The San Francisco Giants didn’t have a hit on Wednesday. Not a duplicate, although they would have had one without the mystical powers of TOOTBLAN. Not a triple. Not even one of those things around the house that they’ve been so good at this year.
And yet, while they don’t use the tools most commonly associated with a good offense, the Giants have managed to have a good offense. A very good one, too.
They put up four runs in one round. They had the Colorado Rockies survey pen in action in the second. They eliminated GermÃ¡n MÃ¡rquez from the match after four innings. And they scored enough for a smooth 7-3 win.
But they didn’t get an extra base hit.
What they had is, it turns out, arguably also valuable: walks. Lots of walks. All kinds of walks.
The Giants drew nine walks in the day. Four of those nine walks ended up moving on to the second, then the third, and finally home. Three of those walks – including two drawn by catcher Curt Casali – came with bases loaded and hit downhill.
It was one of the most dominant walking performances in recent memory. The Giants had the presence of an offensive dinger-mashing juggernaut, despite crushing neither a three-quarter dinger nor even a half-dinger. The Rocky Mountain pitchers – who admittedly walk people as often as I say “right on point” when encountering even the tiniest conflicting opinion – seemed uncomfortable with the Giants hitters, and tried to avoid walk them to the point where they just walked them some more.
The Giants added 9 hits to go with the 9 walks, finishing with 75% as many baserunners as outs. Fairly good equation to mark the races.
On the other side of things, Alex Wood has been dominant, at least for a while. He had a perfect game in the fifth inning and a no hitting in the sixth, and thanks to his quick approach, he went through the innings in seconds. He stood on the step of the dugout as the Giants punched, sprinted up the mound as the third out was made, then rushed on his throws until the end of the inning.
Look, I don’t know much about Alex Wood, but I do know that he clearly had a reservation for an early dinner in Manresa.
He also had the two weirdest plays of the night, back to back. First, he drew a walk, although he literally stood in the batter’s box with a sign saying, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to swing.” That’s how enthusiastic and generous the pitchers in the Rockies were.
And then, once he got to second base, he … tried to steal third? This resulted in an easy choice, but Wood, not wanting his embarrassing baserunning mistake to be in vain, added a Summersault back as he tried to dodge a beacon, and made it super cool. Embarrassment avoided.
Wood collapsed a bit when he lost his no-hitter, but still finished with 6 innings, 4 hits, 2 steps, 2 runs and 9 strikeouts.
Mike Tauchman made his Giants debut and had three wins, which is the same number of hits he’s had all season for the New York Yankees. He also made some good defensive plays in central field.
He can stay.
Camilo Doval inherited a loaded base situation, without a strikeout in the seventh set, and managed to come out of the event with just one point. The Brandons helped him with an impeccably shot double play.
I’ll miss that when he’s gone, but I won’t think about it now, as the Giants are 16-9 and tied for the lead in the NL West.