I felt a little like Alice yesterday–seeing strange sights, watching strange events unfold with no reasonable explanation for what was happening. I was pretty sure I’d see a grinning cat disappear, leaving nothing but it’s smile, or a hookah smoking caterpillar in the outfield. It was a weird game. Carl Yastrzemski once said: “this is a strange game”. He must have been talking about a game like yesterday’s game between the GIANTS and the Pirates.
Let’s begin with Timmy. He had a terrible day. It happens. The GIANTS offense gave him run support–not weird, but a rare occurrence lately. The bullpen picked him up–they are becoming more and more adept at eating up innings.
The offense got off to a really good start. In the bottom of the 1st, Crawford, batting 2nd–not his usual spot–got a base hit. Posey moved him over with a base hit, and Pablo drew a walk–loading the bases. When was the last time the Panda laid off enough pitches to draw a walk? So, there’s the GIANTS, with the bases loaded and the power hitter, Morse at the plate. You can see what’s coming next, right? Not so fast GIANTS fans, Morse got an infield single–not a common event for the big man–he doesn’t run that fast! But he made it to 1st, and everyone else advanced. Crawford scored, and the bases were loaded again. Panik–the rookie 2nd baseman–was up. I was worried, but I shouldn’t have been because the rook showed amazing patience and restraint at the plate–he drew a walk. Posey scored. Panik got an RBI–or, as I like to call them–an RWI. Bases loaded. Again. Blanco knocked out an RBI single, scoring Sandoval. After 1, the score was:
GIANTS 3, Pirates 0
The Pirates scored a run in the 2nd and 2 in the 3rd, tying the game. In the bottom of the 3rd, Pablo got a base hit, advanced on Morse’s single, moved to 3rd on Panik’s SAC fly and scored on Susac’s RBI single. After 3, the score was:
GIANTS 4, Pirates 3
The Pirates did some damage in the 4th, scoring 2 runs that went unanswered by the GIANTS, giving the Pirates the lead. Neither team scored in the 5th or 6th, but the really weird stuff? The really cool stuff that the GIANTS fans will be talking about until the year 2525, and the Pirates will discuss again–never? That happened in the top in of the 6th. Machi was on the mound for the GIANTS and he walked the lead-off hitter. The next hitter reached on a GIANTS fielding error. The 3rd Pirate to the plate laid down a SAC bunt that Posey handled easily. With 1 out and 2 runners in scoring position, Machi walked the next batter–a former GIANT–to load the bases. But wait! There’s more! For whatever reason–brain freeze, ADD, just flat not paying attention–the runner at 2nd base started to leisurely stroll toward 3rd base, and the GIANTS went into action, catching him between the bags for the out.
The runner on 3rd, in the meantime, vacated the bag–conceivably so the runner at 2nd had someplace to land–and started toward home. The GIANTS caught him in a rundown. So this is how the play was scored: Crawford to Machi to Sandoval to Machi to Crawford double play to end the inning. This may be even bigger than the Tinker to Evers to Chance double play combo–they were part of the World Series winning Cubs days, that’s ancient history–you can look it up. At the end of 6, the score was:
GIANTS 4, Pirates 5
In the bottom of the 7th, Morse drew a walk and advanced on Panik’s base hit. Juan Perez entered the game to pinch run for Morse at 2nd base. Blanco got a base hit that scored Perez–the kid is fast! Panik is pretty fast too, because he advanced to 3rd on Blanco’s RBI single. Panik scored on a passed ball that went to the backstop and the Pirates’ catcher was unable to come up with it. In the bottom of the 8th, Crawford drew a walk, advanced to 2nd on an error committed by the Pirates’ 2nd baseman, and scored on Pablo’s RBI single. The final score was:
Yaz was right. Baseball is a strange game.
I missed Tony Bennett. Hearing him sing our song after yesterday’s game was, well–quite literally–music to my ears.
I Left my Heart in San Francisco…
I wish. If this is a test, I’m bound and determined to pass it. But I have to tell you–I’ve taken bar exams that were easier than this. I still believe, though, I still believe.
