All at once, the Rockies showed the Giants the downtrodden team the rest of the National League has enjoyed facing throughout the season. Even though the Giants took three straight against Colorado last week, the Giants only scored 13 runs in that four-game series. Colorado fought hard over yesterday’s 12 innings, and took a 6-0 lead tonight.
With a runner at first and two outs against them in the fifth, the Giants went on a tear to end all tears: 13-for-21 with a walk, four doubles, a triple and two homers. The Giants dropped 12 runs on the Rockies while holding them to just one more run the rest of the way, erasing a deficit and reminding the team with the worst record in the National League that Coors Field goes both ways.
The Rockies were cruising to victory, then their own home park (and Matt Belisle) betrayed them. The results were dramatic — suddenly the players wearing purple jerseys looked like Wes Welker the day after the Kentucky Derby. Rafael Ynoa was thrown out at third on a one-out grounder. Corey Dickerson pulled up on a fly ball down the line that fell amongst a group of Rockies and shot Nolan Arenado a snotty look, even though it was clearly Dickerson’s play. Drew Stubbs dropped an easy fly ball off the bat of Hunter Pence, a bad error by any standard.
The Giants are suddenly peaking offensively, led by their former MVP. Buster Posey had a home run in the sixth, a double in the seventh and another double in the eighth: eight total bases and four runs batted in over three innings. He hasn’t walked in 11 games, but at some point soon one would have to think teams will stop pitching to him. He’s hitting .349/.397/.496 since the All-Star Break — .481 with six homers in his last 12 games.
Posey has raised his OPS from .737 at the end of May to .839 now; the only guy on the team doing better in that category is Andrew Susac (.865), who hit the home run that put the Giants within three runs. Susac came a few feet away from pushing his home run total to four in the ninth.
After weeks where nothing seemed to go right, when every injury seemed like an omen, now guys get hurt and the Giants look deeper as a result. Michael Morse had a hip MRI and will need to rest for a while, but the news doesn’t seem so dire when the alternative is letting Susac catch, Posey play first base and the surging Gregor Blanco do his thing in left. After the minor league system was the subject of derision for most of the year, Susac and Joe Panik (who had his 18th multi-hit game of the season) now look like future long-term starters.
— Blanco hasn’t gotten as many at-bats as Posey over the last 12 games, but his numbers are right there: .444/.477/.722.
— Hunter Pence scored runs Nos. 99 and 100, and he became the first Giant in franchise history to steal second with a five-run lead in the eighth inning. OK, the latter stat probably isn’t true. Not that it was a bad play — it’s Coors Field, get yours.
— Pence has a 15-game hitting streak? That kind of snuck up on me.
— Pablo Sandoval doesn’t deserve any scorn whatsoever — the guy has hit over .300 in each of the last four months and went 9-for-19 in his previous five games. But he was in a mood to swing at pickoff throws on Tuesday night.
— After Tim Lincecum was allowed to sweat his way through so many soggy and ineffective starts, there’s no way the Giants can remove Yusmeiro Petit from the rotation after one stinker in Denver. Give him one more chance in Detroit. Lincecum allowed a home run and three runs (two earned) in his first relief appearance on Sunday — that gives him 44 hits allowed over his last 26.2 innings (9.45 ERA).
— George Kontos pitched 1.2 perfect innings on a night when it appeared as if any of the Giants’ 43 relief pitchers in Bruce Bochy’s bullpen would get lit up. Sergio Romo did a nice job picking up Jeremy Affeldt, especially after giving up the winning run in his second appearance of the afternoon on Monday.
— Dinger was his usual douchey self, standing in front of fans behind home plate in the late innings. “That was a face finger, that’s what that was,” said Mike Krukow when a particularly angry fan was shown.
— The game’s last out was made when Justin Morneau hit a chopper up the middle against Javier Lopez. Brandon Crawford made a nice play, ranging to his left and throwing a strike to Travis Ishikawa; Dinger couldn’t bear to watch any of it. Sports fans in Denver, who long ago started looking toward the upcoming Broncos campaign, surely agree with the mascot’s stance.