When I reviewed Game 1 of the NLDS, I talked about counting chickens and all that. The lesson continues. Because after the national baseball media announced that the GIANTS didn’t stand a chance against the Nats pitcher in Game 1–only to have the GIANTS prove them wrong, they redrew the line in the sand and said absolutely no way do the GIANTS win facing this Nat’s pitcher in Game 2. This guy is their ace–the best pitcher in the their rotation. Turns out the naysayers are gonna need a bigger sandbox, because they’re gonna have to draw another line in the sand.
Let me preface this recap by saying it was a long night. I know the game started at 2:38 in the afternoon, our time, but it didn’t end until 9:00 last night. In DC, where the GIANTS played, the game took 2 days–from 5:30 PM Saturday ’til a tick past midnight Sunday. 6 hours, 23 minutes. 18 innings–the equivalent of 2 full games. It went down in the books as the longest post-season game ever.
It’s true, the Nats pitcher in game 2 is good. Really good. He pitched a no-hitter to finish up his regular season. But, hey–the GIANTS took the field behind Tim Hudson who is also good. Really good. He proved it last night with an exceptional outing. He went 7.1 innings–he gave up 7 hits, 1 run, NO walks and he struck out 8. That only tells half the story.
The bullpen came in–7 of them–including Petit who pitched 6.0 innings in relief. Petit gave up 1 hit, NO runs, 3 walks, and he struck out 7 for the “W”. Hunter Strickland–our bullpen rookie–closed it out, got the save and a Buster Hug. That still only tells part of the story. The GIANTS were flawless on defense. Between Hudson, the bullpen and the defense–the Nats were held to a 1 run lead. The Nats scored the run in the 3rd, on a double and an RBI single. The GIANTS were held scoreless through 8. After 8 innings, the score was:
GIANTS 0, Nationals 1
In the 9th, with 2 out and nobody on, Joe Panik drew a walk. This prompted the Nats manager–former GIANT Matt Williams–to take the ball from their Ace and hand it off to their closer. Buster Posey came to the plate and got a base hit. Pablo was up next–he hit an RBI double scoring Panik and tying the game. After 9, the score was:
GIANTS 1, Nationals 1
It was on to extra innings and each team held the other scoreless through 17. Brandon Belt led-off the 18th–boy, did he lead-off–with a solo HR to give the GIANTS the lead for the 1st time in 18 innings. In the bottom of the 18th–enter Hunter Strickland and it’s game over. The final score was:
GIANTS 2, Nationals 1
That gives the GIANTS a 2 game lead in a best of 5 series. It’s an advantage, sure, but we can’t claim victory yet–that would be like counting chickens before they’re hatched.
Here’s hoping there’s lots more Buster Hugs on the horizon! #GoGIANTS!!!