Man! was it me?!?! or did last night’s game seem fast to you? I looked at the clock during the 5th inning and it was only an hour after the game started. I know the GIANTS were playing a New York team, but, seriously…
A lot of the credit for the fast pace of the game goes to GIANTS’ starting pitcher Matt Cain. He was on the DL, 16 days from his last start, and he went out there and dispatched the Mets batters with extreme efficiency. An example–in the 4th inning, Cain faced 3 Mets batters and retired them 1, 2, 3 with just 9 pitches. In fact, Cain pitched a NO-NO right up until the 5th when he walked 1. After that hitter walked, the next batter hit a ground ball and the defense behind Cain got them both in a perfect double play.
The GIANTS had hits in the 1st, 2nd and 4th but couldn’t score. In the 5th inning, Brandon Hicks tripled on a fly ball to center field and Brandon Crawford brought him home on a SAC fly. The Mets scored in the 7th when their lead-off man hit a double and the next batter hit a HR. In the bottom of the 7th, with 2 out, Brandon Hicks drew a walk. Brandon Crawford sent him home again, this time with a base hit. At the end of 7, the score was:
GIANTS 2, Mets 2
Jeremy Affeldt pitched the top of the 8th, struck out the 1st batter and gave up a hit to the next batter. The 3rd guy in the sequence hit a ground ball, and the GIANTS defense took care of both base runners with a double play. Pagan led-off the bottom of the 8th and drew a walk. Pence ground out, Posey came to the plate, took the 1st pitch and then smashed the next one over the left center field fence for a 2 run HR. At the end of 8, the score was:
GIANTS 4, Mets 2
Romo closed it out for the GIANTS with a 1, 2, 3 inning.
In order for a relief pitcher to get the game win, he must enter the game while it is either tied or his team is behind and their team must take the lead before the next pitcher comes in. (that isn’t the exact wording of the rule, but it is how the rule would most likely apply in this situation) A Win for a relief pitcher is a rare and wonderful thing indeed. So the winning pitcher for last night’s game? Jeremy Affeldt-what a great birthday present. Happy Birthday Jeremy.