Blackmon Makes LoDo Magic, Spoils Giants’ Fun


Don’t you just love watching dejected Giants walk off the field? Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Beating the Giants is fun. Especially in September.

It was a long day of baseball at Coors Field, 12 innings split between two games. The first picked up with two outs in the bottom of the 6th inning of a suspended game from back in May. Not much to report here, except that two guys in the “starting lineup” are depressingly no longer in service. The Giants scored two runs in the 8th and won. This was a different game back in May, when the Rockies still had a glimmer of hope. Today it was just about finishing it as quickly as possible.

The Giants’ starter in that game, Tim Hudson, went only 3 innings because of the initial rain delay. He was back for game two today, and he looked pretty untouchable to start with. His sub-3.00 ERA is the stuff of dreams for Rockies’ starting pitchers, and at age 39 he seems to have plenty left in the tank. But by the 2nd inning, the Rockies had gotten to him. After giving up a hit to Corey Dickerson and plunking Josh Rutledge, Hudson allowed a triple down the right field line to DJ LeMahieu, which naturally scored both runs.

Of course, the Rockies were already looking a substantial deficit in the face: Franklin Morales, who really ought to be reconsidering this line of work, surrendered four runs in the 1st inning and might have given up more if Gregor Blanco hadn’t been caught in a pickle. Morales probably would have also allowed some in the 2nd inning, if not for a brilliant climb-the-ladder play made by Justin Morneau, who then doubled the runner off of 1st.

All told, Morales gave up seven runs to the Giants in less than five innings of work. He’s not a starter. I’m guessing the front office knows that and just isn’t sure who else to use, but if that’s the case, then they need to not do stupid things like give up Chris Capuano to the Yankees and fail to claim Jacob Turner.

Anyway, things didn’t really get exciting from the offensive side of things until the 6th, when Hudson really lost his stuff. He walked the lead-off man and then gave up two singles. He ran into some bad luck when second baseman Joe Panik muffed Pablo Sandoval‘s throw, which made it two on and no outs when it could have been one on and one out. Rafael Ynoa made his MLB debut at the plate and, after taking a weird fall on an off-balance throw to 2nd in the previous inning, responded by collecting his first hit and RBI. Since September is about the kids, way to go Rafael!

The Rockies tacked on three more runs in the 7th for a total of seven unanswered runs, which made the score 9-7 Rockies. Meanwhile, the bullpen was quietly holding on. When LaTroy Hawkins came in to close, I thought for sure we were golden. Hawkins has been solid so far this season, posting a 1.80 ERA in his last 10 appearances and earning 22 saves in 23 opportunities. But just as soon as you turn your back on these Rockies, everything goes to pot. With the meat of the Giants’ lineup coming to the plate, Hawkins surrendered 2 runs before even recording an out, and just like that it was a tie game.

These guys were tired, though, and they did not want to go into extra innings. The Rockies’ offense made quick work of Guillermo Quiroz in the bottom of the 9th, thanks yet again to Ynoa. He singled Michael McKenry to 3rd with 2 outs and set up the winning run with Charlie Blackmon coming to the plate. Blackmon laced a base hit to right, and that was the ball game.

The best part was that there were far more Giants fans in the stadium than necessary, and they kept getting “Let’s go Giants” chants going. People, it is so classless to do that away from home. Let the home team fans at least have the privilege of doing the cheering. If you want to clap and get excited when your team scores a run, fine, but don’t try to commandeer the energy for yourselves. In any case, those guys got their just desserts, and that made me happy. Also: Rafael Ynoa! Happy Labor Day everybody.