San Francisco Giants Enjoy Rare Good Day, Spreads to Minor Leagues

Jun 26, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Kyle Crick (59) shakes hands with catcher Buster Posey (28) after the 9-2 win against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Kyle Crick (59) shakes hands with catcher Buster Posey (28) after the 9-2 win against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

The San Francisco Giants had one of their rare good days on Monday, and it also spread down to some of their minor league affiliates as well.

Monday was a rare good day for the San Francisco Giants, even though it threatened early on to turn into another gloomy one. A Fox Sports report came out early in the day, alluding to new closer Mark Melancon as the reason for declining clubhouse morale because he overstepped his boundaries and came to an agreement with his fellow relievers to change the pregame stretching routine.

Manager Bruce Bochy was quick to defend his closer and the clubhouse, stating that the article in question was a non-story. As he so eloquently put it, it was “pole vaulting over mouse turds”.

After the Giants finished their pregame pole-vault, they decided to do some sprints around the bases. The offense, which has so often been absent this year especially at AT&T Park, scored early and often, putting plenty of distance between themselves and the Colorado Rockies. It started in the first inning, when Buster Posey brought home Hunter Pence with a double he scorched into the left-center field gap.

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Two more scored in the third inning, courtesy of a Posey sacrifice fly and a Brandon Belt triple into the alley. Another pair came around in the fifth, an insurance run came in the seventh, and they blew the game open in the eighth with three runs to open the lead to six.

It wasn’t just the offense that worked for the Giants, either. It was a rare complete game, when everything clicked for the team. Paired with the offensive outburst, the pitching was strong and the defense was as smooth as it’s been all season.

Jeff Samardzija kept his incredible stretch moving with 6.1 innings of two-run ball, allowing only six hits and, yet again, not issuing a walk. It was the seventh time in his last 10 starts that Samardzija didn’t give up ball four, and since May started, the Shark has struck out 82 batters while walking just three.

When the Rockies paired a couple hits together in the third inning, Samardzija needed a little help from his shortstop. With runners on first and second, Nolan Arenado rolled a grounder towards the 5.5 hole. Crawford ranged to his right and made the stop, but had no shot at gunning down Arenado at first. Instead, he turned his attention to third base. Rookie third baseman Ryder Jones also made a heads-up play, letting the grounder go and heading back to his bag. From there, all Crawford had to do was make the throw to third to the waiting Jones to get his pitcher out of the inning with the lead intact.

Sam Dyson has quickly ascended the bullpen depth chart, and the eighth inning was his with a four-run lead. Dyson was extremely impressive in striking out the side, getting Arenado and Ian Desmond to both chase pitches outside the zone for strike three. Dyson has quickly turned the page on his disastrous 2017 with the Texas Rangers. He faced 91 batters while wearing a Rangers’ uniform this season, and struck out only seven (7.7 percent). Since joining the Giants, he’s punched out nine out of 27 batters faced (33.3 percent).

The future was on display in the ninth inning, when Kyle Crick was called upon to pitch the final inning for the first time in his career (but certainly not the last). He recorded his first big league strikeout against Trevor Story, and worked around a one-out single to close the game and seal the team’s sixth victory in 24 games this month.

It was a great day for the big league club, which was much-needed, but the good vibes weren’t limited to the big boys. Some of the team’s top prospects had fantastic days as well, led by number-one prospect Tyler Beede in Triple-A. Beede had been going through a rough stretch, having allowed 30 runs and nine home runs over 29.1 innings in his past five starts. On Monday, he enjoyed one of his best outings of the year, going a season-high eight innings while giving up just four hits, two runs, and two walks while striking out seven.

Next: Bumgarner Returns to a Mound Amid Awful June

Lower down the chain, three California League All-Stars had big days for the High-A San Jose Giants. Bryan Reynolds, the team’s number-three overall prospect, had four hits, including a pair of doubles and his fourth home run of the season. He drove in four runs as his batting average rose to .312, the eighth-best mark in the Cal League. Ryan Howard picked up three hits for his ninth game this year of three or more hits, to raise his average to .327, fifth-best in the league. Catcher Aramis Garcia hit two home runs to reach 10 on the season, and drove in four runs. He leads the team with 49 RBI on the season.