It had started out routine enough - Gregor Blanco, the Giants' leadoff hitter, grounding out on a routine grounder to short. Then things got weird.
Brandon Crawford had already been hit by a breaking ball in the first inning. Here in the 5th, he gets hit by a breaking ball again, this time on his back foot. Crawford batting second in front of Posey is a good thing as long as Scutaro is out. Crawford has one of the better on-base-percentages on the team, and he's "protected" with the Man-Child behind him, so he's likely to see good pitches to hit. In this case, the pitches seem to be hitting him. Getting hit once in a game is not necessarily strange - it happens all the time, however infrequently to a single player- but the same player getting hit in his first two at-bats in the same game? That is weird.
Anyway, Posey would rope a ground-rule double to left center field. It should have been an RBI triple, for for some reason the design of PNC Park, for all its glorious merit, features a 4-foot fence out there in the corner, over which probably goes countless dozens of would-be triples who never get to turn three, instead remaining 2 forever, sucking their thumbs at 2nd base. A fence that shallow in "Triples Alley" - the one part of the park that's supposed to keep the ball in the yard bouncing around - is weird to me.
Moving on - Hunter Pence would bat next, and he would reach base on a fielder's choice. First baseman Garrett Jones would field Pence's grounder and throw home, catching Crawford trying to bolt into home. A run-down would ensure, and somehow, as Crawford turned back to head to third after a throw from 3rd baseman Pedro Alvarez, he nearly collided with Alvarez. There was some contact, and even though catcher Michael McKenry's throw to shortstop Jordy Mercer was good enough for Mercer to tag Crawford, the umpires stopped the play on the grounds that Alvarez committed "defensive obstruction" and allowed Crawford to walk into home plate for a run.
Here's baseball rule 2.00 for defensive obstruction: "The act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding, impedes the progress of a runner."
The play is ruled dead, an error is charged to Alvarez, and Crawford gets a base, which in this case, happened to be home plate. Scoring decision: FC, E-5. Weird.
Belt would be the next hitter, and he too, would get hit by a breaking ball. Two batters hit by breaking balls in the same inning. Weird.
Ok, so now it's bases loaded with 1 out and Andres Torres coming up. Torres managed to hit a 94 mph fastball into left field that left fielder Alex Presley somehow ran down. Posey would come in to score on the sacrifice, bringing up Joaquin Arias.
Arias would drill a pitch right up the middle on a 102 count. With two outs, all runners should have been running on contact. For some reason, Pence decided to play dodgeball with Arias' line drive; he literally ducks and dives towards home plate - not third base where he should have been sprinting - and the ball bounces off his back.
Here's baseball rule 7.08 (F) for runner hit by batted ball: The ball is dead, the batter takes first base, and no other runner may advance unless forced. (The batter is credited with a single.)
So, thanks to defensive obstruction and a sacrifice fly, the Giants collected two runs. And thanks to a short fence in Triples Alley and a runner hit by batted ball, the Giants lost two would-be runs.