San Francisco Giants: You Just Can’t Predict Baseball


Entering Sunday’s game, the San Francisco Giants were in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, during which their offense was downright anemic. They had been brutalized, as their opponents put up 35 runs while the Giants mustered just 15. On Saturday, things didn’t look as if they’d improve very much at the plate.

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Manager Bruce Bochy put together one of his more makeshift lineups this season. Alejandro De Aza, in only his second game with the Giants after being acquired last Monday, was hitting cleanup for the first time in his 658-game major league career. Nick Noonan was stuck at first base for the first time in his professional career, while starting his first big league game since September 26th, 2013. Hector Sanchez was playing catcher.

That lineup was slapped together out of pure necessity. Buster Posey got a day off after being beaten up on Friday, and Andrew Susac went back home to get his bad wrist checked out, forcing Sanchez into the starting lineup. Nori Aoki has recurring concussion symptoms, and the rest of his season, which at one point was All-Star worthy, is in doubt. Brandon Belt was sick.

But as they say, you can’t predict baseball. And when said baseball is being played in the high altitudes of Coors Field, that becomes doubly, probably even triply true. That lineup was, apparently, just what the doctor ordered for the Giants.

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The Giants got the scoring started in the second inning, courtesy of two players who were formerly deep down on the depth chart. With two outs, Sanchez doubled off the wall, and Noonan followed with a bloop double to score Sanchez, collecting his first RBI since July 9th, 2013.  Noonan picked up another RBI later in the game when he drew a bases loaded walk.

In the third inning, Angel Pagan finally got off the schneid.  He hit his first home run of the season, breaking a 697 at-bat drought that dated all the way back to May 2nd of last year.

De Aza collected his firs two hits as a Giant, when he singled in the fifth and seventh innings, respectively.

On top of all that, there was Jake Peavy, who has been solid on the mound, but blind as a bat (actually, quite literally) at the plate. Leading off the fifth inning, Peavy channeled his inner Madison Bumgarner, smoking a double into center field and over the head of Charlie Blackmon. He would later race home to score on Matt Duffy‘s double. The double was Peavy’s first extra-base hit since 2013, when he was a member of the Boston Red Sox.

Peavy wasn’t done, however. In the sixth inning, with Noonan waiting patiently at first base, Peavy lined another double into left field one pitch after being brushed back by Simon Castro. Noonan sped around the bases to score, and became Peavy’s first RBI since 2012, when he was with the Chicago White Sox. He hadn’t had multiple extra-base hits in a game since 2007, and he became the first Giants’ pitcher with two doubles in a game since Russ Ortiz in 2002.

Altogether, that makeshift, scotch tape and rubber bands lineup pieced together seven runs, the team’s most in eight games, and 15 hits, their most since they collected 13 in that 14-inning affair with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Of course, Saturday wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, as the Baseball Gods took they near-daily sacrifice from the Giants. In the fourth inning, Sanchez sprained his ankle running to first base, and Posey was called into work on his day off.

With Susac not with the team (and now on the 60-day DL), Sanchez’s injury made Posey the only catcher available. Juan Perez was more than ready though, as he was shown in the dugout with his hand tucked into a catcher’s mitt, and caught warm up tosses from Hunter Strickland in the squat. Odd years just get really, really odd.

With the Dodgers also winning on Saturday, the Giants still trail in the NL West by 7.5 games. With now 26 games left to play, things are bleak and the lights are really dimming on the Giants’ postseason hopes. Maybe they can rattle off a big win streak and get back into things. After all, you can’t predict baseball.

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