From April 19 through May 25, the San Francisco Giants were walk-off warriors. Seven walk-off wins over a span of 37 days, capped by Angel Pagan’s improbable inside-the-parker. Clinching a win in the bottom of the ninth (or tenth) is supposed to be rare, but the Giants made it seem almost habitual, like the World Series win unlocked some sort of secret formula that led to Giants punching each other like frat boys in a LMFAO mosh pit (if such a thing exists) before butt-slapping each other into the dugout at least twice per homestand.
The walk-off wins dried up as the team congealed into the sludgy, stagnant mass we’ve come to know over the past few months, but Tuesday night marked not just a walk-off win, but a walk-off walk by Marco Scutaro with the bases loaded. The four-pitch walk came so quickly, and the team didn’t seem prepared for their sudden good fortune. Perhaps without Pagan bounding across the diamond, his locks flowing like a scene from a Pantene commercial, it just wasn’t the same. Pablo Sandoval was a late scratch with a sore back, so maybe that also dialed things down a little.
Alright, maybe the celebration wasn’t that bad. Brandon Belt and Roger Kieschnick — who both went 3-for-4 — were quick to greet Scutaro. But there were no punches and nothing close to a tackle. Not even a (visible) turkey tap. Celebrating too much in a game where you’re behind is frowned upon, and in a similar vein there’s only so much faux-violence a below-.500 team can commit before it seems uncouth.
Besides the same bass-heavy Rick Ross song heard after every win that played until the start of Ryan Vogelsong’s postgame interview, the Giants clubhouse didn’t sound or seem like the sanctuary of a team that just came back and beat the mighty Red Sox. Vogelsong was happy to have hit his spots, glad to have completed seven innings and kept his team in the ballgame, but he was by no means crowing after this one.
“It’s nice to win one like this, because we’ve been on the other side of ’em. When you play a tough game like that and things aren’t really going your way — we had guys on third base multiple times,” Vogelsong said. “It’s good to come out on the winning end when you bust your butt for three hours.”
In case more proof was required to show this is a tired Giants team, check out Scutaro’s response when I asked him if a walk-off win like this could lift everyone’s spirits.
“We’re just dying for a win,” Scutaro said. “Sometimes it’s frustrating. Our starting pitchers are doing a great job and we can’t even score a run for them. As a hitter, as an offense, it gets a little frustrating because they’re pitching their butt off.”
A sad win like that deserves a bit of cheer, don’t you agree? And for that, we turn to … the mother of Cody Ross?
David Ross — the Boston Red Sox catcher with a batting average under .200 and several long gray hairs hanging beneath his chin — hit a leadoff double. It was the seventh inning, the Red Sox had a 2-1 lead over the San Francisco Giants, and Ross would not come around to score. The double was meaningless, but our friend Myles (a regular at our events, huge Giants/49ers/Warriors fan and all-around good guy) set off a chain reaction of sorts.
@mylesinsf Cody Ross doesn’t play for the red sox anymore. It’s David Ross.
— Janet Ross (@Bossmom13) August 21, 2013
Based on who @Bossmom13 follows and who follows her (@IamCodyRoss), let’s just go ahead and assume she’s the real Boss Mom. Plus, Cody “Not David and not a Red Sox” Ross tweeted this 10 minutes after Janet set Myles straight:
I wonder if Ross on Redsox got booed in SF tonight
— Cody Ross (@IamCodyRoss) August 21, 2013
Cody must have rabbit ears if he thinks he gets a raw deal from Giants fans. Sure, he got the standard “we’ll cheer you the first time we see you before lightly booing you the rest of the series” treatment most ex-Giants who mattered receive the last time the D-Backs came to town, but most around here remember the guy fondly for the home runs he against Roy Halladay. But it’s nice to see his mom has his back on Twitter.
— How did the Giants win this game, anyway? Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford all stranded Belt after leadoff extra-base hits on two occasions. But they still won, thanks to a sacrifice fly on a foul ball and a walk-off walk. Baseball.
— Vogelsong hasn’t pitched seven innings while allowing only one run since doing so twice during the 2012 NLCS. After the way Tuesday night’s game started (with Boston collecting three singles in the first inning but only scoring one run), seeing Vogelsong get through five innings seemed unlikely.
— None of us who watched this game will forget Belt standing in the on-deck circle in the bottom of the ninth, taking swings and getting his timing down against a pitcher he couldn’t possibly face that inning. I think I remember a commercial from a while back that described that specific act as the mark of a true GAMER.