MILWAUKEE -- In the second inning Thursday, a man burst from the seats along the left field line and headed for second base, his arms spread wide to show that he had left his pants and any underwear somewhere along the journey. The man was taken down hard, a soon-to-be pixelated section of his body grinding into the dirt where Brandon Crawford had just stood. It looked painful, possibly scarring. The infield dirt at Miller Park is firm and well-manicured.
We do not know why exactly a man would run naked across the dirt in the second inning, although we can guess. What we do know is that he still nearly had a better time at Miller Park than the Giants. If not for Eduardo Nuñez's vertical, he might have.
Mark Melancon blew a two-run lead in the ninth but this time the Giants didn't fold. They responded with four runs in the top of the 10th, winning 9-5 and partially obscuring what had happened an inning earlier, and another potential issue.
"You look at how it's gone for us -- we've had some tough times -- and we give up a two-run lead there in the ninth and find a way to win the ballgame," manager Bruce Bochy said. "That shows a lot about them, the character and how resilient they are, to come back and put a four-spot up, especially on a road trip that hasn't been good for us."
The trip ended up being a 3-4 swing through Philadelphia -- home of the worst team in ball -- and Milwaukee, where the Giants have always played well. This was not the trip that got things back on course. In fact, it likely further emboldened any in the organization ready for a change. Brian Sabean was on hand Thursday and nearly saw the latest collapse. Nuñez prevented it, snagging a hot liner headed for left with the winning run on third. Melancon bounced back to get the Giants out of the ninth.
The big offseason acquisition, Melancon has three blown saves in 13 oppotunities. Of equal concern is the fact that Thursday was his first opportunity since May 27. It's been that kind of year, and it's clear the Giants still have some concerns in the bullpen. At least they finally have something to celebrate in left field.
Bochy has been waiting for someone to grab the job and Austin Slater certainly showed he's worthy of an extended look. Slater reached base three times and smacked a 461-foot homer off the base of the scoreboard. Slater's first career blast was the longest by a Giant since Brandon Belt went 475 at Coors in 2015.
"People were telling me where it went -- I put my head down and started running," Slater said. "I think I got a little better at (slowing the game down) these last two games in Milwaukee. Those first three in Philly it just felt like everything was racing by and everything was going 100 mph."
Bochy has encouraged his young outfielders to try and play relaxed baseball.
"Just show your talent," he said. "The only way to play this game is loose and free, that's when your talent surfaces."