Kris Bryant started his first game for the Giants in a rubber match against the team with the best record in the American League, a viable World Series contender. He announced his presence with authority, when he homered in his second plate appearance, a two-out solo shot. It was a much-anticipated at-bat, as many fans have been hoping to land the All-Star utility man for a few years.
He was excited, too. He told AP: “I can’t say enough good things about this first day. I feel giddy. It felt like Christmas morning honestly.”
The giddiness became apparent when he made a crazy throwing error that sailed way high of first and loaded the bases with no one out in the fifth. The narrative might have changed pretty quick amongst fans, except … we have the mojo now.
Logan Webb was exemplary to prevent those runs from scoring. Webb has been great since his return from injury. He is unbeaten since May 5th and has a 5-3 record. He is making a play for third starter that cannot be denied.
Had those runs crossed, would we be talking about Bryant’s error more? I doubt it. It was first day jitters. But one of his amazing selling points is that he is a utility player who can play third, first or outfield, so some consistency soon is expected.
Darin Ruf woke up for the night, having three hits, including a big fly and two RBI. Crawford and Solano added hits. Dusty Baker noted: “All of their hits and runs came with two outs. When you get those two-out hits, that’s usually the team that wins.” sigh. Doesn’t even see how that reflects on him as an in-game-manager, that’s his conceit. The conceit I hated in 2002. But Bochy erased all that, I shouldn’t go looking for bad memories. Giants 5, Astros 3.
The Giants headed down to the desert and won the first against the snakes 11 – 8 in extra innings after being up 7 – 1. This was a road trip game one, the day after a hard fought home game. Even if the Diamondbacks are the worst team in the country (34 – 74), they play hard and have guys who want to win.
The six-run lead was the result of a Yaz homer and a grand slam by Alex Dickerson who had been in an 0 – 17 slump! The smile on his face in the dugout was one of immense relief. “It hasn’t been the greatest year for me, but I know what I’m capable of,” he told AP, “I’d been waiting to do that all year.”
But then came the implosion of Jay Jackson … who, frankly, was due after a storybook re-entry to MLB from a two-year absence.
Kapler had decided in advance that he would rest McGee, Leone and Rogers. He was also going to turn the ball over to the Giants’ other trade deadline pick-up, Tony Watson. It was a dramatic finish for the ‘pen. Watson went one and a third scoreless. Jarlin Garcia went the final two frames scoreless – ninth and tenth.
But the loss of the lead fell squarely on my guy, Jay Jackson. For weeks I have been writing about Jackson, and praising him. We had put him in the very first time with the bases loaded and nobody out. He got out of it, ending the inning with a double-play. He then proceeded over the next three games, to have innings where he struck out the meat of the Dodgers order and held allowing no base-runners. I love this guy.
Here he was handed the ball with a six-run lead against the worst team in the country … and it just fell apart. That happens. It is shameful, disgusting and anti-American that he was racially abused on social media over it. I am proud of Gabe Kapler for saying so.
The Giants were able to put runs on the board after allowing the Snakes to tie it at eight, and critically, we won the extra-inning with the Manfred Man – and we did it handily. Posey drove in Crawford. Duggar, Slater and Solano tacked on the extra couple of runs. Giants 11, Diamondbacks 8, F/10
The Giants lost to Madison Bumgarner last night, as he manhandled them for seven innings, holding our vaunted offense to just one run. There were moments when MadBum looked like the MadBum of old, just cruising. It was a bummer to see him in that ugly D-backs cap, though. He didn’t face Posey nor Crawford, as Kap held them out. Giants 1, D-backs 3.