Well … the headline kind of says it all, doesn’t it?
You could make a case that the biggest key to the Giants — who are 31 games above .500 — leading the NL West is their ability to feast on the Diamondbacks’ desire to not win baseball games. The Giants are 11 games above .500 against Arizona alone, and it feels like at least 12 of those 11 wins have been memorable and downright ridiculous.
This game was not on the level of the early season contest in which they overcame a 7-0 deficit. It wasn’t even on the level of last week’s game, when the Giants took a 4-0 deficit into the ninth inning and still emerged victorious.
This victory didn’t require any comeback at all, but it still preyed on the Diamondbacks shenanigans and genuine inability to play baseball well.
Things started out swimmingly for the Giants, and when things start out swimmingly against a team as bad as the Diamondbacks — who are 44 games below .500 — you don’t expect them to go sideways.
But they went sideways.
Before the sideways, though, the runs. The Giants scored four of them in the first inning, thanks in large part to doubles by Brandon Belt, Kris Bryant, and Mike Yastrzemski.
They added a fifth run in the fifth inning when Buster Posey — who hit 2-2 with a trio of walks — took on dead center.
5-0 against the Diamondbacks feels pretty good.
And then the sixth inning rolled around.
Alex Wood was dealing. He’d allowed just a single hit through five innings, though magical defensive plays from Bryant and LaMonte Wade Jr. helped make that dream a reality.
Wood retired the first batter of the inning. And then, in a span of just nine pitches, the Diamondbacks hit three doubles, a triple, and a home run, and tied the game.
It is truly difficult to make up a scenario in which a pitcher’s day goes from brilliant to catastrophic more quickly than that. I invite you to try. That’s what the comment section is for.
Just like that, it was a new game, and just as before, the Giants would take the lead. But first they had to not fall behind, and for that we thank Yastrzemski.
The Giants struck in the eighth when Posey drew a leadoff walk, then flexed his
fastestslowest-guy-on-the-team muscles by scoring on a Brandon Crawford double.
Say, how do you feel about that, Buster?
Yeah you are, dude.
The Giants added an insurance run — a necessary one, I might add — on a failed pickoff attempt that resulted in a run-scoring error, and just like that it was 7-5.
And just like that, they’d give it up again.
Jake McGee loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth, making you fear that he’d not only give up the two-run lead, but some deficit runs as well. Instead, he did just enough: he worked a no-outs strikeout, then walked in a run, allowed a run-scoring sac fly, and then gave way to Zack Littell who recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
All the Giants needed now was to find a way to walk it off.
Or, more accurately, all the Giants needed now was to find a way to let the Diamondbacks screw things up again. It’s easier that way, trust me.
Wade reached on a single, then took second when Belt had a sharp ground out. Posey walked — again — and the runners advanced on a Crawford ground out.
Up came Bryant, who admittedly hit a bullet, but right at Christian Walker.
The Diamondbacks don’t know how to win. The Giants don’t know how to lose. And even when they each try their hardest to avoid it, we seem to end up with this result.