Last night’s game was an improvement, really. The Pirates got off to an early start when their lead-off batter, 1st inning, went yard–over Hunter Pence’s head. In the 2nd inning, their lead-off batter got a base hit, but the next guy hit one over Hunter Pence’s head again, so the Pirates got a 2-fer. And then it was Michael Morse’s turn at the plate. And it was a good one. He took the 1st pitch–a ball–and sent the next pitch over the left-center field wall. Of course the Pirates manager challenged the homerun call, saying the fan who ended up with the ball reached over the fence and caught it. But he lost the challenge on the replay review because the ball actually hit the fan in the stomach before he caught it. Hudson settled in after the 2nd inning and pitched a gem.
The Pirates weren’t able to score again. Problem was–neither did the GIANTS. The final score was:
GIANTS 1, Pirates 3
It was our rookie catcher’s 1st big league start and he did a decent job. He even reached base once. Showing a lot of restraint and patience he drew a walk in the 7th.
All I know is this: I believe in the GIANTS, I know they’ll pull out of this. But they gotta start doing something. Anything. And sooner rather than later, huh guys?
I’m not gonna lie to you. That one hurt. Not sure why it was more painful than any other loss, but it just felt worse. So I have a joke for you!
Little Andy wanted to be a pirate for Halloween. His mom made the perfect costume for him–right down to the jagged leg torn britches, the swash-buckling sword (made from tin foil of course), eye-patch and blacked-out tooth. She even rigged up a stuffed parrot and attached it to his shoulder. He rang the doorbell at Mrs. Smith’s and shouted “trick or treat” when she opened the door. Mrs. Smith clapped her hands in delight, and exclaimed: “my stars! you’re a scary pirate!” she peered around him, “but where are your buccaneers?” Little Andy stood there, arms akimbo, and replied “lady, they’re under my buckin’ hat.”
When it comes to the Pirates beating the GIANTS, I figure it’s better to laugh than cry. The Pirates scored 4 runs in the 1st and 1–a homerun–in the 2nd. Bumgarner was on the mound for the GIANTS and he just didn’t have his stuff. The Pirates pitcher had his best outing ever as a big leaguer, throwing a complete game, a shut-out. Like Sunday’s game, a combination of bad pitches and fielding errors contributed to the GIANTS’ loss. But the biggest problem, the one that continues to plague us–the GIANTS aren’t scoring runs. In Saturday night’s game against the Dodgers, with Kershaw pitching, the GIANTS got 3 hits. But that was against the guy that is purported to be “the best pitcher in Major League Baseball”, so you can chalk it up to–he had all of his stuff–his good pitches were working and he was hitting his spots. But last night? There’s no rhyme or reason why that pitcher gave up only 4 hits against the GIANTS! The San Francisco GIANTS!! All I can say is: there’s something wrong. There’s something seriously wrong. The good news is this: they keep battling. Every last one of them from the newest rookies, Panik and Susac, to the skipper himself.
They will pull us out of it–I know they will.
I still believe.
The GIANTS had a busy day Saturday. Friday, too, come to think of it. 2 very busy days. And that’s a good thing. Lord Byron once wrote: “the busy have no time for tears.” Hopefully, in the days ahead, there will be no need for tears. And then again, maybe I’m the only one who feels like crying.
On Friday, the GIANTS welcomed 2 new teammates: Dan Uggla and Tony Abreu. They placed 2 players on the DL: Marco Scutaro and Ehire Adrianza. And they played game 1 in the series against the Dodgers. The game we talked about in Saturday’s blog post. It doesn’t bear repeating.
On Saturday, Hector Sanchez was placed on the 7-day concussion DL. He took a ball to his face mask during Friday night’s game and suffered a mild concussion. 2 more new teammates–Jake Peavy and Andrew Susac–arrived. George Kontos was sent back to AAA Fresno. Jose DePaula (LHP) and Nick Noonan (INF) were designated for assignment. And then the GIANTS played the game I don’t want to talk about.
Here’s summary of game 2 of the series: Suffice it to say that Kershaw performed as advertised–and pitched a complete game to boot–while allowing only 2 GIANTS hits and no runs. The final score was: GIANTS 0, LA 5 and that’s all I have to say about that.
