DENVER -- To a man, the Giants rave about their home park. You have to wonder, though, if in quiet moments, when they’re all alone, they ask: “What if …”
“What if I took all my at-bats someplace like Denver or Cincinnati?”
For the fifth straight road game the lineup absolutely exploded, and for the eighth straight game, the Giants came away winners. They had 14 hits in a 10-8 win over the Rockies in the first game of a long doubleheader.
The first game never had any hope of starting on time, and it started pouring an hour before first pitch. Then came the tornado warning, the rumors of hail elsewhere in the country, thunder, lightning, and a long waiting game. When the rain did stop, the outfield — particularly on the tracks — was so soaked that the teams weren’t able to restart until 4:25 p.m. It didn’t take long, though, for this to turn into a typical Coors Field track meet.
The Giants jumped ahead with three two-out runs in the fourth, with Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, Brandon Crawford and Matt Duffy picking up consecutive singles. An inning later, eight Giants came to the plate, with Pence (a two-run single) and Crawford (a two-run triple) doing the damage.
The Rockies stormed right back, getting three off Chris Heston on homers by Todd Hundley and Charlie Blackmon.
After getting no-hit through three, the Giants pounded nine hits in the next two innings and then got four more while posting yet another three-spot in the sixth. Belt, who apparently doesn’t make outs on the road anymore, had the big one when he lined a two-run double into the left-center gap.
The Rockies added two in the ninth, but it was too little, too late.
Starting pitching report: It was a mixed bag for Heston. On the one hand, he gave up six earned runs. On the other hand, he got through 5 2/3 innings in the front half of a doubleheader. Manager Bruce Bochy certainly appreciated the latter.
Bullpen report: It might take a while for Hunter Strickland to earn back the trust of many Giants fans, but he remains perfect in the regular season as a big leaguer. Strickland, called up for the doubleheader, got Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez to fly out in the seventh and then struck out Troy Tulowitzki with a good slider. He struck out two more in a scoreless eighth, both on fastballs. In 10 regular-season appearances, Strickland has a 0.00 ERA.
At the plate: You could pick out a stunning stat for just about any Giants hitter right now, but we’ll focus on the run-producing shortstop. With his triple in the fifth, Crawford got to 31 RBI and became the first MLB shortstop to reach 30 this year. He finished Game 1 tied for sixth in the National League in RBI.
In the field: Nothing of consequence.
Attendance: Nobody knows. Midway through Game 1 of the doubleheader, the Rockies opened the gates to fans with Game 2 tickets and asked them to stay in concourses. Fans from Game 1 were invited to stay for Game 2, but they were instructed to find an open seat because Game 2 fans had the right to the seats they bought. Strange day.
Up next: Game 2 of the doubleheader, which may end at like 1 a.m. Please send food.