Wow! B-Craw’s leadoff double in the eighth inning was a thing of beauty. He swatted it inside-out to the bright sunshine in left and bolted – he was going for scoring position all the way – went flying, head-first, horizontally in the air with locks flying, to slide his hand surely onto the bag ahead of the throw. He hopped up and looked like Ross the Boss Rhea [as played by Liv Schreiber in Goon (2011), that hockey flick with Sean William Scott and Jay Baruchel loosely based on the career of minor league hockey enforcer Doug “the Thug” Smith]
Brandon Crawford … what a badass. It was like he was showing the rest of the guys how to leadoff in a tie game in the eighth inning: “Here, (grabs bat) gimme that, lemme show you how it’s done.” Championship Blood.
Tommy La Stella, fresh off the injured reserve, then patiently waited and chipped away until he got a pitch he could manipulate, and with almost a golf-swing, La Stella drove it up the gut of the defense. It was an 11-pitch at-bat he finagled into an RBI single for the winning run. So sweet.
Tommy La Stella, like Brandon Belt, is back from the IR after weeks. This guy is the first long-term contract of the Farhan Zaidi Era and we haven’t even really seen him play. Now he shows up and he’s just silk. LaStella is a joy to watch at the plate – alert, patient and guilelessly accurate, he peppers the field with hits.
But we got there because Belt tied it up in the seventh on his fourth homer in three days. What a series. Everytime we needed him to do it, he did: Brandon Belt delivered on demand and mostly home runs. This was a huge battle won in the waning years of The Belt Wars that now teeters in Brandon’s favor – they walked him out of fear which paid off, as well.
Belt’s fourth homer in three days drove in LaMonte Wade, Jr., who led off the seventh with a single, and was moved over by a perfect bunt by Curt Casali. Textbook. That’s how we got it to 4 – 4.
The Brewers are a very good pitching team that plays sharp defense. Darin Ruf had a solo shot in the first that gave Johnny Cueto a 1-0 lead. Then Brett Anderson went into lockdown, scattering four hits over five. Cueto looked great, too – he was perfect for three innings – until he wasn’t, walking Christian Yelich and giving up a two-run homer to Omar Narváez. Brewers, 2 -1.
Cueto got out of the fourth, giving up just the two runs, but he started the fifth with a single to Jackie Bradley, Jr. and advanced him to second on a throwing error. A single by Kelton Wong drove Bradley in, Brewers, 3-1.
In the sixth Cueto gave up a double to Edouardo Escobar but, before leaving the game, managed to get Narváez, who had homered off him earlier. José Alvarez tagged Cueto with another earned run with a wild pitch, but Alvarez was solid in relief after that. Rough outing for Cueto after the first three, he left in the sixth with the Giants down 4 – 1.
Kris Bryant was safe at first on a throwing error in the sixth, and moved over to third by consecutive walks to Ruf and Wilmer Flores. B-Craw hit a deep enough sac-fly to bring Bryant home and make it 4 – 2 Brewers, which allowed Belt and The Man to tie it up in the seventh.
Tony Watson had a three-up, three-down seventh. Chef’s kiss to the master. He was followed by Zach Littell, also just back to the majors, who finished the game without incident. Wow. Zach Littell, fresh off a stint in the minors, to take a break from the bigs, came in and finished the game. Just took the eighth and ninth innings. That. was Zach Littel’s first save. Giants 5, Brewers 4
Maybe we don’t need a traditional “closer” – like Bochy’s closer by committee of ’12. We can use Watson to eat middle relief and a platoon of different guys (Littell, Jackson, Rogers, McGee, Doval for speed) against specific opposition. Could be the way we do this.
This game was dominated by guys we just brought back up to the team. The up-and-downing from minors to majors and on-and-off IR, season-long, continues to work beautifully as Sam Harris and Gabe Kapler weave Kris Bryant and Tony Watson into the mix – seemingly with ease. Everything is just coming together now.
I can’t wait til Longo is back at third.
Giants won three out of four in Arizona and two out of three in Milwaukee, to go 5 – 2 on the road trip after taking the two home series from the Dodgers and Astros.
The guys just won nine of the last thirteen! With series wins over the Dodgers, Astros and Brewers – all playoff-bound teams!
What an incredible weekend Brandon Belt and the Giants had against a very good NL Central-leading Brewers Crew. Tomorrow is an off day after a very successful stretch. Whew. Take a breath. Get rest. Do laundry.
The Giants are 71 – 41 and lead the NL West by four over the nemesis.
Let’s Rest Giants!
Chill out and see the family!
Way to handle business on the road!
2021 NL West Standings