Brandon Belt
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Giants pull off 18-inning win after replay review at the plate


It took the Giants five hours and 35 minutes to beat the Rockies 3-2 on Friday night, a feat they finally managed to pull off during the last moments of the 18th inning.

Even when the game was fresh — well before the scoreless 12-inning drought began — it was still a low-scoring one for the clubs. The Rockies put up two runs in the fourth inning on a balk from San Francisco righty Drew Pomeranz and an RBI double from Ian Desmond, while the Giants responded with Evan Longoria‘s run-scoring double play and Joe Panik‘s sac fly in the fourth and sixth, respectively.

The bullpens, meanwhile, looked untouchable: After Chad Bettis and Pomeranz exited in the sixth, 17 different pitchers combined for a dozen scoreless innings and another 32 strikeouts. (The Giants alone had 24 cumulative strikeouts from Pomeranz and their relief corps, so many that they ran out of room to place “K” placards on the right field wall — a task that was soon taken up by fans in a more creative way.)

By the time the game stretched into the 18th inning, the Giants were down to their last reliever and desperate to catch a break. They didn’t have to wait much longer.

Brandon Belt skied a double out to right field that just missed the threshold for a walk-off home run, then positioned himself at third base following an intentional walk to Brandon Crawford and Kevin Pillar‘s long fly out to center. Colorado right-hander DJ Johnson loaded the bases with a second intentional walk to Gerardo Parra, leaving veteran catcher Erik Kratz to step up to the plate with one out and the winning run up for grabs.

In the end, it was exactly the kind of finish you might expect after nearly six hours and a franchise-record 18 innings had passed: Kratz hit a dribbler that just missed the outstretched glove of first baseman Josh Fuentes, center fielder Desmond scooped the ball and threw home to catch Belt at the plate, and… Belt was subsequently called safe after a replay review revealed that Chris Iannetta had taken his foot off home plate when he received the ball.

“I felt like I’d never played baseball before,” Iannetta told’s Maria Guardado after the game. “I don’t think I’ll be sleeping much after this one.”

None of his teammates will be sleeping much, either. The two teams are scheduled to meet again for a rematch on Saturday at 4:05 PM EDT.

Larry Walker to wear a Rockies cap on his Hall of Fame plaque

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I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.

While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.

There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.

Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.

Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.

Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice.  And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.