Instant Replay: Sandoval, Pence clobber Brewers, Giants sweep

Instant Replay: Sandoval, Pence clobber Brewers, Giants sweep
August 31, 2014, 3:15 pm
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It started, as things usually do, with a second-inning Sandoval triple. I mean, the man has 19 in his lifetime, after all, so why the hell not?
Ray Ratto


If you say you expected the Giants to sweep Milwaukee, you are of course a liar.

Many of you will swear you saw it coming after the three wins against the laughable Coloradii, but like I said, you are prevaricators and swine. You saw the 13-2 win Friday night and figured the Giants were done for the weekend. Of course you did.

But no.

The Giants smashed the Central co-leaders, 15-5, with an orgy of extra base hits in support of Madison Bumgarner (Run support? At home? For Bumgarner? What fresh madness is this?) and now have the third-best record in the National League a week after being buried while still alive by the loyal fan base.

A seven-run seventh with the gaudiest bauble on the mobile, but the Giants scored in all but the first and fourth innings, and now head to Colorado to the Major League Baseball Bat Rehabilitation Center with their offense ringing as well as it has all year.

Bumgarner strung together another snot-rocketty performance, and finished August going 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA. He was only around for the first six runs of support, but his work stood on its own. There may be some plaque he can put in the bottom of his locker as a result of this.

Despite the win, the Giants gained nothing on the Dodgers, who bludgeoned San Diego, 6-1, or St. Louis, which overcame a 5-0 deficit to beat the Cubs and tie the Brewers for the Central lead. But Pittsburgh and Washington both lost, and on a day with big individual gains, another incremental one in the standings cannot be bad.

Starting pitching report
Bumgarner’s inability to throw a no-hitter after coming so close the time before will be a dark mark on his record forever. Okay, that’s a lie, but it was fun to think it for a second. Carlos Gomez bunted his way on base to start the game, took third on a single to right by Jonathan Lucroy and scored on a Ryan Braun double play. And that, to steal from Bob Uecker, was your Brewers Play of the Day.

Bumgarner allowed two singles, a double and a walk before giving way to George Kontos in the seventh to cruise to his 16th win.

Bullpen report
Kontos gave up an enormous home run to Martin Maldonado that almost cleared the bleachers over the Chevron sign down the left field line, but the news was Tim Lincecum starting the eighth with the Giants up 12. His relocation from the rotation now essentially official, he induced a ground out from Jonathan Lucroy but then gave up Ryan Braun’s 18th homer of the year, a fan favorite of a blow that cut the lead to 14-3.

He then gave up a scorching double to Rickie Weeks and a bloop single to pinch-hitter Scooter Gennett in the ninth and gave up three runs and three hits in his two innings. So consternation, always the fan’s best friend, has moved from the hitters back to their favorite defrocked pitcher.

At The Plate
A second double-digit day in the last three, 16 more hits to go with the 29 the last two days, a ballpark-record 10 extra base hits including three triples and a home run. Just as we suspected . . . if you want to heal your ailing batting average, go see the Brewers.

Yes, that is counterintuitive, but this being the Giants, the Bizarro World rules apply at all times.

Pablo Sandoval initially won the day with a homer, triple (yes, triple) and three RBI, but since only Brandon Crawford ended up hitless, there were a lot of gorgers at the trough as the Giants finished their most productive three-game series of the season (31 runs, 45 hits) and second double-digit run day (six total) in three days.

Andrew Susac doubled twice and drove in three, and Hunter Pence tripled, doubled twice, singled and drove in two as it was Mardi Gras at the bat rack yet again. The team that spent nearly three months showing it couldn’t hit a lick has apparently taken its lack of inventory across the bay, and the team that sickened its fan base as recently as a week ago is now freshly worshiped by the very same people.

Beat that with a stick.

It started, as things usually do, with a second-inning Sandoval triple. I mean, the man has 19 in his lifetime, after all, so why the hell not? But this being the Giants, he would probably have died there, but Susac drove a ball into the gap to score Sandoval with the Giants’ first run, the first of Susac’s two doubles.

An inning later, the Giants dropped the rest of the shoe closer by scoring three more times, the main blow coming from the first of Pence’s two doubles (he also tripled and scored in the bat-around seventh just for snicks and giggles).

The seven-run seventh was mostly gratuitous, but it sent a sun-baked holiday crowd home thinking that the trial of the last 2 ½ months had finally ended.

They should live so long.

In The Field
Your highlight: Blanco racing to his right to making a sliding catch of Rickie Weeks’ potential RBI double to end the fourth. Everything else . . . well, it’s the Giants: Grounder to short, fly to right, the usual. No errors, no bad throws, nothing egregious of any sort.

41,935, their umpty-umpth sellout in a row and it was Star Wars Day and ya-da-da-blah-de-blah. This was a real-deal sellout, though, as the true test, the right field promenade, was jammed with people, both stationary and on the hoof.

In short, the Giants have drawn 2,954,060, third behind the Dodgers and Cardinals, and have 10 home dates left.

Up next
The big game-and-a-half-a-header in Colorado. Tim Hudson (9-9, 2.90) gets the big boy game against the one-time phenom Franklin Morales (5-7, 5.14), while the suspended game picks up where David Huff (no longer with the Giants) and Nick Masset (who is still with the Rockies).

Hudson started that game, so he could conceivably get no-decisioned in both games, which is tough duty for a starter these days . . . The Giants will add pitchers Mike Kickham from Fresno and Hunter Strickland from Richmond, plus catcher Guillermo Quiroz, infielder Chris Dominguez and outfielder Juan Perez, all three from Fresno, for Monday’s games, and then add several more players Tuesday, after the minor league season ends.