Instead, here’s just a tiny bit of info about the 2 newest GIANTS and more about some of the other guys:
Jake Peavy is a right-handed veteran starter. He was traded from Boston in a transaction that involved 3 players. Boston got Heath Hembree and Edwin Escobar, 2 GIANTS’ pitching prospects. The GIANTS got Peavy, along with 1/2 his salary. He pitched Sunday night’s game against the Dodgers. Prior to Sunday’s game he had some history with the Dodgers going 14-2, with a 2.21 ERA lifetime. He has a history with his new manager too. He was drafted in 1999 by the San Diego Padres and made his major league debut in 2002. Bruce Bochy was his manager. Peavy said he considers Bochy to be like a father to him, because Bochy raised him in baseball. He was clearly excited about the opportunity to play for Bochy again. One thing to note: Peavy has worn #44 his entire career. That number is not available in San Francisco because it’s Willie Mac’s number and it’s been retired. Peavy settled for #43.
Andrew Susac is a catcher and is ranked by MLB.com to be the GIANTS #3 overall prospect. He made his big league debut Friday night and is going to be Buster’s back-up. Susac is from Roseville, CA, and he attended Jesuit High School in Carmichael, CA. He was selected by the Phillies in the 2009 draft, but he opted to go to college instead and attended Oregon State University. He was drafted by the GIANTS in the 2011 draft.
Welcome to the bigs, Andrew Susac!
Dan Uggla and Tony Abreu both provide much-needed infield depth. Uggla will fill the role of everyday 2nd baseman. Both were promoted from AAA Fresno, but Uggla was just picked up by the GIANTS last week after being released by Atlanta. Speaking of 2nd base–I think there is a curse on the GIANTS 2nd base. Or a whammy. Or somebody stuck a GIANTS logo on a base labelled “2nd base” and started sticking voodoo pins in it. Think about it: Freddy Sanchez and his shoulder, Marco Scutaro and his back, Ehire Adrianza and his hamstring, Joe Panik sprained his ankle. Ryan Theriot played 2nd base, and came out unscathed, but didn’t get picked up for 2013. He’s from Louisiana. I’m just sayin’. Just a word of warning to Uggla and Abreu–be very, very careful because no matter how you look at it, 2nd base is snakebit.
Matt Cain is still on the DL and will remain so indefinitely. He was placed on the 15-day DL earlier this week for elbow inflammation and has not improved during rehab.
Angel Pagan has been running and taking live batting practice. He is expected to start his rehab assignment early this week.
Brandon Belt was eligible to return to the line-up Sunday, but he was not cleared to resume baseball activities. He is improving, but Bochy said it’s going to be a few days.
Marco Scutaro is back on the DL with lower back strain.
Ehire Adrianza was placed on the DL due to a hamstring strain.
Joe Panik is available to pinch hit off the bench, but he is nursing that sprained ankle.
And back to the Dodgers series–here is the rest of the story:
The GIANTS played the Dodgers again Sunday–game 3 of the 3 game series. The Dodgers’ fans brought their brooms to the yard and those ^@+#€*£¥(%€*$ got to use them. GIANTS fans should have made them sweep the yard. Brooms!! To our yard!!! Oh well. Our new pitcher did a pretty good job. I’m not gonna lie though, he threw a couple of wild pitches and that didn’t help.
Our new 2nd baseman, Uggla, led-off in the 3rd and drew a walk. He advanced to 3rd on Blanco’s base hit and Pence scored him with an RBI single. The Dodgers scored 1 run in the 4th. Game tied. But not for long. Morse got a base hit in the bottom of the 4th, moved to 2nd on Duvall’s single and came home on Crawford’s base hit. GIANTS take the lead. But not for long. Are you sensing a theme here? The Dodgers scored 3 runs in the top of the 5th with the help of a couple of fielding errors and a couple of wild pitches. It gave them a 2 run lead. But not for long. Buster came to the plate in the bottom of the 5th and with 2 outs sent a solo dinger over the left field wall, narrowing the Dodgers’ lead to 1 run. And that’s all she wrote. The final score was:
GIANTS 3, Dodgers 4
And that’s all I have to say about that.
