The Giants are playing sixteen games in sixteen days, without a break. Been live-blogging them here under the category /Gauntlet. Tonight’s the penultimate game, 15 of the 16, still at altitude, in Denver.
The Giants came into this one (8-6) so far in the first fourteen of these sixteen games in a row. Going for win number nine.
Injury update: Kris Bryant available day-to-day, might come off the bench today. Posey will start behind the plate.
A night after the first-half-ace Kevin Gausman gave the Giants seven strong innings, the Giants sent second-half-ace Logan Webb (8-3, 2.56 ERA, 121 K) to face Rockies’ righty Chi Chi Gonzalez (3-6, 6.13 ERA, 55 K).
Tommy La Stella was moved back to leadoff and LaMonte Wade, Jr., batted cleanup. I love all these various lineups, but I need to sit down and crunch some numbers about what works. Maybe the new game is too fast-moving and mutable and there is no steady-state, as it were, but I need data.
Me? You can tell what kind of journalist and fan I am by floating around here in my giants baseball corner. It’s a mix of the mathematical and the spiritual and superstition and statistics.
First pitch was 6:44, and 64 degrees F was the gametime temperature in Denver.
- Tommy La Stella (L) 2B
- Brandon Belt (L) 1B
- Buster Posey (R) C
- LaMonte Wade Jr. (L) LF
- Brandon Crawford (L) SS
- Evan Longoria (R) 3B
- Mike Yastrzemski (L) RF
- Steven Duggar (L) CF
- Logan Webb (R) P
Tommy La Stella was his usual patient self in the box, looking at a fastball and then fouling one off, then drawing three balls to fill the count. On the sixth pitch of the night from Chi Chi Gonzalez, a low slider, La Stella went down to grab it and doubled to shallow left, Silk.
Brandon Belt then pulled a changeup, yanking it to deep center: back-to-back doubles, La Stella scored, Giants 1, Rockies 0. Buster Posey worked a full count, then smashed the third double in a row of the game, this time to left center, scoring Belt, Giants 2, Rockies 0.
All three doubles were on two-strike pitches. Dave told us it was the very first time in San Francisco Giants history that we started a game with three straight doubles.
LaMonte Wade, Jr., hit a slow roller to first, Gonzalez covered and they got him, but advanced Posey to third, with one out and two in. Brandon Crawford then came up to face Gonzalez, who got ahead, again, 1-2. Crawford fouled off a few and drew another ball. Bcraw fouled off another then pulled it into right field, a low liner for the RBI single, scoring Posey.
32 pitches for Gonzalez – one out, three earned runs and a runner on for Evan Longoria. Longo grounded into the double play to end it. Giants 3, Rockies 0.
- Raimel Tapia (L) LF
- Brendan Rodgers (R) SS
- Charlie Blackmon (L) RF
- C.J. Cron (R) 1B
- Ryan McMahon (L) 3B
- Garrett Hampson (R) 2B
- Sam Hilliard (L) CF
- Dom Nunez (L) C
- Chi Chi Gonzalez (R) P
Logan Webb retired Raimel Tapia on a third pitch grounder hit into the defense. He got ahead of Brendan Rodgers, 1-2, and struck him out with the slider, the fifth pitch of the at-bat.
Webb then gave up a low liner to Charlie Blackmon, who hit it out of Belt’s reach, and a back-to-back, two-out single to C.J. Cron – who hit the first pitch right back up the middle of the defense and through, to put two on.
He struck out Ryan McMahon on three pitches, the last a 95mph sinker that got him looking, a great pitch. Good inning for Webb, despite the back-to-back singles and meaningless traffic, sixteen pitches.
Mike Yasztrzemski gave a first pitch curve a long ride, but it stayed in the park, caught by Blackmon in deep right. Steven Duggar drilled a ball deep into the ranging Rockies yard and hustled for a triple. Logan Webb then smashed a first-pitch, stand-up double to drive him in. Giants 4, Rockies 0.
La Stella then had a basehit to right – Silk is so good – and Webb scored. “The Giant are teeing off on Chi Chi Gonzalez and Bud Black is on the phone,” Dave remarked. Belt then came up and hit a single, moving La Stella over and chasing Gonzalez from the game.
Eleven hitters had eight hits against Gonzalez. The Giants were up five to nothing.
The Rockies brought Goudeau to face Buster with Belt and La Stella on. Posey hit a smash liner to short that Rodgers managed to wrist-glove so it bounced up in the air, then quickly got the ball over to second and the Rockies turned it. Giants 5, Rockies 0.
Logan Webb threw a first pitch fastball for a strike to Hampson to start the bottom of the frame. He induced a foul on another and was quickly up 0-2. Hampson worked it back to 2-2. But Webb finished him off with the slider for his third strikeout.
