Brandon Crawford

Giants lose second game in a row – what’s that all about?

If you see Doug Fister walking around the streets of San Francisco tomorrow, don’t be shy. Tap him on the shoulder and ask him about his AT&T Park experience. He’ll probably greet you with a big grin, rub the side of his head thoughtfully, and tell you he’s enjoying it a whole lot more this time around.

The last time was October 25, 2012. Game 2 of the 2012 World Series and wouldn’t you know it, he was matched up against Madison Bumgarner that night too. Both pitchers were on their game. For all the joy Pablo Sandoval’s three-HR performance in Game 1 brought Giants fans, it was the hard-fought Game 2 victory which many consider the turning point of the series. Blanco to Scutaro to Posey to nail Prince Fielder at home plate set the tone early. An inning later, Fister took a line drive up the middle off his dome and millions watching at home figured he was done.

Nope.

Back and forth it went. Fister dealing. Bumgarner matching him inning for inning. In the seventh, Hunter Pence singled, finally chasing Fister from the game. Later in the inning, Gregor Blanco layed down the sweetest bunt of his life, Brandon Crawford knocked in Pence with a clutch GIDP, and the rest was history. Bumgarner was masterful, striking out eight in seven scoreless innings. Fister pitched beautifully, but it wasn’t enough. The 2012 Giants juggernaut steamrolled the Tigers on their way to a four-game sweep.

Tonight, with slightly less on the line, the tables were turned and Fister got the better of Bumgarner, scattering eight hits over seven scoreless innings and walking just one.

Wait … WHAT? The Nationals walked somebody??

Oh, you hadn’t heard? You missed the memo? Yeah, the Nationals don’t walk people. Their starters had some ridiculous streak of like 700 straight innings without a walk. Of course, that was until Doug “Wild Thang” Fister decided to go and screw it all up by walking Brandon Hicks in the seventh. WHAT A LOSER.

So, yeah, the Nationals are kind of on a roll right now. Their starting pitching is scary good. They have one of those lineups that — when everyone is healthy — is filled top to bottom with pretty good hitters. They have a great bullpen. They have a new hot shot manager who just happens to be one of the most beloved Giants of the last 30 years. They’re winning a lot of games right now and they’re doing it with one of the most exciting young players in the league on the shelf until July.

Uh huh. The Nationals look damned good right now.

Buckle up, Giants fans. It’s not crazy to envision Fister and Bumgarner meeting again in October with a whole lot more on the line.

***

Bochy: “[Crawford] got a hit with a runner on 2nd, but Werth made a great throw there.” 

Well, Skip, that’s one way to look at it.

Here’s another…

That’s Pablo Sandoval trying to score from second base on a sharp single to right. Werth makes a pretty good (not great) throw and gets Sandoval by plenty. It felt like a huge play in the game and it proved to be true. Fans on Twitter reacted predictably, calling for third base coach Tim Flannery’s immediate dismissal. WHAT WAS HE THINKING? HOW COULD YOU SEND HIM IN THAT SITUATION? JUST PACK UP YOUR STUFF AND LEAVE, FLANNERY. YOU ARE A TERRIBLE PERSON.

Wait …

Is that … what is Flan … is he just … standing there … statuesque … hands on knees … did Pablo really …

***

Moving on.

There was some chatter last night on the Giants broadcast — if you missed BASG’s post on Krukow’s comments check it out here — about Pence getting plunked in the ribs by Zack Wheeler on Sunday for “swinging too hard.” It’s ridiculous to think that a Major League pitcher could feel shown up by a competitor for swinging too hard, but crazier things have happened. In fact, now that you mention it, a crazier thing did happen earlier in the weekend when Baltimore’s Manny Machado started a bench-clearing brouhaha when he took exception to A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson’s “hard tag.”

Baseball and the unwritten rules stuff is getting out of hand lately. It was one of the topics kicked around on KNBR today and with Michael Morse getting plunked in the ribs Monday night, the question came up — would the Giants take umbrage with this latest plunking and retaliate on Tuesday?

Well, after what we assume was much scholarly debate over the unwritten rules, the Giants appeared to err on the side of caution, UNTIL…….

This happened.

over pence's head 1

See if you can find the ball. Go ahead, take your time.

See it yet?

over pence's head

Find the arrow. There it is. That’s a baseball. That’s a baseball thrown by a Major League pitcher!

Now, take note of the line above the score box thingee. That line is there for a reason. Tyler Clippard may say the ball slipped out of his hand, and that he wasn’t trying to hit Hunter Pence on purpose, but it doesn’t matter. Know why? Because there’s an unwritten rule (shhhhhh!) that says if a pitcher throws a ball so high over a batter’s head that it goes above the score box thingee, that pitcher is toast. Done. We don’t even want to hear your excuses, bro. Watch your back.

Blood will be spilled for this, Tyler Clippard. Oh, yes. Blood will be spilled.

***

Stolen BASGs (or something)

— You’ve probably figured out by now this is not BASG. Nope, this is fill-in #hack @LOLKNBR. I don’t even have the energy for Stolen BASGs, dammit. Believe me, I love the Stolen BASGs as much as you guys do, but this was my first time writing a game recap and it was really #$%@&ing hard. I’m cooked. Seriously though, I have a whole new appreciation for what Baggs, Hank, Pavs, Grant, Steve, and the rest of the hard-working regulars do after every game for us fans. So, give those folks a virtual pat on the back the next time you read one of their excellent game stories. And if Steve ever lets me do this again (not likely), I promise to deliver more Stolen BASGs.

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