To paraphrase WC Fields: “all things being equal, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.” I get it. Me too. I would so much rather watch a 2-1 loss to the Phillies than watch the GIANTS get slaughtered by our arch-rivals, the dreaded LA Dodgers. Last night’s game was a study in contrasts. The Dodgers scored early and often. The GIANTS scored late and seldom–ok, it was just the once, but I’d say that’s pretty damn seldom. The Dodgers sent the GIANTS to the bullpen early. The GIANTS sent the Dodgers to the bullpen late. Each team sent in 3 pitchers. The difference? Each of the GIANTS pitchers gave up at least 1 run. Only 1 Dodgers’ pitcher gave up A run. Just the one pitcher, just the one run. They have Yasiel Puig. Come to think of it, that’s a good thing. They can keep Yasiel Puig. We have the Killer P’s, an outstanding starting rotation and bullpen, and a veritable petting zoo. Except the White Shark–we probably shouldn’t try to pet the White Shark.
I know I sound bitter. I am bitter. The best team in Major League Baseball got trounced by a team that doesn’t even compare to the GIANTS. Not even close. The GIANTS work hard. They play with a lot of heart. They pick each other up. They play for the name on the front of their jersey, not the name on the back. They play for each other. They play for us. That’s right. They play for us. And our job? The only thing we have to do is believe in them. And we should believe in them.
I’m pretty sure you figured out by now that the GIANTS lost last night’s game. It was a bloodbath. The Dodgers had 15 hits total. 4 of them were triples. Triples, dude!!! I blame myself. You know the old saying–“pride goeth before the fall”? Yup, you guessed it–I bragged a little, got kind of boastful, threw caution to the wind. My pride wenteth, and the GIANTS took a helluva tumble. The Dodgers scored 1 run in the 1st, 5 runs in the 5th, 1 in the 6th and 1 in the 8th. The GIANTS scored 1 run in the 9th. Here’s what happened: with 1 out, Joaquin Arias came to the plate and drew a walk. He advanced to 2nd on a base hit by Panik, moved to 3rd on Blanco’s base hit and came home on Colvin’s RBI single. The final score was:
GIANTS 1, LA 8
File under the category More Bad News: Hector Sanchez left the game early, after being hit in the face mask by a foul tip. Bochy confirmed that Sanchez suffered a mild concussion and will likely be placed on the DL today.
The GIANTS face the Dodgers for game 2 in the series tonight. Leading the charge for the Dodgers is their ace, Clayton Kershaw–believed by some to be the best pitcher in Major League Baseball. Pitching tonight for the GIANTS? Ryan Vogelsong. And hey, I gotta believe if anyone can do it–Vogey can. He’s got more heart, more guts, more determination and more can-do-attitude than just about anybody playing baseball today.
So, the question: why can’t we be friends? Well, I take baseball seriously. I take the GIANTS seriously. But this arch-rivalry? Not so much. Look at this picture. I take our rivalry about as seriously as they do. If these clowns can be friends, we all can.
If 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, what’s 3 out of 4? Kinda good? Mathematically speaking, 3 out of 4–or 75% is better than 2 out of 3–which is 66%. So yesterday’s GIANTS game, even though the GIANTS lost, wasn’t so bad. In fact, it was kinda good, right? You can’t win them all. Win some, lose some. Got any other cliches to rationalize yesterday’s loss? No? Ok. Moving on.
Hudson had a decent outing. He gave up 8 hits, 2 runs-unearned-walked 2 and struck out 6. The defense, for the most part, did a god job trying to keep the game close so the GIANTS could get back in it. But the Phillies’ pitcher brought his best stuff to the ballpark yesterday and wasn’t going to let that happen.
The Phillies got off to an early start by scoring a run in the 1st inning. Both teams went scoreless in the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th. Blanco led-off the 5th with a single, Hudson moved him over to 2nd with a SAC bunt, and Adrianza brought him home with an RBI single, tying the game. The Phillies scored another run in the bottom half of the inning, re-taking the lead. Nobody scored in the 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th. The final score was:
GIANTS 1, Phillies 2
So, that’s it. The GIANTS lost the game but won the series. Sound familiar?
