said. “Really incredible opportunity for our organization. Really excited about it.”