Courtesy of Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
OAKLAND — The San Francisco Giants won two out of the three games this weekend against the Oakland A's and won the Bay Bridge Series 4-2.
How the Giants did it was pretty remarkable in its own. They became the first team in Major League history to win back-to-back games with pinch hit home runs in the eighth inning or later. Lamont Wade Jr. did it in the ninth inning with a two-run home run while the Giants trailing 5-4 on Saturday and Donovan Solano was the hero for San Francisco today with his own two-run homer in the top of the eighth off of A.J. Puk trailing 1-0.
With the win, San Francisco became the first team to 80 wins games this season. Not bad for a team whose over/under for wins was slated at 75 before the season started. In fact their record of 80-44 is the second best record after 124 games in San Francisco history. Only the 1993 team had a better record of 83-41.
Here's what we learned throughout this series.
They proved the "never say die" mantra with their consecutive come from behind victories. This team has been doing this consistently throughout the season and is one of the reasons why they have won 80 games at this point of the season. The beauty about this team is the fact that it's a different guy delivering in the clutch each game. This team doesn't have a single player with over 20 home runs but the consistency up and down the lineup is why they lead the league with 187 home runs, including six in this series alone.
Speaking of home runs, they also happened to lead the league with 14 pinch home runs. Compare that to the Colorado Rockies who are second with nine.
In what was one of the big question marks coming into the season for the Giants, their bullpen has been huge for them over the past month. San Francisco's late inning stalwarts of Tyler Rogers and Jake McGee has been more than solid for manager Gabe Kapler throughout the season combing for 39 saves. However the middle relievers, who are usually the unsung heroes, of Dominic Leone, Zach Littell, Jay Jackson and Jarlin Garcia have proven their worth when a Giants starter hasn't been able to make it past the fifth inning.
Oh did I forget to mention the acquired veteran setup guy Tony Watson at the trade deadline, whose in his second stint with the Giants??
It's been less than month since Oakland acquired him in a trade from the Miami Marlins. Ever since manager Bob Melvin has inserted him into the lineup, Marte has been the A's best player, if not their MVP so far. His 17 consecutive successful stolen base attempts are the third best in Athletics history when they started counting stolen bases in 1920. His speed allows him to turn singles and walks into doubles and has pitchers wishing they had eyes in the back of their heads. He is already in ninth place in the American League with 15 stolen bases in 21 games since joining Oakland. He is still third in the National League with 22.
Marte is batting .379 with 20 stolen bases, and 20 RBI in 32 games since the All-Star break. Oh did I forget to mention he can play a pretty mean centerfield?? Oakland is going to ride him along with Josh Harrison for the stretch run as the fight for a playoff spot.
Kevin Gausman hasn't been the same pitcher since July. Anthony DeSclafani and Joey Cueto have been inconsistent and injured during the past month and Alex Wood has been up and down. Webb has dominated since he's came off the injured list on July 9th. In his last 12 starts he is 6-0 with a 1.63 ERA (12 earned runs in 66 1/3 innings). He is the Giants horse right now and he's the best pitcher in the starting rotation. Also in those past 12 starts he has held opponents to two runs or fewer. Only three other pitchers (Guasman, Ferdie Schupp and Juan Marichal) in the franchise's history have had a streak as long as Webb's current one.
Having fans back this season at these two ballparks have made the Bay Bridge Series feel like playoff series and a genuine rivalry.
It was great to hear both Giants and A's fans come together to cheer on their teams (despite them getting the wave going on several occasions). You can't put a value on what it means to have fans in the stands. It makes the games more intense and frankly more enjoyable especially with the seesaw battle this past series had in each game. The players feed off it and so do members of the media.
I'm not going to call this series a possible rematch of the 1989 World Series (as I've been wrong about these things before. See my feature on the Giants-Cubs earlier this year). However, it's going to be an exciting September, maybe even one to remember. With both teams fighting to play in October, the Bay Area hasn't felt this electric for baseball since 2014.
Get out the popcorn and find a comfy seat, this is going to be one ride you don't want to miss.
December 22, 2022
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September 23, 2021
Reliever Dominic Leone after the Giants 9-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLDS on October 9, 2021.
Third Baseman Kris Bryant sat down with the media before Sunday's game to discuss what it feels like to be traded to San Francisco.
Manager Bruce Bochy after the Giants 9-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 29, 2019. This was his final game as Giants manager.