Duane Kuiper made a call the other night that I described as “music to my ears.” It was a beautiful sound. And he sang it again last night.
Yesterday’s game was the 3rd in a 4 game series between the GIANTS and the Phillies in Philadelphia. The game was delayed due to rain for almost an hour–but it didn’t really rain that much. The game resumed, and continued, even when it actually rained. The GIANTS starting pitcher–the GIANTS Ace, Madison Bumgarner–threw 8 scoreless innings. The Phillies starting pitcher did too. At the end of 8 the score was tied:
GIANTS 0, Phillies 0
The Phillies brought in their lights out closer. You know, the one Posey hit a HR off of in the previous game, costing the pitcher a blown save. I’m pretty sure the Phillies figured lightning couldn’t strike in the same place twice. Boy, were they wrong. It could and it did. Morse was the lead-off hitter. He fouled off the 1st pitch and got hit by the 2nd pitch. He was given 1st base and Blanco took Morse’s place to pinch run for him. Duvall and Colvin both struck out. The pitcher intentionally walked Crawford to get to Sanchez, and who could blame him? Sanchez hasn’t been doing much at the plate lately. But Hector showed a huge amount of patience and uncharacteristic restraint–he usually takes a whack at the 1st pitch he sees. This time he held up and it paid off when he drew a walk. Hunter came up to bat with 2 out and the bases loaded, and sent a line drive into right field for a double. And that’s when Kuip started singing my song: “Blanco scores! Crawford scores! here comes Sanchez and he’s gonna score! They all score! Pence moved to 3rd on a Phillies throwing error, but the Phillies got the next batter out and retired the side. The Phillies were able to score a run in the bottom of the 9th. The final score was:
GIANTS 3, Phillies 1
What a game! I guess I should say, What an inning! It was a fairly pedestrian game until the 9th inning and I got so excited I almost had a heart attack. Apparently the Phanatic had one because Pence had to give him CPR.
If you thought Monday’s game in Philadelphia between the GIANTS and the Phillies was a little humdrum, I sure hope you were watching yesterday. Because that game was anything but. It started on a Tuesday and ended on a Wednesday (ET). A starting pitcher got credit for the save. Bochy literally emptied the bullpen. For a minute there, I thought they might start warming up Posey. The lead changed hands so many times, it was like watching a tennis match. Dave Groeschner, the GIANTS trainer was called out to the field so often, I thought maybe they would move the game and finish it up in a hospital parking lot. Ok, I’m embellishing a little–a lot–things just get more interesting when you exaggerate, but it was a long, strange game.
It all started off fairly routinely. In the top of the 1st, Pence hit a single, moved to 2nd when Panik ground out and scored on Pablo’s RBI double. The Phillies scored 2 runs in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the 2nd, Blanco led-off and drew a walk. He stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd when the Phillies’ catcher made a throwing error trying to put him out. He scored on Crawford’s RBI ground out. Neither team scored in the 3rd or 4th. After 4, the score was:
GIANTS 2, Phillies 2
Pence led-off the 5th inning with a big fly, giving the GIANTS the lead. The Phillies took it back and then some in their half of the inning by scoring 3 runs. In the 7th, Adrianza–he entered the game to replace Panik who was injured running out a grounder in the 1st inning–hit a double and scored on Buster’s RBI single. The Phillies still held the lead, but the GIANTS were closing in on them. Speaking of Buster, he came to the plate in the top of the 9th, and with 1 out and nobody on, sent a blast to left field, tying the score. In the bottom of the 9th, the Phillies put men at the corners, but couldn’t close the deal. After 9, the score was:
GIANTS 5, Phillies 5
And so it was on to extra innings. Not much happened, really, until the 14th–that’s right, the 14th! The inning began and ended with Adrianza, but the interesting stuff was what happened in-between. Posey stepped up and smacked a double to right field. The Phillies pitcher walked Pablo intentionally to get to the GIANTS pitcher–Kontos. Kontos laid down the perfect SAC bunt, moving Posey to 3rd and Pablo to 2nd. Blanco came to the plate and-oops!-drew a walk that was not intentional. Crawford had the next at-bat–he looked at 1 pitch and then roped a double to left field. To paraphrase Duane Kuiper, our unwitting leader: Posey scores! Pablo scores! Blanco scores! They all score! Music to my ears. Sanchez hit a line-drive for an RBI single, plating Crawford. In the middle of the 14th, the score was:
