SF Giants the hateful eighth

blach.2 04.25

I got curious–how many times are runners left on base in the eighth inning? It seemed to me like the Giants have left guys standing in the eighth way more than any other inning. So, I got a wild hair up my nose–as Kruk and Kuip like to say, and decided to find out what’s up with that.

In my very hasty–and nowhere near thorough–research, I learned that of the 21 regular season games so far–win or lose–the Giants have left runners on in the eighth inning 13 times. Some of them were in scoring position, some were one-run games.

One earlier one-run game, where Madison Bumgarner hit two solo HRs, we left runners on in six of the nine innings we played, including two in the eighth.

The 8th inning–the hateful eighth–seems to be our Waterloo. Our No-Man’s Land. Our Kryptonite.

Take Tuesday night, for example. A one-run ball game against Clayton Kershaw. We had a rookie pitcher on the mound to take on the Dodger legend. Ty Blach–a lot like our Ace on the DL when he pitches–kept us in that ball game. He pitched a helluva game. The Dodgers got to him a little in fourth, otherwise he kept it fairly tight. In his first start of the season, he went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out two.

Cory Gearrin, George Kontos, Hunter Strickland and Neil Ramirez combined to pitch the other four innings, scoreless.

The Giants scored one run in the third. It started with Blach’s lead-off double–the kid was doing all the heavy lifting–he advanced to third on Hunter Pence‘s base hit and scored when Buster Posey hit a single.

In the eighth inning, with two outs, Buster hit a single and advanced to third on Brandon Crawford‘s base hit. Two things happened: Buster was called safe, but the Dodgers challenged, and Crawford limped off the field with a groin strain. Buster surived the challenge, and Jeff Samardzija came in to pinch run for Crawford. Brandon Belt struck out, leaving them standing. Buster was just 90 feet from the promise land.

The final score was: Giants 1, LA 2

I’ve identified a problem, but have no idea how to solve it. And even if I did, what good would it do? Those who are in charge know a helluva lot more than I do.

But I do have some good news: the Kid–that’s what Kuip keeps calling him and I like it–Christian Arroyo, got his first big league hit. Off the great Clayton Kershaw. How many rookies can say that? His family flew to San Francisco and they were at the yard to see it happen. I don’t think it gets much better than that.

Toni Cecchetti

25 April 2017

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