You'd have thought they won the whole damn thing. That rarest of sights - a clutch line drive - had fallen safely into right-center field for a game-winning single, and the Giants sprinted out of the dugout like wild men, jumping all over Jeff Keppinger and forming a pile of humanity on the edge of the infield.
It was a 2-1, 10-inning victory over the horrible Houston Astros on Saturday night, and seldom has an evening of futility ended so well. This had been yet another procession of unwatchable at-bats by the Giants' weakest-hitting team since they moved to San Francisco, without the slightest hint that Pablo Sandoval could hit right-handed or that a couple of much-needed mainstays, Aubrey Huff and Cody Ross, had found the magic.
Not much changed in the standings, either, as Arizona beat San Diego to maintain its three-game lead in the National League West. But aside from the highly promising debut of pitcher Eric Surkamp, there was one very cool element to this game, perhaps a fleeting glimpse but definitely a long-awaited reminder of how the Giants won last year's championship: Somebody stepped up from oblivion to be the star.
It wasn't Keppinger, although his bullet single was the instrument of means. It was the man who scored the run, Mark DeRosa, feeling for the first time all season that he's a part of this team.