Greek Giant

What a ballgame! The Giants entered the top of the seventh inning down 4-0 to the Colorado Rockies and having one hit to show for their offensive efforts.

No Problemo.

The Giants came back to win a scintillatingly delicious baseball game 5-4 where the winning run scored on a squeeze bunt by Patrick Bailey in the top of the eighth inning. That play was super exciting and perhaps the last thing I or any Giants fan expected to see at the moment with a hot-hitting Giants catcher up and one out with runners on first and third base. It was an example of superb managing by Gabe Kapler, a move that most likely caught the Rockies off-guard and a play that a batter with good skills handling the lumber needs to make.

There were many stories to this game. In the bottom of the second inning the Rockies singled and doubled Logan Webb to death to score three runs and jump out to an early lead against the Giants ace. What goes unmentioned in the box score is the tremendous diving catch on a sinking liner with runners on second and third and two outs that was made by Michael Conforto in right field. If he does not get to that ball it’s 5-0 Rockies with a runner on third and perhaps Colorado still batting and scoring runs. That’s how important that catch was.

Defensive Heroics All Game Long

In fact, this was a game with tremendous defense on many fronts. Rockies left fielder Jurickson Profar (top ten of my favorite baseball names for 2023) made two running leaping catches at the wall to rob Giants of extra bases. Mike Moustakas made a diving stop of hard smash down the first base line with runners on. He recorded the out and that was all she wrote. Brandon Crawford made a sensation leaping grab of a line drive up the middle that off the bat looked like a sure hit. He was pretty much fully extended and had no problems with the theft. He looked like a spry 26 year-old on that play.

For the Giants who were dead in the water at the plate for the better part of six innings against Rockies starting pitcher Connor Seabold this was a game that turned when it became a battle of the bullpens once Seabold was lifted after six innings and two runs allowed. That’s when the Giants edge made the difference. The Giants big inning was the top of the seventh inning that saw them score three runs thanks to a pinch-hit RBI single by Austin Slater and a two-run single to left by Casey Schmitt.

In the top of the eighth inning the Giants tied the game on a single up the middle by Austin Slater and then that famous squeeze play.

Camilo Doval earned his fifteenth save with a shutout in the ninth. Tyler Rogers also pitched a score-less eight inning. Both relievers are having superb seasons and have been difference-makers this year.

As for Logan Webb, well, he gave up four runs in his 5 1/3 innings of work allowing also eight hits. He was not dominant but he was able to keep the Giants within scoring distance nonetheless.

LaMonte Wade Jr. Is Having a Fine Season

It needs to be mentioned that Wilmer Flores also had a key pinch-hit single in the top of the seventh inning. Slater and Wade Jr. had two hits each to lead the Giants last night. In fact, with his two hits Mr. Wade Jr. is now batting a cool .288 and has an OPS of .906! He has been tremendous as the leadoff man this year and he has anchored the first base position with better than average defense. Wade is quietly having a very good season and may be All Star-worthy. We need to remember all the shuffling and platooning at first the past three years. Well, Kudos to Gabe Kapler for sticking with Wade at first base and J. D. Davis at third to solidify the Giants corner position.

What do I mean by “solidify”? Let me explain. When a team is constantly using new players at different defensive positions it becomes difficult for the other players to establish a chemistry defensively with each other. You never get to gel, know each other’s tendencies and hone your craft at any particular position if you playing one night and not the next. It’s made a big difference this year. The question is this? Are the Giants playing better because of it or are Gabe Kapler and Farhan Zaidi platooning less because guys like Wade and Davis are more consistent? I would venture to say it’s a bit of both.

Today’s Game

The series finale in Denver takes place today at 1:10 PM, local time. It will be Cobb vs Anderson on the mound.