Rain Delays, postponement, rain delays, three games in a day, an MVP jam, extra innings, a walk off grand slam. The Giants lived a lifetime in one weekend. Not even a weekend—a long 24 hours.
I didn’t think the Giants had a chance Saturday night–after waiting hours and hours for a baseball game. Twice.
The Nationals are a hitting bunch. Their lineup is slugger-heavy. Their biggest slugger’s name is mentioned in the same sentence as NL MVP. And then he went down in the first inning trying to leg out a grounder. Bryce Harper hyper-extended his knee. It didn’t look good. Update: word on the street is it’s not career-ending, probably not even season-ending. Good news.
I don’t know if that slowed the National’s progress, but Jeff Samardzija gave us a quality start and the outcome might have been the same without Harper’s injury. The Shark went six innings and gave up three runs, nine hits, one walk and struck out six.
Joe Panik hit a home run in the first for the Giants only run in the game.
Mark Melancon pitched a one-hit scoreless eighth in his first outing since June 27th.
The final score was: Giants 1, Nationals 3
Sunday was such a beautiful day, they said “let’s play two!” And they did.
Chris Stratton pitched Sunday’s first game and I’m not gonna lie to you—the kid was fantabulous. He threw 109 pitches in six and two-third innings of shutout ball. It was his first win as a starter. He allowed ZERO runs, five hits, one walk and he struck out ten. Great game for anyone, but especially a rookie.
Hunter Strickland pitched the eighth inning and when he walked on to the diamond, he was greeted with a sitting BOO-vation. They apparently do not like him in DC. And considering the painful injury Harper suffered Saturday, the Washington fans are probably a little protective of their superstar. Anyway, Strickland gave up two runs, ruining the rookie’s shutout. I almost booed him myself.
The Giants scored three runs in the second inning–which made all the difference–and one in the eighth.
The final score was: Giants 4, Nationals 2
For the final game on Sunday, Matt Moore was on the mound and he gave us a great game. He kept the Giants in it seven innings, allowing two runs–both were home runs–seven hits, NO walks, while he struck out nine.
Denard Span scored in the fourth–tying the score–on Hunter Pence‘s RBI single. Joe Panik tried to score on it too, you could see it all over his face. Literally. In his attempt to reach home before the throw, he was hit by the ball while simultaneously being smacked in the face by the Nats catcher, who was trying to catch the ball. Off Panik’s face. Ouch.
Pablo Sandoval hit a monster solo home run in the seventh–tying the score again–that hit off the upper deck before dropping back on the field. It’s his first home run since returning to the Giants.
Hunter Strickland pitched the ninth and was greeted with another resounding round of boos. They really don’t like him in DC. At all. But he pitched a scoreless ninth, so we Giants fans think he’s ok.
The game stayed tied until the bottom of the 11th. After striking out the side in the 10th, Albert Suarez was on the mound again for the 11th. He loaded the bases with no outs, then served up a slider to the Nats hitter, who launched over the wall for a walk off grand slam.
The final score was: Giants 2, Nationals 6
I’m going to do my best impression of a soapbox speech, which is tough to do when it’s in writing. But hear me out. I didn’t want Pablo back. I was never a big fan in the first place. I won’t go into all the reasons, but suffice it to say when he left, I was glad to see him go. His bad attitude on the way out the door was like a scoop of yellow snow on a dirt pie. No thanks—not my idea of pie à la mode. So, when I heard he was coming back, my reaction was “no way, not nohow, not ever.”
I’m not gonna lie and say he’s suddenly my favorite player, but I think if he keeps going the way he’s going, he certainly deserves a spot. He’s apologized, he’s donating his salary to the SF Giants Community Fund and he seems to be acting as a mentor to some of the younger players. As my people would say: “he’s making a good act of contrition.”
You know the old saying “you can’t go home again?” There is also one that says, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
I think the Panda is home.
Still holding at #28.