Yesterday, while unrelatedly driving past AT&T Park, I got a text message from a curling teammate offering me free tickets to the evening’s Giants game, as her company was “bleeding free tickets.” I’m never one to turn down free baseball (and this turned out to be free+ as the tickets came with $12 “SplashTix” credit that I could use to buy food at the park), so I said yes and arranged to meet Paul, another curling buddy, and clot up the bleeding of tickets by two. Paul, a diehard Dodgers fan, hates the Giants, so I had to agree to not cheer for them if we were going to sit together. (At least he had the good sense to wear his Expos hat instead of his Dodgers hat so that we wouldn’t be harassed.)
It turned out to be “Farewell to Candlestick” night. We didn’t make it in time to get the free giveaway — a Croix de Candlestick scarf — and we didn’t even get to our seats until the second inning (had to use those $12 vouchers), but we did get to see the return of the Crazy Crab. I’m not referring to the sandwich they sell out behind centerfield, which is delicious if very pricey, but the anti-mascot the Giants had at Candlestick in 1984. True to his origins, he ran around the field and “annoyed” the bullpen and did his best to get booed. But mostly, the crowd seemed to love him and eat him up — which would still probably be a cheaper meal than the sandwich.
The game itself turned out to be pretty exciting. The Diamondbacks scored two runs in both the second and the third innings and the Giants scored one back in the bottom half of each of those innings. Down two, the Giants continued to chip away at the lead until the fifth when a Michael Morse double, his second of the night, scored Pablo “Panda” Sandoval and Buster Posey to put the Giants ahead 5-4. As the seagulls started to swarm the stadium in the 8th, it looked the Giants were going to walk away with a win, much to Paul’s chagrin, but the Diamondbacks had other plans, tying it up on Sandoval’s throwing error to first which soared over Brandon Belt’s head and sent Gerardo Parra scampering safely home instead of making the third out. The Giants managed to load the bases in the bottom of the inning, with only one out, but a couple of liners and one inning later and the game went into extras. The Diamondbacks wasted no time in the 10th, scoring one thanks to Cliff “Good show” Pennington’s deft steal of second, which wound up being all they needed to go back to Arizona with the win.