LOS ANGELES — About 30 minutes earlier than each sport he begins, Nick Hundley goes out onto the sphere by himself, his uniform already on beneath a black hoodie. He walks out to the closest foul line and then takes off on a useless dash, legs and arms pumping as he heads in direction of the middle area wall.
It’s Hundley’s way of getting the juices flowing, getting his muscle mass and thoughts prepared for the night time forward. He’s locking in, reworking from the mild-mannered, humorous, humble teammate into the person who will management many of the motion.
On the floor, Hundley is simply concerning the final Giant you’ll ever anticipate to get into an on-field altercation. But watch him dash in direction of the wall and you’ll see the depth that has carried him this deep into his profession. It takes a particular breed to be a catcher, and within the seventh inning Tuesday, Hundley confirmed that fireside that’s so tucked away earlier than and after begins.
Yasiel Puig fouled a pitch off that he felt he ought to have crushed. As he does, Puig reacted angrily. He flipped the bat within the air and grabbed it emphatically, displaying all 46,000 at Dodger Stadium that he felt he ought to have tied the sport. Hundley wasn’t happy, and let Puig know that he ought to dig again into the field. The two got here face-to-face, and then shoves have been exchanged. This rivalry had another heated chapter, with each benches and bullpens clearing and Puig getting in a single open-handed shot to Hundley’s masks earlier than order was restored.
Afterward, in a clubhouse buzzing over the mini-brawl and 2-1 win over the Dodgers, Hundley was as calm as might be. He mentioned it was a great sport between rivals, one chasing the opposite within the standings. He mentioned it was not an enormous deal. He wouldn’t say what he mentioned to set Puig off.
“That’s stuff that is mentioned on the sphere and that’ll be left on the market,” Hundley mentioned.
Here, as soon as once more, Puig disagreed with the Giants. It was not arduous to see that Hundley took offense to Puig’s response to lacking a Tony Watson pitch down the center. Puig confirmed it.
“I knew that was the best pitch that Watson was going to throw me, so I was a little upset,” he instructed reporters. “He told me to stop complaining and get back in the box. When I got in his face, he told me to get out of his face, so that’s when I got upset with him. I didn’t like that he was telling me what to do, and then he said some words to me in English that I really can’t repeat.”
This isn’t the primary time the Giants and Puig have gotten into it. It seemingly received’t be the final. But this disagreement got here with a twist. Puig and Hundley have been ejected, setting off a series of occasions that helped the Giants win the sport after Sam Dyson gave a run again within the eighth.
Buster Posey moved from first to catcher to switch Hundley. Brandon Belt, recent off the disabled record, took Posey’s spot at first. Two innings later, Belt singled off Kenta Maeda and got here round on Alen Hanson’s single, scoring the successful run.
Fifty-five minutes after Puig shoved Hundley, the Giants streamed out onto the sphere for handshakes. A couple of minutes later, they have been celebrating within the clubhouse. This was as loud because it’s been after a sport all season lengthy for a group that improved to 61-60, obtained inside three of the Dodgers, and stayed 5 again of the Diamondbacks.
“That should bring us even closer together,” Hundley mentioned. “This is a tight-knit group. We’ll feed off that. What a great win.”
It began with six robust innings from rookie Andrew Suarez. When the sphere cleared and Hundley and Puig headed again to their respective clubhouses, the Dodgers rallied and tied it on Manny Machado’s single. For a second straight night time, the Giants beat a Dodgers reliever within the ninth. This time it was Kenta Maeda, supposedly the answer for the Dodgers’ woes. Hanson smoked a single up the center and Belt, who simply missed 17 video games with a hyperextended knee, rumbled dwelling. Kiké Hernandez has a robust arm in middle, and Hanson admitted later that he was apprehensive when he noticed Hernandez scoop the ball on one bounce.
“I noticed Belt rounding third when the throw was coming in,” Hanson mentioned via interpreter Erwin Higueros. “Luckily for us, he made a bad throw.”
The throw was excessive and Yasmani Grandal couldn’t glove it. Belt slid in safely. He mentioned later that he felt like he was working underwater in his first sport again. He additionally insisted that his knee feels positive.
“I wasn’t moving fast enough to make it hurt anyway,” Belt mentioned.
With that, he headed for the bus. The clubhouse was nonetheless energetic and gamers smiled as they walked past Hundley’s locker. The Giants got here right here with a really reasonable shot of being completely banished from the NL West race. Instead, they’re proper again inside putting distance, and they obtained to get their juices flowing, too.
“Two very good games, great games, to come in here and get a couple of wins,” supervisor Bruce Bochy mentioned. “I couldn’t be prouder of them.”