The Giants came back after being down heading into the eighth inning! They beat the Dodgers in extras! Hunter Pence was mobbed at the end, and if you didn’t know any better you’d think he had just helped clinch a playoff berth!
Apologies for the exclamation point overload, but the Giants seemed to lack a little mmph (or any mmph, really) this week after everything seemed to be going against them and they looked a little too willing to go with the flow. Their 4-3 win, clinched in the 10th, was just one victory. A slump like this doesn’t always go away with a “laugher,” but tonight’s win seemed more likely after we saw Buster Posey laughing (Buster Posey laughing!) at Michael Morse’s crazed reaction in the dugout.
Let me first go on the record and say that I fully support @LOLKNBR’s polarizing nickname for Christian Arroyo.
Look, I’m not saying his nickname has to be Boss Baby, but his nickname should probably be Boss Baby. pic.twitter.com/x14BgcBabP
— LOLKNBR 📎 (@LOLKNBR) April 21, 2017
Why not? I’m sure if you ask the rookie who sent a jolt through AT&T Park (and brought the Giants within striking distance after getting no-hit by by Alex Wood through five innings) with his first big league home run, he’d take the sneering cartoon character over this ’90s kid who looks like this now.
— Peter Hartlaub (@peterhartlaub) April 27, 2017
Why start this post with frivolous nonsense?
When the Giants of recent vintage win more than they lose, they always revel in this kind of frivolous nonsense, that’s why. The point of the game is to score more runs than the guys in the different color pajamas in the other dugout, sure. But the Giants’ better teams were confident enough to know they could screw off quite a bit, laugh at each other, and do weird stuff. On a nightly basis you’d see stuff like …
- Brian Wilson stroking his beard like a beer commercial character and saying “clever” things that everyone laughed at, mostly because he was the team’s first legit closer since Robb Nen.
- Tim Lincecum, sitting on top of the bench like a little kid, swearing up a storm and grinning that squinty-eyed grin of his.
- Jeremy Affeldt throwing sunflower seeds at his pals in the bullpen.
- The entire team — Bochy in particular — roasting Affeldt at every opportunity.
- Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff acting like mid-30s frat bros in a way that made Giants games seem like a 1980s high school party movie.
- Hunter Pence being Hunter Pence at a 10 (instead of Hunter Pence at a 4, which he’s been over the last few years).
- Sergio Romo photobombing Amy G was a crowd-pleaser. It sounds cheesy now, but admit it — you laughed every time a few years ago.
But even with all those ridiculous animal nicknames and GIFs from the last seven years, has anyone represented pure joy for this team quite like Morse? So, when he came to the plate in the eighth inning to face one of the better setup men in the National League, OF COURSE he turned a 97.2 mph fastball into a shot that reached the left field bleachers. The home run was inevitable from the moment he rejoined the team this afternoon, and it was made complete with his arms out, as if he wanted to hug the entire planet. He probably did. It’s the perfect pose for Morse, because it makes him look even larger than he already is.
The Giants, kind of surprisingly, don’t do a lot of promotion based on the name of their team. Maybe because giants are thought of as lumbering oafs, or dangerous? I don’t know, but you shouldn’t expect “Fee-fi-fo-fum” to be a part of an ad campaign anytime soon. They once did a commercial with Morse as a superhero, but if anyone literally and figuratively fits the term “giant,” it’s the lovable goofball with the huge smile and tongue wagging as he trotted around the diamond tonight. He may not be light on his feet if asked to play left field (gulp), but he sure helped make the dugout and clubhouse a lot lighter today.
With the kid’s help.
— It was perfect that Gorky Hernandez started the rally in the 10th inning, reached third on a Nick Hundley bunt that wasn’t all that great (such a Giants play), and scored the winning run. The Giants believe in Hernandez, despite so much April evidence to the contrary. Maybe it’ll work out! After tonight’s game almost anything seems plausible.
— Pence started his game-winning, bases loaded at-bat 0-2, and somehow hit a sac fly seven pitches later after looking like he would’ve swung at just about any pitch over the letters. Check out where Ross Stripling pitched him:
— Four scoreless innings from the bullpen!
— Johnny Cueto’s outings have all been pretty similar: between three and five scoreless innings, then a multi-run inning in the fourth, fifth or sixth inning that turns a great night into a just-OK start.
— Arroyo is hitting .167, but it’s the best .167 imaginable. His first hit was against Clayton Kershaw and his home run into the front row of the bleachers in left was the team’s first home run from a right-handed hitter at AT&T park since 2015. (Admit it, you had to think a little before you dismissed that totally incorrect alternative factoid.)
— Arroyo’s mom’s reaction was great. You know the kid is a stud when his mom doesn’t completely lose her shit and throw nachos into the air like confetti after his first homer. She held onto that carton of cheesy tortilla chips like the valuable commodity it is, waiting to put it down until she gave high-fives all around. That shows poise and frugality.
— Just a reminder that we’ve got some cool baseball apparel in the BASG SHOP, including lots of orange and black stuff. For example, we’ve got items that celebrate a famous catch for men, women and kids…