He got ahead of Hilliard 0-2, again, and induced a weak grounder to La Stella. Silk charged it to ensure he made the throw in time. Webb got ahead of Dom Nunez, 0-2, just firing strikes, and he got him to chase the slider to strike him out, as well. Three up, three down on a dozen pitches.
LaMonte Wade, Jr., started the third against Goudeau and lined out to Hampson. Crawford had a fascinating at-bat. He got ahead 3-0, then fouled off a fastball and swung on a changeup to fill the count. Then he fouled off another. He then roped a slow (77mph) curve to deep right and raced for second, sliding head-first as he has been doing lately, hair flying, for a double.
Longo and Yaz flied out to end the inning, stranding Craw.
Logan Webb struck out Goudeau on three quick pitches. He got ahead of Raimel Tapia, 0-2, and got him to pop out, again on three pitches. He then got Brendan Rodgers to ground out, on four. Webb had a ten-pitch third and had retired seven in a row. he was mowing em down.
Duggar faced Goudeau and worked a full count before ripping a fastball for a double to put himself on the Cycle Watch, with a single and a homer to go. Logan Webb tried the crazy show-bunt-pull-back-and-swing-away that Gausman just nailed to perfection last night, but failed to get it done, then bunted foul on strike three. Brandon Belt, with Duggar on second, grounded into a double play – the Giants third inning-ending GIDP of this game.
Logan Webb faced Charlie Blackmon, who had the first hit off him earlier in the game, to start the bottom of the fourth. The Giants had the overshift on for Blackmon and he hit a two-seam fastball for a line drive right over Crawford’s head into left field. Blackmon was two for two.
Cron came up next having singled off Webb previously as well. He hooked a ball just a few feet foul that was threatening. Then he, too, ripped a line drive for a base hit to center field. His second hit was an RBI, driving in Blackmon with a double. These two guys had all of the Rockies hits.
McMahon moved Cron over to third on a grounder, but was thrown out at first for the first out of the inning. Logan Webb had one in, just one down, and one ninety feet away, facing Garrett Hampson. He once again got ahead 1-2, setting him up beautifully with sinkers, and struck him out with a perfectly thrown slider. Webb then got Sam Hilliard on one pitch, a sharp comebacker that Webb threw to Belt for the last out. Cron was stranded. Giants 5, Rockies 1.
There was a lot of first-pitch swinging in this one. Buster Posey grounded weakly to first to start the fifth on one pitch but then The Man, Wade, Jr., ripped one up the right field line for a stand-up double. The Giants had seven doubles in the game already.
Crawford popped out to second for the second out. Longoria drew a walk to put two on with two out for Yaz. Buddy Black pulled Goudeau on a double switch. Rio Ruiz was brought in to play third. McMahon moved to second, Hampson to center and Hilliard left the game.
He brought in Robert Stephenson who has been very good against the Giants, including last night. Stephenson, a tall righty from Martinez, California, got Posey, Longoria and Crawford on just six pitches yesterday: groundout, flyout, groundout.
But Stephenson fell behind 3-1 to Yaz and walked him to load the bases on a fastball that just missed.
Steven Duggar, on Cycle Watch, came up with the bases loaded, but fell behind 1-2. Stephenson’s next pitch, a curve whose bottom just fell out, started in the zone and dropped like a stone, good pitch. Duggar did well and checked, 2-2. It was well thrown. Duggar then lined the very next pitch, another curve, into left center field and cleared the bases with another triple. wow.
Seven doubles and three triples in the game for the Giants in the first five innings. For Duggar, his third triple in three games!
Logan Webb hit a deep fly ball to center that was caught to end the Giants’ fifth. Giants 8, Rockies 1.
Webb picked up where he left off. Nunez grounded out to first on three pitches. But then Logan missed on two balls to the new guy, Rio Ruiz. Ruiz hit the next pitch hard to third, and it stayed fair long enough to hit the edge of the bag, take a crazy bounce into foul territory, yet be ruled fair by virtue of hitting third. Ruiz ran it out and got the base hit.
Webb then got Tapia to ground to Belt who gunned down Ruiz at second, to Crawford, who turned it around and slung it back to Webb, covering, to get Tapia at first: inning-ending double play.
Stephenson got La Stella to ground out to start the sixth. He got ahead of Belt 1-2, but Brandon stayed alive, fouling off one and eyeing a ball, 2-2. Stephenson struck him out with the curve, same deal, “headed toward the middle and then dropped almost straight downward,” said Jon. Posey bounced a griounder past the mound to McMahon at second who threw him out. Three up, three down for Stephenson.