GIANTS 9, Rockies 5
Kontos came back out to pitch the bottom of the inning because: a) there was no one left in the bullpen and 2) I’m sure Bochy hoped Kontos still had a little gas in his tank. He did. At least a drop. With 1 out and 2 Phillies on board. When he was coasting on fumes, Bochy called for his Cy Young Award winning, 4 X All Star, World Series Ace, and current starting pitcher–Lincecum–to be the emergency relief pitcher as only Timmy can. One runner was able to score. Kontos got the W, Timmy got the S, and the rest of the bullpen did their part. Come to think of it, the entire team did their part. Great game. The final score was:
GIANTS 9, Phillies 6
Yesterday the GIANTS kicked off a 4 game series against the Phillies in Philadelphia. I started thinking about Philadelphia’s nickname–the City of Brotherly Love–I wondered where it came from. So, naturally, I looked it up. What did we do before Google? Turns out Philadelphia literally means loving brother in Greek. It’s a compound word combining philos meaning love (the friend type-not the sex type), and adelphos meaning brother. It seems only fitting that the winning pitcher for yesterday’s game–Spoiler Alert!–was George Kontos, the Greek GIANT.
The GIANTS got the ball rolling in the 2nd inning, when Pablo got a base hit. Morse moved him over to 2nd with another base hit, and he advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch. He scored on Blanco’s RBI single. The Phillies scored 2 runs in the bottom half of the inning. In the 3rd inning, Vogelsong led-off with a base hit. Pence moved him over with a base hit of his own. Scutaro put down the perfect SAC bunt moving Pence to 2nd and Vogelsong to 3rd. Posey plated both Vogelsong and Pence with a 2 RBI single. It should be noted: Vogey has had several great outings recently, but wound up being the losing pitcher because of a lack of run support. Way to go Vogey for being part of the solution. After 3, the score was:
GIANTS 3, Phillies 2
The GIANTS went scoreless in the top of the 4th and in the bottom of the inning, the Phillies got a couple of base hits. The hits, combined with a fielding error, turned into a couple of runs for the Phillies, putting them in the lead. With 2 men on base and NO outs, George Kontos took the mound for the GIANTS. He struck out the 1st two batters he faced and the 3rd batter hit a fly ball to right field. Pence fielded it easily for the 3rd out. Neither team scored in the 5th. After 5, the score was:
GIANTS 3, Phillies 4
The GIANTS came back in the 6th with a vengeance. Morse led-off the inning with a base hit. Duvall–who arrived on the plane with Kontos from AAA Fresno–sent the 1st pitch in his at-bat right over the wall, scoring 2. It wasn’t his 1st big league big fly–that happened June 27th in another Vogey-pitched game–but this run should be filed under the category: Couldn’t Have Come at a Better Time. Arias pinch-hit in the pitcher’s spot and whacked a nice double to center field. Pence followed with an RBI single, scoring Arias. Phillies didn’t score in their half of the inning. After 6, the score was:
GIANTS 6, Phillies 4
Blanco scored the final run for the GIANTS. He drew a walk in the 8th and scored on Pence’s RBI triple. The Phillies didn’t score again. The final score was:
GIANTS 7, Phillies 4
Today is Ryan Vogelsong’s Birthday. He was born July 22, 1977 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was drafted by the San Francisco GIANTS in the 1998 amateur draft. He made his major league debut September 2, 2000 before a crowd of 40,930 fans at Pacific Bell Park–now known as AT&T Park. He pitched 2 innings in relief, faced 8 batters, gave up 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks and 0 strike outs. He threw 22 pitches. The starting pitcher that day was Shawn Estes. Barry Bonds was in left field, J.T. Snow played 1st base, Jeff Kent played 2nd, and Rich Aurilia was the shortstop. The final score was:
GIANTS 13, Cubs 2
Looking at his baseball career, it is obvious Vogey has a lot of heart and an amazing spirit. If you look up Can Do Attitude in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Ryan Vogelsong. After spending a couple of years with the GIANTS, he was traded to Pittsburgh. He spent a few years playing in Japan. He signed with MLB teams in the US, only to be released. One thing he didn’t do was give up on himself. Good thing too. He made his way back to the GIANTS in 2011 and is a huge part of the reason the GIANTS won the 2012 World Series.
