Buster Posey smacked a two-run double off the Levi’s Landing wall in the eighth inning. Bruce Bochy cracked a rare smile:
“I was happy for Buster. He was battling that at bat and it was a nice piece of hitting.”
Bochy had every reason to be giddy, Posey’s double just provided a late moment of ease. The double put away the Giants’ topsy-turvy 10-7 win over the Mets. The smile, a rare moment in which Bochy finally seemed at peace.
Bochy earned that smile, after what his team put him through. If the score seems off to you, it should. This was supposed to be a low-scoring battle between two of the best aces the bigs have to offer, not a slugfest. Bochy wasn’t ready for the tense onslaught of runs and hits he eventually got:
“I didn’t see that kind of game coming, I don’t think anyone did.”
Jacob deGrom — who held a .84 career ERA against the Giants and hadn’t given up more than two runs over 27 innings — was taking blows from every angle.
The Giants marked him for eight runs and 13 hits, forcing deGrom to leave the game shouldering one of the worst start of his career. He earned all eight of those runs, topping a career-worst seven he accumulated in a 2015 game against the Phillies. He also gave up 13 hits, edging a career-worst 12 he gave up back in 2014.
The Giants were seeing him well, noted Denard Span:
“He made good pitches, we just made better swings.”
Those swings were impressive given their opponent’s track record–this is the first loss deGrom will take against the Giants — but made even sweeter given the way in which they were earned.
DeGrom wasn’t the only guy struggling. Madison Bumgarner was also working through a funk. This game had veered way off script.
Justin Ruggiano hit a grand slam off Bumgarner to break a scoreless game. It was just the third career grand slam Bumgarner has given up and the second home run Ruggiano had on Bumgarner.
The grand slam also capped a rough 38-pitch, two-walk fourth inning and broke Bumgarner’s scoreless streak at 21 innings. He was given just one more inning of work after. This wasn’t Bumgarner’s day, the pitcher noted:
“It was just a rough game. Location wasn’t very good even when we were throwing strikes in the zone.”
Lucky for Bumgarner, the Giants had already accumulated some good at-bats against the other ace. They were seeing him well, and answered right back with a five-hit, six-run fourth inning that gave the Giants a 6-4 lead.
Hunter Pence and Eduardo Nuñez–who went 4-for-4 on the day–collected RBI to put the Giants within one, and set the stage for the night’s biggest moment.
Bumgarner took the batters box, one out against him, and pummeled a fastball right down the pipe to put the Giants ahead 5-4.
That home run put deGrom in a very exclusive, 12-man club of pitchers that Madison Bumgarner have taken deep. If that stresses deGrom out, it shouldn’t. The list also includes Clayton Kershaw (twice) and Zack Grienke. He should be honored, right? Said Bochy:
“[Bumgarner’s] got a pretty good resume against some of these pitchers.”
Bumgarner’s home run didn’t surprise his teammates or the crowd, really. He nailed a hanging slider off deGrom in his first at bat that landed just feet off the foul pole. Bumgarner said he knew he was seeing the ball well against him.
But what’s a wild Giants game without a little bullpen drama?
Cory Gearrin took the mound with a four-run lead–the Giants actually added on in the fifth–and showed some rust. He was activated off the DL just a few hours prior, anyway.
Derek Law gave fans a rare scare, loading the bases on two hits and a walk before finally retiring the side. Sergio Romo looked like his true self in the eighth, striking out two using just seven pitches.
Should be noted, also, that the same Jay Bruce who hit four home runs as a Red at AT&T Park just a few weeks ago went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts Thursday.
Also, the Dodgers lost to the Phillies, which puts the Giants at .5 games behind them in the NL West.