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Kuip explains why walk-off losses are harder to get over now

NBC Sports
Charlie Blackmon

The walk-off loss at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night was painful but not unfamiliar for the Giants. They've been walked off nine times in Denver over the past decade, including three times in 2017 alone. That horrid season included a loss where Nolan Arenado took Mark Melancon deep in the bottom of the ninth for a three-run homer that clinched a win for the Rockies and a cycle for their star. 

Most of the current Giants weren't around for those losses, but the 2021 team has unfortunately gotten used to watching another team rush to home plate after the final pitch of the game. The Giants have lost just 13 games through 31 games, but four of them were walk-off losses, including one on opening night. 

On this week's Giants Talk podcast, Duane Kuiper explained why it "takes a while" to get over a walk-off and why it's probably harder now to recover than ever before. Teams are very limited in what they can do after games because of COVID-19 protocols. 

"Things are different now than when I played. When I played guys would go into the hotel bar and they would get over it there. Now you can't even do that," Kuiper said. "You can't even go to another guy's room for that matter and maybe have a beer or two to kick things around, so it takes a while, and a lot of times it'll take you until you get to the park the next day, where you know you have to wash everything off, otherwise you're going to let that linger and affect the game today.

 

"But it does take you a while."

The good news for the Giants is that if they do get walked off again, guys will be allowed to blow off a little more steam. When they go to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati on the next road trip, the Giants will reach the 85 percent vaccination threshold that loosens restrictions in the clubhouse and away from the ballpark. 

Kuiper recalled sitting behind Bruce Bochy for years as the Giants made the long trip to the Denver airport and hearing the manager groan about some of the ways the Giants lost to the Rockies -- but that's just Coors. Perhaps the best way to deal with a series like the Giants just had is to just remember that it's never easy when you fly to Denver.

The Giants have won the season series with the Rockies just twice since their last title, and even the 2014 team went 4-5 at Coors Field. 

"I don't set the bar very high for how the Giants do in Denver," Kuiper said. "Just don't get swept. 'What a great series the Giants had in Denver, they won one game!' That's how I almost feel about it, because there are so many landmines that you have to avoid when you play at that ballpark that if you can win one game then you have to be happy. We didn't get swept. That's what I'm taking out of it."

"The fact that they should have won the doubleheader on Tuesday, that's a given, they should have won the doubleheader. But I do believe that if you're going to play eight or nine games at Coors Field you're going to have one game like (Tuesday night), where you're going to cough it up and you're going to shake your head and then you have to try to get over it. And that was the game.

"Now, you only hope that somewhere down the road, in that ballpark, you're going to do that to them."

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