It was the eighth inning, runners on second and third. The Cubs elected to intentionally walk Byrd-man (who earlier in the game hit a three run homer to put the Giants comfortably ahead) to load the bases for the mild-mannered reporter--er, second baseman--Kelby Tomlinson. Who, on a 1-2 count and without even taking off his Clark Kent glasses, turned into Superman, and launched his first major league home run--which also happened to be a grand slam.
Look, up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane--no, it's a baseball! And it's gone, it's bye bye baby, it's outa here!
It's true that Marlon Byrd's homer to center was about 100 feet longer, but Tomlinson's was special--the home crowd responded with a standing O, and Kelby flashed his super smile.
And arguably it wasn't even his most important hit of the game. He got the Giants' first hit with two outs in the second, and was running when Perez doubled and scored the tying run from first. The Cubs were ahead in the game for exactly a half inning.
Madison Bumgarner had an uneasy second but otherwise dominated, with 12 strikeouts in 6 innings. Manager Bochy took him out with a four run lead, which Tomlinson turned into eight. Final score was 9-1. MadBum got the win, which makes him 5-0 in August. He's once again sharing a club record with Juan Marichal--the only two Giants pitchers to go 5-0 in a month three times.
The standings didn't change today, as the Dodgers, Pirates and Cards all won. This was only the second Giants win against the Cubs this year, but the Chicago team suddenly looks vulnerable. They are such a young team that they could take a dive to follow this incredible hot streak. It bears watching. (No, that's not a Chicago joke, exactly.)
Tomorrow night the Cards and their ace Macha. The Giants played well enough in St. Louis that home field could be the difference in this series. I look for them to win two. Their upcoming road trip to Los Angeles looms ever larger.
Duffy's ankle was good enough for him to play, and play well. Crawford's injury reportedly not as bad as first reported. Yet the Giants won two games against the Cubs with only three players who started the season at their position--and only one of them (catcher Buster Posey) hasn't lost games to injury this year. (One starter lost his job to Matt Duffy and is gone.)