But they had a nice comeback first, to make the pain twice as sweet.
For a while it seemed like nothing could go right for the San Francisco Giants in their Wednesday morning game against the Philadelphia Phillies. They seemed destined to lose one of those games where you get a week’s worth of misfortunate out of your system in a few hours, then forget it ever existed.
You can live with that. It beats losing because you’re not good. And it’s a relatively easy pill to swallow when you’ve already won the series.
So it didn’t seem like a big deal that nothing was going right for the Giants — some by misfortune, some by silly mistakes, and some by a combination of the two.
Consider just some of the negative weirdness the Giants encountered:
Negative Weirdness No. 1
Brad Miller hit a single because he was unable to check his swing successfully and the result was an in-play baseball that somehow made its way to the outfield. He would score on a home run by Mickey Moniak.
Negative Weirdness No. 2
One pitch into the third inning, the game entered a rain delay that lasted more than 40 minutes. Did this hurt the Giants chances more than the Phillies? Probably not. But the Giants have a game tomorrow on the opposite side of the country, so the only reason to hang around Philly for an extra hour is to eat cheesesteaks.
According to multiple sources, the Giants were not eating cheesesteaks.
Negative Weirdness No. 3
In the bottom of third inning, with a runner on first and one out, Miller hit a ground ball to Brandon Crawford. Crawford tried to take the ball to second on his own, but didn’t get there in time, and didn’t have a play at first.
The Phillies didn’t score because of this, but it was a One Of Those Days moment.
Negative Weirdness No. 4
In the top of the fifth, with runners at the corners and one out, Mauricio Dubón hit a line drive into right field. Wilmer Flores completely misread it at first base, and was easily out at second on a force play. Instead of two on and one out, it was one on and two out, and the inning would soon end.
Negative Weirdness No. 5
In the top of the sixth inning, with the Giants trailing 3-1, Donovan Solano hit a two-out double. An Alex Dickerson single should have put a run on the board, but Solano strained his calf running to third, and had to stop there. The Giants would not score in the inning, and Solano looks bound for the Injured List.
Kapler thinks Solano will be an IL candidate.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 21, 2021
Negative Weirdness No. 6
OK this one isn’t really weird, but I’m just running with a bit right now. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with a runner on first, Nick Maton hit a line drive single to left, and Alex Dickerson played it the way I imagine I played all my drunk/hungover/both intramural games in college, if I could remember them, which is to say he ran vaguely at it, kind of stuck his glove in the general direction of it, and then just ran right through it without ever looking close to catching it, even though it might have landed in his glove if he just did nothing.
The Phillies scored, and Maton ended up on third.
Everything was lovely at this point, and then the seventh inning rolled around. The Giants put runners at the corners with no outs, and up came Dubón. Dubón had put together two excellent-yet-unlucky at-bats so far in the game, with the would-be single that turned into a fielder’s choice, and a would-be double in which he was thrown out at second on a magnificent play by Andrew McCutchen.
He took a fastball at the knees, in the center of the plate, for strike three looking.
At this point you decided the game was over. It just wasn’t to be. As I said earlier, that’s entirely OK.
Then the next batter was Darin Ruf and he did this and your tune changed rather quickly.
But the Giants weren’t done. Finally they were on the positive end of weirdness, when Andrew McCutchen dropped a two-out pop-up that allowed Mike Yastrzemski to get to second. Following an intentional walk of Evan Longoria, Dickerson lined one into the outfield for an RBI single, and suddenly the Giants had the silliest and weirdest of things: a lead.
It wouldn’t hold. In the bottom half of the inning, Camilo Doval made his third career appearance, and while he looked every bit as good as before, he quickly learned the difference between AA hitters and MLB hitters. More specifically, he learned what kind of pitches you can and cannot get away with throwing to MVPs.
Bryce got all of that one pic.twitter.com/6C0jIiqIHt
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 21, 2021
Doval looks like a spectacular reliever in the making, but I’m guessing we don’t see him throw another off speed pitch over the middle of the plate in a hitter’s count to one of the best lefties on the planet again anytime soon.
The Phillies walked it off in the ninth in relatively calm fashion: walk, single, single.
The Giants lost and you couldn’t even feel too frustrated. You’d already given up on their chances many innings ago, and it was merely coincidence that they briefly detoured into Leadville before reaching their final destination.
Still a series win. Still a .500 road trip. Still a team that looks pretty decent at baseball.