You want to be a GIANTS fan? You gotta have faith. Serious faith. You can’t flinch. You can’t blink. Just have serious faith and extreme confidence. Bochy does. I highly advise you never–never, ever, ever–challenge him to a game of Chicken. That guy does not blink. So Wednesday night, when Vogey walked the lead-off hitters in both the 1st and 2nd innings and Bochy got Machi up in the bullpen, I was shocked. Bochy doesn’t have a hair-trigger, and getting Machi warming up seemed out of character. Vogey got out of both innings unscathed–with a nicely turned double play in the 1st, and a ground ball in the 2nd. So Bochy left Machi in the pen. Temporarily.
Vogey went on to pitch a good game– it remained scoreless until the 7th–and even though I thought Vogey was still in good shape, Bochy decided to bring Machi in to get the last out. And he did. I guess that’s why they pay Bochy the big buck$, and basically won’t listen to a word I say. Machi faced 1 batter, who hit a ground ball to 3rd, which Pablo fielded easily. Well, at least it looked easy. Affeldt handled the 8th and Romo handled the 9th, both with 3-up, 3-down efficiency. Vogelsong pitched 6.2 innings, facing 26 batters–he gave up 2 hits, 5 walks and struck out 3. Machi faced just the one, Affeldt and Romo faced 3 each–the very definition of 3-up, 3-down precludes facing more than 3 per inning. So when the GIANTS went on to score 4 runs in the 7th and 1 run in the 8th, guess which GIANTS pitcher got the W for the win??? Of course–Machi! Why? because its baseball. And Machi was the pitcher of record when the GIANTS took the lead.
Here’s how they did it: Pence led-off the 7th with a walk, Blanco scored Pence with an RBI double. Crawford hit a single and Duffy pinch-hit an RBI double in the pitcher’s spot, scoring Blanco. Crawford came home on a wild pitch and Pagan hit a SAC fly scoring Duffy. In the 8th, with 1 out, Pablo hit a double, Pence hit a single and Ishikawa hit a double scoring Pablo. This is the part where I tell you about all the runs the DBacks scored. But I can’t. Because they didn’t score. None. The final score was:
GIANTS 5, Arizona 0
I posted this on Facebook yesterday in memory of those who lost their lives and those who gave their lives on September 11, 2001: “Today is 9/11. I know, I’m sure I didn’t have to tell you that. We are still remembering the lives lost that day. #NeverForget. One thing I will never forget is the Mets game that was played at Shea Stadium 10 days after the attacks. The baseball world honored the people who died in those attacks and paid special tribute to the heroes of FDNY and NYPD. Baseball. It’s good for America.” Yesterday there were special tributes in ballparks all across America reminding us #NeverForget. Remember what James Earl Jones’ character in Field of Dreams said: “the one constant through all the years…has been baseball.” That is so true.
Thursday night the GIANTS got the party started a little earlier. It also started a little weirder. Pagan led-off the 1st with a double, Posey got a base hit moving Pagan to 3rd, and with 2 outs, Pence was up next. He took a swing and lost his grip on the bat–which, in effect, made him throw the bat at the ball. The bat hit the ball, the ball went up the middle and hit 2nd base, preventing the 2nd baseman from fielding it, allowing Pence to reach 1st and Pagan to score. Kruk and Kuip called it the “perfect magic wandoo” I call it the perfect base hit. RBI base hit, to be precise. Pagan scored again in the 3rd when he led-off with a base hit Pablo brought him home with an RBI single. In the 4th Gregor Blanco hit a single, Ishikawa drew a walk and Crawford scored Blanco with an RBI base hit. Ishikawa got a base hit to open up the 6th, Juan Perez hit a double, scoring Ishikawa, Panik walked, Posey hit a line drive for an RBI single. With the bases loaded, Hunter Pence drew a walk, scoring Panik. Arizona scored 2 runs, one in the 6th–with 1 out, Arizona’s shortstop hit a triple, the next hitter flied out, then their 1st baseman hit a double, scoring the shortstop. That’s all Bochy needed to see. He took Peavy out and brought in Machi. Bochy has faith–but it’s apparently a dog on a very short leash. Arizona scored a solo HR in the 9th. The final score was:
GIANTS 6, Arizona 2
The Dodgers are in town tonight. The GIANTS are 2 games away from tying up the NL West. This is when things get really interesting.