The Giants are playing sixteen games in sixteen days.
They face the Mets (3) and Braves (3) on the road, the Brewers (4) and Dodgers (3) at home, and finally the Rocks (3), at altitiude, without a break. This gauntlet of games will define the stretch. Let’s Goooooooo!
It started tonight against the Mets in Queens and the Giants supported the rookie Sammy Long with seven runs early, on four home runs, batting through the order in the fourth.
Facing the tall (6’7″), hard-throwing righty Tyler Megill, Belt homered, then Yaz and The Man, LaMonte Wade, Jr. did, each with a runner on. Then Belt followed The Man and homered again as the Giants went back-to-back! The Giants now lead the majors with 191 homers! Megill was done. But facing the reliever Trevor Williams, Crawford singled in a run in the fourth as well.
Rook was very good, allowing just two hits over five, on 82 pitches. He had four strikeouts and gave up a walk. Considering that Javy Baez (doubled twice) and Francisco Lindor are back in a lineup with conpetent hitters like Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto, this was a great outing for Sammy Long. Textbook.
He earned the right to come back out for the sixth, with a seven-run lead on the road, amidst this long stretch of games. Long induced a pop-out by Brandon Drury to start the sixth and then another, pop-up, from fellow-Met-Brandon, Nimmo … but it fell for a single, ending Long’s outing after 6.1. Good polite extension and short leash by Kap, whom I admire more daily.
On the radio call, Flem said, “Sammy Long did his job and then some … I would say, all things considered, that’s the best he has pitched in his young major league career,” before noting that Giants fans at Citi Field were giving Long a loud ovation in appreciation.
Buster Posey left the game with right-knee discomfort. Something was nagging at him and the ump asked him about it a couple of times. Seems like they pulled him out of an abundance of caution. The seven-run lead allowed the Giants to feel comfortable with Casali taking over as Jay Jackson took the mound.
Jackson closed out the sixth without incident and Jose Alvarez had a crisp, ten-pitch, three-up, three-down seventh with two Ks.
The Giants offense woke up hustling in the eighth, tacking on a run by Ruf, who walked, then busted over to third on an infield hit by Wade and then home on another infield hit legged out by Belt.
Tyler Chatwood, who got shellacked in extra innings against these Mets at Oracle on the day he arrived at the club, was given the ball in the 8th with a seven-run lead, which I think is only fair. He rewarded Giants fans with a view of what he is capable under normal circumstances. He calmly fanned two straight batters. Chatwood’s fastball hit 95mph. He picked up the final out of the inning on an easy grounder to Solano. nice.
The Giants went quietly in the ninth, though Wilmer Flores tacked on a nostalgic single in his old stomping grounds.
Kapler left Chatwood out there for the ninth, which one assumes was circumstantial – with a seven-run lead if you can avoid using anyone else, why not do it? Save arms for the grueling stretch of games ahead.
Chatwood gave up a single to Pete Alonso to start the ninth. He got Alonso on a force off a Lindor single, then induced a pop-up from Baez. Then suddenly, with two outs, went wild and gave up a walk to Conforto and beaned J.D. Davis in the helmet to load the bases … uh, oops.
Chatwood’s 25th pitch of the ninth inning was yet another high ball and he looked off. But he got Jeff McNeil to chase a sinking slider. Bases loaded, two down, Chatwood behind 3-1. His 29th pitch was a grounder to first Belt flipped to Chatwood for the win. whew. Sammy Long’s second win.
Giants 8, Mets 0
It was revealed by Brandon Belt after the game that his grandmother, with whom he was close, passed away before the game. He dedicated his inspired performance – he was 4 for 5 with two home runs and 3 RBI – to her. His 19th homer of the season is a career high, with forty games still to play. My deepest condolences amidst congratulations to Brandon Belt.
It was the 14th shutout by Giants pitching, just one fewer than the major-league-leading 15 by the White Sox.
The stylish grey cap, that I bought off a dummy head at the shop inside the 2nd Street Entrance at Oracle Park after the win against the Nats on Saturday the 10th of July, and about which the guy said, “that’s the last one of those,” as he took it off the dummy head and gave it to me, is a winner!
This cap is now 12 – 2 with four epic rallies, including an affinity for the bat of LaMonte Wade, Jr. in the clutch rally circumstance.
Good win. Game two of The Gauntlet of Sixteen, tomorrow.
Let’s Go Giants!
Get the Series, Beat the Mets!