Late-game shenanigans were once again involved.
Well, that was fun.
It wasn’t quite as dramatic as last week’s games at Dodger Stadium, but it wasn’t not dramatic, either.
And more importantly, it was fun. Because the Giants beat the Dodgers.
I mentioned that, right?
For six and a half innings it was a very basic game, featuring a tremendous pitching duel between youngsters Logan Webb and Julio Urías.
Webb didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings, but got tagged for a run in the fifth on two singles and a productive out. The Giants countered in the sixth with a double by Austin Slater and an RBI single by Buster Posey.
The game was tied, and if it weren’t being played between two fierce rivals who are battling not just for NL West supremacy, but National League supremacy, and possibly MLB supremacy, it would be just a quick, noteless, pitcher-friendly game.
And then things heated up, as we knew they would.
It started in the bottom of the seventh inning, when the Giants put a pair of runners on base with one out, courtesy of a pair of hit batters. Not the preferable method for those of us who avoid physical pain like it hurts, but hey, whatever works.
Except that didn’t work, as the Giants, in shocking and totally brand new news, couldn’t get a hit with a runner in scoring position.
Onto the top of the eighth, where the Giants brought in Tyler Rogers. You know Tyler Rogers. You know him from hits such as “Awesome Submarine Delivery,” and “Totally Lovable Dude” and “Crisp White Cleats.” You also know him from flops such as “6 of His 10 Earned Runs Have Come Against the Dodgers in Just 2 of His 46 innings,” and “Has Given Up Twice as Many Home Runs to the Dodgers as to All Other Teams Combined.”
Rogers entered and your heart stopped and he promptly gave up a leadoff single to Luke Raley. That didn’t really restart your heart, nor did the one-out double by Chris Taylor to put runners at the corners.
But your heart had a faint beat when Max Muncy — Giant Killer Max Muncy, of all people! — chopped a ball to first base and Darin Ruf calmly and accurately fired a strike to Posey for an out at home. And your heart resumed a normal beat pattern when Justin Turner flied out to end the inning.
Ruf guns the runner out at home and the Giants escape from a jam pic.twitter.com/7z20SFKnSx
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) July 28, 2021
That took us to the bottom of the eighth, which is what I like to refer to as “the fun inning.”
Posey walked to lead things off. He reached base three times on the day, largely due to being a really good baseball player who does awesome things.
Mike Yastrzemski followed Posey’s lead and walked. Two on, no outs, so you know what time it is: it’s prime don’t-get-a-hit time.
But you don’t need to get a hit to have a good time, or so the large wooden sign above my favorite dive bar’s Jäger collection says.
And so we find ourselves arriving at the fun time, and let’s explain it all in one sentence like an auctioneer, because that’s a fun way to talk about how Darin Ruf hit a ground ball to second base, and Yaz purposely got himself in a run down to try and make the double play a little bit more difficult, and by the time Max Muncy had surrendered the ball to Cody Bellinger for the first out, Posey had taken a small turn at third, which led Bellinger to toss the ball across the diamond for a long throw that had no chance of resulting in an out, only Bellinger seemed distracted by Muncy’s physical encroachment, or perhaps saw, 20 rows up the seats, one of those county fair games where if you hit a bottle with a baseball you get to take home a big fluffy stuffed animal the color of a Laffy Taffy candy, because he airmailed the ball such that you could have put an unmasked Justin Turner on top of an unmasked Justin Turner at third base and the taller of the two unmasked Justin Turners still would have had no chance at catching the ball and so Posey scored.
Or, a little more succinctly:
I’ll be honest, that’s a fun way to beat the Dodgers. It also felt poetic, as Bellinger entered the game hitting 0-27 against the Giants this year, but was the one who broke up Webb’s no-hitter. So this error was really just the baseball world reaching equilibrium.
Also, Buster Posey, folks.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) July 28, 2021
Jake McGee had a clean, nine-pitch inning to close the door, and the Giants won 2-1. They’ve increased their lead in the NL West to three games, and guaranteed that they’ll still be atop the NL West when the series ends.
It’s a good place for them to be.