San Francisco Giants 4, Cincinnati Reds 3: Drop that sends us back in time
During Sunday’s broadcast of the Giants-Reds game, the camera focused in on a woman who was celebrating her 102nd birthday at AT&T Park.
After seeing her, MoreSplashHits tweeted something like: “Woman celebrating her 102nd birthday at AT&T Park still upset about Snodgrass’ drop in the 1912 World Series.”
For less educated Giants fans, Fred Snodgrass’ error in the 1912 is one of the infamous moments in Giants lore.
In the final game of the 1912 series against the Red Sox, the Giants led 2-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning when Boston’s Clyde Engle hit a lazy fly ball to center that Snodgrass dropped for a two-base error. Engle would later score the tying run and the Red Sox would push across the winning run later that inning.
Little did I know that the Giants would go on to win Sunday’s game against the Reds on a dropped ball by an outfielder.
Well, technically, it wasn’t dropped. Jay Bruce never touched the ball, so it went for a double for Angel Pagan.
But just as John McGraw said Snodgrass was not totally to blame for the loss in 1912, there was plenty of blame to go around for the Reds on Sunday.
Take the top of the ninth. The Giants were leading 3-2 when Javier Lopez was brought in specifically to face the left-handed hitting Bruce. After getting ahead of Bruce 0-2, Lopez gave up a single. Now, if Bruce had simply struck out, like he was supposed to do, he could have saved himself a lot of grief in the bottom of the ninth.
Santiago Casilla was brought in from the bullpen and gave up a single to Ryan Ludwick. Todd Frazier followed with a single to right-center that Gregor Blanco fielded and threw home.
With no one out, Reds third base coach Mark Berry held up Bruce at third base.
Miguel Cairo followed with a single to left, scoring Bruce. But Berry held up Ludwick at third instead of challenging the arm of Cabrera.
Apparently, earlier last week, Berry sent a runner home who was eventually throw out, leading to a lot of criticism of Berry. That could have factored into his decision.
Baker said responsibility also lies with the runner.
“A lot of that depends on the base-runner,” Baker said. “The coaches get all the blame. But most of the time you don’t need a coach. We thought it was in there all the way. Maybe (Ludwick) didn’t.”
Then Casilla struck out Ryan Hanigan and Wilson Valdez and got Zack Cozart to hit a soft liner to Brandon Belt to end the threat.
“We had the bases loaded and nobody out. That’s a tough one to lose,” Baker said. “It’s really tough when you get four hits and you get one run. That usually doesn’t happen.”
In the bottom of the ninth, the first two Giants went down quietly against Jose Arredondo. Buster Posey hit a long flare down the right field line that landed just fair then bounced into the stands along the right-field line for a ground-rule double.
Baker then elected to walk Pablo Sandoval intentionally, which didn’t make a lot of sense here. It would have been better to throw four eye-high strikes to the free-swinging Sandoval and see if he chases.
Instead, they elected to pitch to Pagan, who worked the count to 3-1 after nearly being hit by a pitch.
Then Pagan served up a fly ball to right. Bruce retreated but had room. Then, suddenly and very unexpectedly, jumped for the ball as if he were making a play up against the wall.
One problem, though. He wasn’t at the wall. He was barely to the warning track and the ball sailed over his glove for a game-winning double.
“It was not as close to the wall as I thought it was. I missed it,” Bruce said. “It’s really, really embarrassing. It should be an error. … I pride myself on my defense.”
The Giants will take it and the 5-2 homestand it gave them.
The Giants have an off-day Monday before beginning a three-game series in D.C. against the Nationals. The Giants will miss All-Stars Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg in the series. Tim Lincecum will face Jordan Zimmermann on Tuesday.