A Fight to the Finish

I had high hopes and a really good feeling about yesterday’s game–before it was played. I didn’t talk about it, blog about it, or even think about it. That’s the superstition at work. The GIANTS were home, playing in front of a packed house. Perfect. The game came on in the early afternoon, and the GIANTS were ready.

imageHudson pitched–a 1, 2, 3 shut down top of the 1st inning, then the GIANTS bats went to work and scored 4 runs in the bottom of the inning. I’d say we were off to a pretty good start. With 2 outs, Buster came up with a base hit, Pablo followed with a base hit too. Hunter Pence hit an RBI double, scoring Buster. With Hunter at 2nd and Pablo at 3rd, the Cardinals intentionally walked Brandon Belt to get to Travis Ishikawa for the 3rd out. Didn’t happen. Just like Robert Burns said–“the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.”  In this case awry was way the hell out in the outfield off the brick wall and past the Cardinals gloves. Ishikawa ended up with a double–clearing the bases.
imageHudson held his own for a few innings–even getting a base hit in the 4th–but he gave up the game-tying HR in the 7th and Bochy took him out of the game. Hudson worked hard to keep the game close, though–he gave up 7 hits and 4 runs, but he issued zero walks and struck out 5. The Cardinals scored 2 runs in the 4th, 1 in the 6th and the HR in the 7th. After 7, the score was tied:

GIANTS 4, Cardinals 4

imageThe game was tied through the 9th, so it was on to extra innings. Hudson gave the GIANTS their last hit in the 4th, and I was starting to get worried. But with the game at home, last ups belonged to the GIANTS–they just had to keep the Cardinals from scoring again. The bullpen and the defense did a great job of making sure they didn’t. Both the 8th and 9th were 1, 2, 3 shut down innings. The Cardinals made a little noise in the 10th–but the GIANTS were louder. Brandon Crawford led-off with a walk, Juan Perez followed up with a base hit, bringing Gregor Blanco to the plate. He laid down a SAC bunt and took off for 1st–the Cardinals pitcher fielded the bunt with their 3rd baseman gesturing that he should throw to 1st–so he did. Or tried to. The ball sailed wide of 1st toward the Cardinals dugout and Brandon Crawford scored on the walk-off SAC bunt error. The final score was:

imageGIANTS 5, Cardinals 4

The GIANTS take Game 3, giving us 2 games in the series to the Cardinals 1. And do you know what the big shot baseball analysts and media people are saying now? The GIANTS got lucky. Lucky!! That’s just pure BS. Oh sure, the GIANTS ended up winning on a Cardinals error, but what might have happened if the pitcher hadn’t overthrown 1st base? Who cares?? He did, and that’s their tough luck. But I will say this: if they had gotten Gregor out at 1st, Crawford and Perez advance with Panik and Pence coming to the plate. Crawford was coming home anyway–he just got there a little sooner. Luck, my a**!

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