I felt a little like Alice yesterday–seeing strange sights, watching strange events unfold with no reasonable explanation for what was happening. I was pretty sure I’d see a grinning cat disappear, leaving nothing but it’s smile, or a hookah smoking caterpillar in the outfield. It was a weird game. Carl Yastrzemski once said: “this is a strange game”. He must have been talking about a game like yesterday’s game between the GIANTS and the Pirates.
Let’s begin with Timmy. He had a terrible day. It happens. The GIANTS offense gave him run support–not weird, but a rare occurrence lately. The bullpen picked him up–they are becoming more and more adept at eating up innings.
The offense got off to a really good start. In the bottom of the 1st, Crawford, batting 2nd–not his usual spot–got a base hit. Posey moved him over with a base hit, and Pablo drew a walk–loading the bases. When was the last time the Panda laid off enough pitches to draw a walk? So, there’s the GIANTS, with the bases loaded and the power hitter, Morse at the plate. You can see what’s coming next, right? Not so fast GIANTS fans, Morse got an infield single–not a common event for the big man–he doesn’t run that fast! But he made it to 1st, and everyone else advanced. Crawford scored, and the bases were loaded again. Panik–the rookie 2nd baseman–was up. I was worried, but I shouldn’t have been because the rook showed amazing patience and restraint at the plate–he drew a walk. Posey scored. Panik got an RBI–or, as I like to call them–an RWI. Bases loaded. Again. Blanco knocked out an RBI single, scoring Sandoval. After 1, the score was:
GIANTS 3, Pirates 0
The Pirates scored a run in the 2nd and 2 in the 3rd, tying the game. In the bottom of the 3rd, Pablo got a base hit, advanced on Morse’s single, moved to 3rd on Panik’s SAC fly and scored on Susac’s RBI single. After 3, the score was:
GIANTS 4, Pirates 3
The Pirates did some damage in the 4th, scoring 2 runs that went unanswered by the GIANTS, giving the Pirates the lead. Neither team scored in the 5th or 6th, but the really weird stuff? The really cool stuff that the GIANTS fans will be talking about until the year 2525, and the Pirates will discuss again–never? That happened in the top in of the 6th. Machi was on the mound for the GIANTS and he walked the lead-off hitter. The next hitter reached on a GIANTS fielding error. The 3rd Pirate to the plate laid down a SAC bunt that Posey handled easily. With 1 out and 2 runners in scoring position, Machi walked the next batter–a former GIANT–to load the bases. But wait! There’s more! For whatever reason–brain freeze, ADD, just flat not paying attention–the runner at 2nd base started to leisurely stroll toward 3rd base, and the GIANTS went into action, catching him between the bags for the out.
The runner on 3rd, in the meantime, vacated the bag–conceivably so the runner at 2nd had someplace to land–and started toward home. The GIANTS caught him in a rundown. So this is how the play was scored: Crawford to Machi to Sandoval to Machi to Crawford double play to end the inning. This may be even bigger than the Tinker to Evers to Chance double play combo–they were part of the World Series winning Cubs days, that’s ancient history–you can look it up. At the end of 6, the score was:
GIANTS 4, Pirates 5
In the bottom of the 7th, Morse drew a walk and advanced on Panik’s base hit. Juan Perez entered the game to pinch run for Morse at 2nd base. Blanco got a base hit that scored Perez–the kid is fast! Panik is pretty fast too, because he advanced to 3rd on Blanco’s RBI single. Panik scored on a passed ball that went to the backstop and the Pirates’ catcher was unable to come up with it. In the bottom of the 8th, Crawford drew a walk, advanced to 2nd on an error committed by the Pirates’ 2nd baseman, and scored on Pablo’s RBI single. The final score was:
Yaz was right. Baseball is a strange game.
I missed Tony Bennett. Hearing him sing our song after yesterday’s game was, well–quite literally–music to my ears.
I Left my Heart in San Francisco…