San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence congratulates Francisco Peguero… (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty…)
Some games cannot be described, they have to be experienced. Over multiple hours.
Saturday night the Giants beat the Dodgers, 10-9, in 10 innings, which is about the only simple thing that can be written about this little affair.
For the second consecutive night, the Giants beat the Dodgers with a walk-off solo home run. Friday it was their best player, Buster Posey. Saturday, it was the last guy on the bench.
Guillermo Quiroz, a backup catcher, connected off Brandon League – pitching his second consecutive inning – to hit the first career walk-off hit of his career.
It completed a wild, if ultimately heartbreaking night for the Dodgers. At one point they trailed 6-1, staged a seven-run rally in the fifth, lost the lead, went back in front 9-8, saw the Giants tie it up again, all for it to come down to Quiroz.
That’s a combined 30 hits, 19 runs, 24 runners left on base later.
Baseball: What a great game. What a stupid game. What an impossible game.
Rookie Matt Magill started it all a couple lifetimes ago. He was making his second major-league start, and it hardly went along the lines of his debut last Saturday (6 2/3 innings, two runs, seven strikeouts).
Certainly he was not helped when Matt Kemp lost Angel Pagan’s ball in the sun, the Giants’ first batter of the night getting a gift double. Undoubtedly, he didn’t feel like he was getting any help from home-plate umpire Adrian Johnson, either, several close calls going against him as he walked the bases loaded.
Posey then hit the only hard ball of the inning, bouncing a ground-rule double over the wall to score two. Gregor Blanco’s bouncer was stopped by a diving Dee Gordon at short, but the infield hit allowed a run to score.
Magill was charge with two more in the second. His final line: 1 1/3 innings, five runs, six hits, four walks and two strikeouts.
It was still a 5-0 game in the fourth when A.J. Ellis hit a solo home run off right-hander Ryan Vogelsong. It seemed more a hiccup than any portend of coming offensive explosion.
The Giants got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Gordon could not hang onto a double-play ball, but the Dodgers’ big charge was still to come.
By the time the Dodgers were done in the fifth, they sent 12 batters to the plate. Pinch-hitter Nick Punto started it innocently with a walk. A Jerry Hairston Jr. ground-rule double put two runners in scoring position and Matt Kemp singled up the middle to score them both. Hairston seemed to limp as he headed to the dugout, but the Dodgers reported he was uninjured.
After Andre Ethier flied out, Ellis walked and Skip Schumaker singled in Kemp and Juan Uribe knocked in Ellis with a single to left. The Giants went to reliever Jean Machi, but Gordon greeted him with a two-run triple to put the Dodgers ahead. Punto doubled in Gordon and the Dodgers led 8-6.
For a moment.
Javy Guerra could not hold the lead. He gave up a solo home run to Andres Torres in the bottom of the inning and then left the game with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth.
Paco Rodriguez was called on to clean up the mess, and nearly got out of it without allowing a run. His first seven pitches were strikes, earning two strikeouts. But his first ball was a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score. Still, Rodriguez completed a terrific appearance by getting Torres on a comebacker.
The Dodgers went back up 9-8 in the seventh when Gordon walked, was sacrificed to second, stole third and made a terrific sweeping one-handed swipe of the plate to score on a Carl Crawford nubber.
The Giants immediately tied it against Ronald Belisario in the bottom of the inning. Francisco Peguero doubled, took third on Marco Scutaro’s single and scored on Pablo Sandoval’s sacrifice fly.