Photo: Frank Franklin II / Associated Press
NEW YORK — The ball went upward, and the Giants’ season was about to head further downward.
Or so it seemed.
The Giants beat the Mets 2-1 in 13 innings Monday night because two New York defenders bumped into each other on a seemingly routine pop-up in shallow left field.
“Not the way you draw it up,” said Andrew McCutchen, who scored the deciding run in most unusual fashion, “but it worked out for us.”
With two outs in the top of the 13th, when Brandon Crawford lifted Tyler Bashlor’s pitch into the sky over shortstop Amed Rosario and left fielder Dominic Smith, most Giants’ mind-sets transitioned to the bottom of the 13th.
Manager Bruce Bochy turned to pitching coach Curt Young to start talking about bullpen strategy.
Buster Posey rounded second figuring he’d head to the dugout and slip on his catcher’s gear.
Chase d’Arnaud took a few steps toward his glove, thinking he was about to run out to third base.
McCutchen jogged home from third but looked over his left shoulder just in case.
Just in case.
“You could see the play unfold as the ball hit its peak and was on its way down,” McCutchen said. “You saw the left fielder come in hard, Rosario going back on it. You’re like, ‘Uh oh. This could happen.’”
It happened. Smith, who spends most of his time as a first baseman, didn’t realize he was being waved off by Rosario and bumped into him, making Rosario drop the ball. Smith got the error, and the Giants got the last laugh.
“When they dropped it, I was two steps away from the plate and stepped on it really quick and laughed all the way to the dugout,” McCutchen said. “Everybody’s eyes were as big as a big-eyed emoji on your phone. Everyone was pretty stunned. But anyone is going to be stunned when something like that happens.”
An elated Bochy tabled the bullpen talk. A shocked Posey eased into third base — the catcher’s gear could wait. A relieved d’Arnaud partook in the dugout celebration.
And the Giants’ losing streak ended at four games, though they again hit poorly with runners in scoring position: one hit in 12 at-bats. That counts Crawford’s game-deciding lazy fly that the Mets butchered.
“I’ll be honest, I missed it,” Bochy said. “I assumed it was going to be caught. I turned around to talk with Curt about the bullpen. I heard yelling. That’s when I knew we scored.”
Bochy was going to tell Young to make sure pitcher Casey Kelly was getting loose. If the game went deeper into the night, Hunter Strickland would have gotten the 14th, Kelly would have gone from there. Kelly’s scheduled to start Wednesday, but Ty Blach would have subbed.
Ultimately, none of that mattered. Derek Law, recalled early Monday from Triple-A Sacramento, closed out the win. He and five other relievers combined for eight scoreless innings. Starter Derek Holland gave up one run in five innings.
“I can’t say the word I used,” said Holland, describing his emotions on the Crawford pop-up. “It’s just crazy how it happened.”
Repeatedly, Giants hitters stranded runners on base. An exception came in the seventh when Alen Hanson blooped an opposite-field double that scored Crawford.
Former Giants prospect Zack Wheeler, who had won his previous six starts, struck out 10 over seven innings. Another Met with Giants ties, Austin Jackson, who seems to have been reborn in Queens, had a single in six at-bats and is hitting .361 with his new team.
Jackson didn’t show much at the plate or in the field with the Giants this season. Not so with the Mets. In the second inning, he made a diving catch to rob Brandon Belt.
“It was good to get a break,” Bochy said. “We had our struggles in pretty good situations where we just needed a groundball. We got a break. You take it. It’s a great feeling.”
John Shea is The San Francisco Chronicle’s national baseball writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @JohnSheaHey