Home Runs Can Cure a Lot of Ills
I watched every inning of the Bay Bridge Series between the Giants and A's. Playoff-type atmosphere. Two excellent baseball teams. Three great games. Two fantastic finishes. About 11 hours of pure pleasure, if you like baseball.
- The Giants made some rather uncharacteristic defensive and base-running errors, but home runs cure a lot of ills.
- Down 5-2 on Saturday (with the two runs coming on a home run by Kris Bryant), the Giants got back-to-back home runs from Brandon Belt and Darin Ruf to cut it to 5-4, then won it on a ninth-inning pinch-hit two-run home run by Lamonte Wade Jr.
- On Sunday, the Giants did it again, winning 2-1 on a pinch-hit two-run home run in the eighth by Donovan Solano. Ironically, the man Solano pinch hit for was...Lamonte Wade Jr.
- The Giants are the first team in MLB history to hit pinch-hit home runs in the eighth inning or later to erase deficits in back to back games.
- The Giants now lead the majors in home runs with 187. It wasn't that long ago that they couldn't buy a home run. Just three years ago, they hit 133 for the entire 2018 season.
- Giants' manager Gabe Kapler has a knack for picking pinch hitters. The Giants have hit 14 pinch hit home runs this year to lead the major leagues.
- The A's made two outstanding trade deadline pickups in outfielder Starling Marte and second baseman Josh Harrison. Marte tormented the Giants all weekend with extra base hits and stolen bases. Harrison is a two-time All-Star. Both players are hitting around .300, which is a rarity these days.
- Giants pitchers Alex Wood and Logan Webb are favorites among those of us who like fast-paced games. Unlike so many of their contemporaries, both pitchers waste no time between deliveries.
- Brandon Crawford should be a leading candidate for National League MVP. He makes incredible defensive plays every day, he leads his team in RBIs, and he's the best player on the best team in baseball.
- Kapler is a shoo-in for Manager of the Year. No one thought the Giants would be a contender this year, much less the team with the best record in baseball and leading their division over the defending World Series champion LA Dodgers.
- A's pitcher Frankie Montas is the real deal. He had the Giants eating out of his hand for seven innings.
- The A's speed was a constant thorn in the side of the Giants. Marte, Harrison, Elvis Andrus, Tony Kemp and Mark Canha (of Bellarmine Prep and Cal fame) created runs with stolen bases and distracted the Giants pitchers throughout the series.
- Has Sergio Romo been pitching for, like, 20 years? Everybody in the stadium knows what he's going to throw, and he's still getting people out.
- Is there a position Kris Bryant can't play? And play well? Maybe catcher.
- Speaking of catchers, resting Buster Posey every third day is working out quite well for the Giants.
- I've never liked Brandon Belt. Still don't.
- Matt Chapman is a great third baseman. Defensively. But he's never going to be considered a great player unless he improves dramatically as a hitter.
- Please explain again why the Coliseum site can't work for the A's. To me, the arguments being advanced by my old friend, A's president Dave Kaval, don't make much sense.