If the Giants had to do it all over again, they might have voted against National League expansion in 1993. Or, since they’ve changed ownership groups since all that was decided, they’d love to send someone back in time to convince Bob Lurie and Co. to really dig their heels in. Just tell them the truth: the Florida franchise won’t draw well and will eventually move into a neon-colored stadium with fishtanks and a huge sculpture that looks like something Gloria Estefan designed while tripping balls. Tell ’em how the Colorado franchise will someday let a dinosaur mascot dance around behind home plate, in a state where marijuana will become legal!
The Giants were a strike away from winning this crazy game — twice. If they pulled it off, this post would’ve been how they somehow triumphed in a game they weren’t supposed to win. Omens may have been assumed, pennant races may have been mentioned, and Tyler Colvin probably would’ve been celebrated.
They didn’t have Angel Pagan or Buster Posey. The three-four-five hitters went a combined 0-for-12. Brandon Hicks made a key error in the fourth and the Giants didn’t pay for it. Two innings later, Brandon Crawford’s foot wasn’t on second when Madison Bumgarner threw to him. The Giants took it to replay and lost the review, Bumgarner was pissed, and the Giants didn’t pay for that either.
But they paid a hefty Coors Field tax in the ninth inning.
It seems like at least a couple games per season end like this in Denver, but even with the Giants playing shorthanded this particular ending still hurt. Colvin hit his second double of the game (he already has six in just 28 plate appearances) to knock in Brandon Hicks and give the Giants a 4-3 lead.
Sergio Romo walked Justin Morneau to lead off the bottom of the inning. Ripping the band-aid off quickly would’ve been more humane, but no. Romo retired Michael Cuddyer on a ball to deep right field. Troy Tulowitzki, only the best player alive (who milks every nick, bruise and fleck of dust in his eye like he’s headed to the disabled list any second), grounded into a force out at second but hustled enough to avoid a game-ending double play. Carlos Gonzalez hit a full-count single to center. Nolan Arenado ended it with a double to left.
It was a ninth inning full of hope, hanging sliders, and ultimately doom.
— A June Giants promotion, formerly known as “Gamer Babe Day,” is now going by the name of “Gamer Day.”
— Bumgarner hit Tulowitzki in the calf with a slider. Rex Brothers hit Bumgarner with a 94-mph fastball. If you’re looking for something good to come out of this game (besides the Giants fighting hard and all that noise), here’s Bumgarner’s response.
Bumgarner said latest beef was just two teams in heat of the moment. “That’s what makes this game exciting. Two teams out there that care.”
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 21, 2014
Bumgarner is mastering the art of being a redass on the field and a diplomat in the clubhouse. He also got the 3-0 green light from Bochy with runners on second and third. The Giants would’ve felt like they all got away with free steak dinners if they had won this game.
— Baseline? What baseline?
(GIF via @gidget)
— Would it surprise anyone if the guy who played Dinger was Tulowitzki’s secret (and even more evil) twin, Tré Tulowitzki?
— One of the most entertaining parts of this game took place on the radio side. Jon Miller and Dave Flemming absolutely crushed Coors Field’s official scorer after Hunter Pence’s slow grounder that scored Gregor Blanco (who came through with a huge triple, by the way) was ruled an error on Tulowitzki (it was later ruled a hit). Fraudulent humidors, 192 lucky comebacks for the home team, and awful official scoring decisions. Coors Field!