He and his wife, Nicole, have a son.
Happy Birthday Ryan Vogelsong!!
Yesterday’s game was a lower scoring game than the previous game, and the 9th inning was torturous, but other than those and a few other silly little details–it was a repeat. Oh, another difference? Miami drew 1st blood. And being a good GIANTS fan, I know that when the GIANTS are the 1st on the board they usually win. So when the other team scores 1st? Let’s just say my usual sunny disposition goes behind a cloud. Here’s what happened:
The GIANTS didn’t score in the 1st inning. In fact, the Marlins’ pitcher retired the GIANTS–1, 2, 3. The Marlins scored when it was their turn at the plate. Thinking the GIANTS were sunk because they didn’t score 1st, I wasn’t happy. After 1, the score was:
GIANTS 0, Marlins 1
Pablo kick started the 2nd inning with a lead-off double. When it was Belt’s turn at bat, he hit an RBI double to score Pablo. I started to smile a little. While Blanco was at the plate, on a passed ball, Belt took 3rd, sliding. The catcher recovered the ball and threw to the 3rd baseman but the ball ended up in left field. Belt popped up from his slide and took off for home. He made it. After 2, the score was:
GIANTS 2, Marlins 1
I felt much better. But Belt didn’t. He left the game–no reason given. The GIANTS didn’t score in the 3rd, and fortunately, neither did Miami. Pablo was the lead-off batter–again–in the 4th and he got things going with a base hit. When Colvin (he was put in the line-up when Belt came out so he could play left field while Morse covered 1st) came to the plate he took a few pitches and then got hit by 1. He took 1st and Pablo moved over to 2nd. With 2 outs, Miami intentionally walked Blanco to get to Hudson. With the bases loaded, Hudson drew a walk–not intentional–to score a run. What’s that–an RWI? He was awarded an RBI and 1st base. Hunter was up next and he hit a 2 RBI single that plated both Colvin and Blanco. At the end of 4, the score was:
GIANTS 5, Marlins 1
Hudson pitched a great game, going 7.1 innings, giving up 8 hits, 1 run and no walks while striking out 3. Miami scored 2 more runs in the bottom of the 9th–including another HR from NL HR leader Giancarlo Stanton–before Casilla finished them off. The final score was:
GIANTS 5, Marlins 3
Today’s game was, unfortunately, not a repeat. Lincecum was on the mound and he gave up 2 runs in the 1st. But I wasn’t worried. The GIANTS won yesterday even though Miami scored 1st, so no big deal. Morse led-off the GIANTS half of the 2nd with a double, but was still standing on 2nd when the inning ended. Uh-oh. In the 3rd, Pence hit a single and Scutaro followed with a single of his own advancing Pence to 2nd. Posey smacked a 2 RBI double to left field scoring both Pence and Scutaro. Game tied. And I was feeling pretty happy. After 3, the score was:
GIANTS 2, Marlins 2
The game stayed tied at 2-2 until the 7th when Miami’s shortstop hit a double, moved to 3rd on a SAC bunt and scored on a wild pitch that Sanchez tried in vain to smother–it got away. The GIANTS didn’t score after that. Oh well. Gotta stay positive. The final score was:
GIANTS 2, Marlins 3
So, the GIANTS lost today’s game, but they still won the series. Like Meatloaf said: “now, don’t be sad, ’cause two out of three ain’t bad.”
Update on Brandon Belt: he is being placed on the 7 day concussion DL. He was hit in the face with a ball yesterday during warm-ups when another player got their signals crossed. The other player threw the ball to Belt who was focusing on the throw he knew he was coming from Brandon Crawford. Where did the other ball come from? Who knows–it probably came out of left field. Let’s keep him in our thoughts. Get better Brandon!