Giants fans have spent nearly a decade on the other end of this. When the Rockies come to town, it sometimes feels more like hosting the Colorado Arenados. When the superstar third baseman is at the plate with the game on the line, you know, you just know, exactly what's going to happen.
This season, Rockies fans have gotten a taste of how all of that feels. Alex Dickerson has turned the tables in the rivalry, becoming a one-man wrecking crew on the other side, and he once again had a huge hand Tuesday night.
Just about 23 hours after he had an X-ray on his throbbing right elbow, Dickerson stepped up to the plate in the seventh inning and smoked a go-ahead homer to dead center. Brandon Belt tacked on two more runs and the Giants evened the series with a 5-2 win that got them back to .500 and into a tie with the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers, who currently hold the edge for the final postseason spots due to the tiebreaker.
Dickerson is 14-for-29 against the Rockies this year, with six homers, four doubles, 10 RBI and three walks. He has those six homers in eight games, surpassing all of Arenado's seasons against the Giants but one -- the 2015 year when Arenado hit 10 homers in 19 meetings. In a postgame interview on NBC Sports Bay Area, Dickerson chalked it up to timing.
"I think it's more bad luck for them. Every time I've gone into a series and I said the day before that my swing is clicking and just happens to feel really good, it just happened to be (against) them," Dickerson said. "It's just kind of luck of the draw there."
Whatever the case, the Rockies turned out to be the perfect opponent as Dickerson tried to get back into the swing of things after flying to San Diego for the birth of his son. He had three hits Monday but was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning that badly bruised his elbow. Dickerson said before Tuesday's game that treatment was working, and he hoped to be available to help off the bench.
Kapler found the perfect spot. Dickerson led off the seventh, hitting for Daniel Robertson, and crushed a 95 mph fastball from Jairo Diaz over the center field wall. He became the first Giant to reach double-digit homers this year, and the other outfielder with nine might soon get some more licks in.
Mike Yastrzemski has missed five straight games with a calf strain, but he ran on a treadmill Tuesday afternoon and took swings in the cage with the rest of the team. Kapler said Yastrzemski could be an option as soon as Wednesday, although he would be a pinch-hitter at first.
The Giants desperately need the help, because they lost another outfielder in the win. Luis Basabe went down with a right hamstring strain that'll send him to the MRI tube, which meant that the outfield briefly consisted of Robertson (a shortstop with very little outfield experience), Mauricio Dubon (a converted infielder) and Darin Ruf (a far better fit at first base or DH).
It didn't hurt the Giants, though. Robertson, playing the outfield for the first time in two years, made a strong throw to second in the seventh to prevent a leadoff double.
"The guy doesn't even play the outfield and he comes up hosing the guy at second," said lefty Drew Smyly, who gave up one run while pitching into the sixth. "That was a great play."
It was the final one for Robertson on this night. Dickerson hit for him in the bottom of the inning, walking up to the plate with a black sleeve on his right arm. Back in Denver, perhaps the fans started to feel that dread, that feeling of inevitability that has become far too familiar on the other side of these division games over the past decade.