John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marwin Gonzalez rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Will Smith
- The Giants (+134) took a 1-0 lead over the Astros into the ninth-inning on Monday night.
- Closer Will Smith came on for the save, but would bury all Giants bettors with a two-out meatball.
When the Astros-Giants line first came out, I did a double-take. Houston -148 without three of its best players on the road at San Francisco? The Astros would be fielding a very pedestrian lineup against Derrick Rodriguez, who had been throwing really well lately. I immediately jumped on San Francisco +134.
Things went according to plan for most of the night, as Rodriguez shut down a pretty laughable Astros lineup. Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez’s son pitched seven shutout innings and handed the ball over to the bullpen with a 1-0 lead — thanks to a solo shot by Brandon Crawford off Charlie Morton.
Reliever Reyes Montana recorded the hold in the top of the eighth inning to preserve the one-run lead. The Giants couldn’t add any insurance so closer Will Smith came in for the save. As a Giants backer, I felt confident with Smith facing a depleted Astros lineup. In 36 games entering the night, Smith sported a sparkling 1.27 ERA.
Smith started off the inning by getting pinch-hitter Max Stassi to pop up for the first out of the inning. After walking Alex Bregman (who seems to walk every at-bat), Smith recovered to get Josh Reddick to fly out. Two down. One out away from cashing a nice Giants +134 ticket.
Smith then walked Yuli Gurriel to put the tying run in scoring position. Two on without a hit. Marwin Gonzalez stepped up and got ahead 1-0, which enabled him to sit dead red — and he didn’t miss a meatball right down broadway.
Three-run homer to take the lead, which is where the game finished. After holding the Astros scoreless for 26 outs, the Giants found a way to lose 3-1. Houston finished with four hits that led to three runs — all coming with two down in the ninth.
The Yankees on Sunday night and Giants Monday night — two underdogs that blew saves with two outs in the ninth that each allowed three runs on just one hit. I just hope nobody reading this bet both (like me).
Those who bet the Phillies on Monday also suffered similar fate. After getting shutout for the first eight innings, the Diamondbacks scored two runs in the ninth-inning to force extra innings. Arizona eventually won, 3-2, in the 14th inning.
August baseball, y’all.