Logan Webb came to the mound for the sixth with a seven run lead and a great line:
Webb got a comeback liner right back at him from Rodgers and he snagged it in the air, one down. He faced Blackmon who had two previous hits, and retired him on a routine grounder to La Stella. Cron, who had the other two hits, was retired on a popped up foul ball.
Logan Webb had a three-up, three down sixth inning on seven pitches. Wow. Jon said, “It’s as if Logan Webb is getting better.”
Julian Fernandez, a very-hard throwing righty, entered the game for the Rockies to face LaMonte Wade, Jr. In a game recently, Fernandez threw eleven pitches that were 100mph or faster, and threw one at 102.4mph. The fourth-fastest pitcher in all of baseball, this guy. But the command wasn’t great, and we are patient, so The Man walked.
Crawford then smoked a first pitch fastball to center sending Wade to third – runners in the corners, nobody out. Fernandez fell behind Longo 0-2 and then Longo was able to stay out of the double play on a grounder that picked up Crawford at second, scoring Wade. Giants 9, Rockies 1.
Yaz then just obliterated his 22nd home run of the year – a career high – off Fernandez’s 98mph fastball that was left right out over the plate. 433 feet. Giants 11, Rockies 1, on the first Giants home run of the night.
Fernandez struck out Duggar and Logan Webb stepped back into the box, with no intention of facing Fernandez’s heat, but obviously fully planning to go back out for the eighth. Webb grounded out to third to end the top half of the frame.
Webb’s 68th pitch was a changeup Ryan McMahon fouled off for strike one. He got ahead 1-2. Then Webb missed, 2-2. McMahon lined one to deep right that stayed fair for a leadoff double. Hampson reached on an infield single to third. Joshua Fuentes hit for the pitcher Fernandez, and he singled to left, scoring McMahon. Webb then gave up a single to Ruiz, scoring Hampson. Giants 11, Rockies 3
Webb went seven innings, but it cost him two earned runs. Four of his nine hits were in the seventh, when he threw seventeen pitches.
The Giants went quietly in the eighth, three up, three down against the Rockies’ Jordan Sheffield. He retired the side on four pitches.
Kapler and the staff decided to give the ball to a 22-year-old rookie from Venezuela, Kervin Castro, for his debut opportunity in the majors. Back in June, they asked Camilo Doval to debut here as well. I wonder if there is something about the constraints of Coors Field for pitchers that makes it good for testing our rookies. Maybe it was just the eight-run lead making it possible to experiment.
Kervin Castro popped out Charlie Blackmon to third to score his first out in the majors on three pitches.
He gave up a double to C.J. Cron on a two-strike, hanging curve ball, a mistake pitch. But Castro then struck out McMahon to register his first K and got Hampson to ground out to second on one pitch to end the inning.
His four-seam fastball hit 97mph. He threw five in his eight pitch inning: 97, 96, 95, 95 and 94mph. Excellent outing, rook. Welcome to the big leagues.
The Rockies brought the long-time-away, comeback-story, 36-year-old Daniel Bard to finish the game and he was nutty. La Monte Wade, Jr. got hit by a pitch to lead off the ninth. On a grounder, Crawford stayed out of the double play, but Wade was forced out. Longo walked.
Then Bard threw a wild pitch that bounced way back out of play. The Man scored, of course, Giants 12, Rockies 3. But Crawford was thrown out trying to stretch for third on the play. Finally, Bard gave up a single to Yaz and struck out the red-hot Steven Duggar. Bard’s line is ridonk: a HBP, a BB, a run-scoring WP, a single, and a K. hahahahaa!
Kervin Castro came back for the bottom of the ninth. The rookie threw a 96mph four-seamer that missed and then quickly got ahead 1-2. Fast-working pitcher, the kid almost only threw the heater in the ninth. The next pitch was tapped in front of the plate and Castro was able to pick it up and throw out Fuentes.
Castro gave up a base hit to Nunez, but Nunez was forced out on a first-pitch grounder by Hampson, whom Thairo Estrada, freshly put into the game, couldn’t manage to throw out at first for the inning-ending double play.
Castro got ahead of Elias Diaz 1-2, but he worked it full against the young Venezuelan. On the next pitch, a fastball, Diaz flied out to Duggar in center to end it. Two scoreless innings, didn’t walk anyone. Way to go Kervin Castro!
Giants win! If we win tomorrow we’ll be first to 90 wins!
Giants 12, Rockies 3/F
The Giants won the 15th game of the 16 game Gauntlet and have now gone 9-6, during this epic stretch. Just one game left. I will live blog tomorrow’s day game and then I am done.
With a sweep of the Rockies tomorrow, we can go (10-6) on the stretch from hell, the Gauntlet of 16 Games in 16 Days. We can also be first to 90 wins.
Pound the Rocks!