The first half ends with a bang. An 8-4 win over Arizona featuring grand slams by the starting pitcher (Madison Bumgarner) and the starting catcher (Buster Posey). First time in MLB history.
Otherwise the Giants lost more than they won and stumbled out of first place in the NL West.
The Giants scored 37 runs during the first couple weeks of July. Second worst in the National League and even that total is inflated by Sunday’s eight-run extravaganza.
Not to minimize the slams, especially Posey’s which came with two out. Said Manager Bruce Bochy: “We’ve been missing that hit; that’s what you’re hoping for from those guys in the heart of the order. With two outs, to get a hit like that, that’s huge.”
Unfortunately, they’re missing a whole lot more: long, silent swings punctuated by the occasional crack when wood meets leather. More like an empty gesture than a hit.
Though the hitters continued to flail, the pitchers returned, pretty much, to form. Having inexplicably imploded, the staff appears to have performed the right rituals and made the necessary sacrifices to appease whatever gods they may have pissed off earlier. Especially Tim Lincecum. Pitching 21.1 innings, he gave up just one run.
Not freaky. Just really good pitching. Too bad. Without runs, the Giants will need a freak show to win.