Giants Hang on to Defeat Mets Behind Blend of Luck, Resilience

Giants put ugly win behind them, focus on sweeping Mets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Giants had just four hits on Wednesday night, and one of them was a bloop that dropped between three Mets in right field. 

They gave a run away and cost their starting pitcher a chance at the win in the fifth, when Kris Bryant threw wide of first on a routine grounder to third. In the ninth, Brandon Belt dropped a foul pop-up that would have been the second out, and a few moments later Austin Slater and Alex Dickerson bumped into each other in left-center, allowing another sure out to drop. 

The Giants did a lot wrong on Wednesday night. 

They also won, 3-2, clinching their ninth consecutive series and first winning season since 2016. 

The Giants are on pace for 105 wins, in large part because they keep holding a handshake line on nights like this one, when they did oh so much wrong, but still found a way. Is that luck? Is that resilience?

"A little of both, I hope," manager Gabe Kapler said, chuckling. "What I'll say is, it was not our cleanest game. We know that it wasn't our cleanest game. In order to win the biggest games going forward for the rest of the season we're going to have to play clean, fundamentally sound, crisp, efficient baseball. We've done that for most of the season which is why we are where we are. Tonight it wasn't good enough. I think everybody knows that. 

"That said, it's a win on the road against a really hungry team, and as I mentioned, it wasn't the prettiest win ever, but we got enough hits, made enough plays, made enough pitches to get through it. Now, just like always, win or lose we're going to turn the page and get ready for tomorrow's baseball game. We're not going to harp on any of the mistakes that we made tonight. I don't think that's going to help us at all. We're just going to move on and get ready to play tomorrow's game."

The Giants have done that all year, win or lose, and more often than not they come back the next day with a much better performance. As evidenced by the nine consecutive series wins, this is a team that doesn't group errors or poor performances together, and it's also one that knows exactly how to win the close ones. 

The Giants improved to 24-14 in one-run games, once again getting a big late hit. This time it was Brandon Crawford. He lined a two-run double off lefty Aaron Loup in the seventh to give the Giants the lead for good. It was the first extra-base hit Loup had given up to a lefty all season. 

To get those late-game opportunities, though, the lineup needs to be within striking range. They've been put in those positions by a bullpen that's as strong in the middle innings as any in the game right now. Jose Alvarez got Johnny Cueto out of a jam in the fifth. After Tony Watson gave up his first run as a (second-time) Giant, Dominic Leone, Tyler Rogers and Jake McGee shut it down

McGee picked up his 29th save and this one might have been his gutsiest. The two misplays led to the Mets loading the bases for slugger Pete Alonso. He popped out harmlessly to second.

"I knew he was going to be very aggressive," McGee said. "I didn't have to throw him too many strikes. I actually lucked out -- I was trying to go up and away for the swing and miss that he had earlier in the at-bat, but I kept pulling it. I think they're looking up and away a lot of times and when I pull it I get lucky sometimes."

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There was luck involved, and there was resilience. There was also another win and a desire to move on quickly from an ugly night and go after the next one. 

"We were kind of able to pitch through a couple mistakes and get out of it somewhat unscathed," Crawford said. "I think that's kind of a key to a well-rounded team, being able to hit through some mistakes sometimes and pitch through some mistakes when we make them. But for the most part we've done a pretty good job of not making them."

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