The Giants narrowly avoided a sweep by the Mets yesterday afternoon, which would have been the second consecutive series sweep for them. A win is a win (and this one doesn’t change the Giants’ standing as the worst team in baseball by record), but the victory was notable for one astonishing fact:
During that game in 2015, the Marlins were up 2-1 on the Giants in the top of the ninth in San Francisco. Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla got through four batters without surrendering a run to send the game to the bottom of the ninth.
Marlins reliever Steve Cishek gave up a single, a double, an intentional walk, and a walk to tie it up. Matt Duffy knocked in the winning run on a single with two outs. The Giants went home victorious in a way they wouldn’t replicate for two years.
Yesterday afternoon the Giants took a 3-2 deficit into the ninth, then proceeded to score four runs on Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who was making his third appearance in as many games. The game-winning double was off the bat of Christian Arroyo, the Giants’ rookie who’s been blessed with the burden of energizing the lineup.
But going up 6-3 wasn’t enough drama for the Giants, who nearly suffered one of their signature bullpen collapses. Reliever Derek Law gave up a single, a single, and a double to bring the score to 6-5 with two outs. The game ended on a soft groundout from Kevin Plawecki, with the Giants winning 6-5.
In 2015, the Giants went into the ninth inning with the lead 80 times and lost four of those games. In 2016, they took a lead into the ninth 80 times and blew nine of those games. Over the course of those two seasons, they went 2-130 in games in which they trailed going into the ninth inning (stats via Baseball Reference).
The season’s already over for the Giants, who are already 10 games back in the NL West, but at least they have achieved something of a moral victory yesterday. It’s no longer totally impossible to imagine them winning in dramatic fashion.