I warned them, didn’t i? Tuesday when I posted the SF Giants line-up on FB, I kicked it off with “Houston, you have a problem.” I know it’s not original, but I couldn’t help myself. Houston was riding high on their starting pitcher’s 11-game winning streak that dated back to July 2014. They’re sitting pretty on top in the AL West, but like I said in my FB post–Giants ain’t afraid of no ‘Stros.
Chris Heston, nickname–Hesto Presto, our rookie pitcher, was magical. He pitched his heart out Tuesday–and it showed. He gave up just 2 hits–ok, so 1 was a solo HR, it’s still only 1 hit–but the best part? He pitched a complete game–the first CG in his major league career. He is the first Giants’ rookie to record a CG since 1985. He struck out 10–4 of them looking. The last rookie to record double-digit strike outs in a single game was Tim Lincecum in 2007 when he fanned 12 batters. Heston retired the last 22 bats he faced in order. Helluva game. Hats off to Heston–Giants ball caps preferred.
The only thing that would make Heston’s CG even better? What else?–run support. So the Giants did what they needed to do–they brought it. Lots of it. In fact, for the 1st time this season the Giants offense scored more than 6 runs in a game. You know what they say? Timing is everything. And Tuesday, it was everything GIANT. Matt Duffy added to his appeal with a career-high 5 RBI game–3 of those runs scored off his bases-clearing double in the 2nd. Then in the 5th, on a 2-2 count, with 2 outs and the bases loaded, Justin Maxwell was just 1 strike away from making the 3rd out. But he didn’t. Instead, he sparked a 5-run inning with a base hit that was aided by an error from the Astros’ 2nd baseman. Panik and Pagan scored, then Posey scored when Crawford hit a GRD–ground rule double–and Duffy racked up 2 more RBIs when his line drive to CF drove Maxwell and Crawford home. The final score was:
GIANTS 8, Astros 1
It wasn’t really magic, though. Just good GIANTS baseball.
Magic found it’s way into Wednesday’s game too–the GIANTS had the lead and it disappeared.
In the 1st inning, Duffy drew a walk, stole 2nd and scored on Buster’s RBI base hit to center field. The score remained unchanged until the 4th, when the Astros tied it up with their own RBI single to CF. The GIANTS answered back right away in the 5th when Angel Pagan smoked a big triple to right CF–his career 50th triple. Buster went long with a 2-run HR to retake the lead for the GIANTS. But not for long. The Astros hit 3 solo shots in as many innings and
ABRACADABRA, the Astros took the lead and refused to give it back. Truth be told the GIANTS let them keep it–by missing scoring opportunities. Lots of them. The GIANTS defense took our collective breath away a couple of times: in the 5th, McGehee fielded a grounder, tagged 3rd for the force and threw to Belt to get the runner at 1st. In the 7th, 3 GIANTS collided in what could have been a disaster–attempting to catch a pop-up in foul territory. Belt avoided the dogpile, but Kontos and Susac didn’t–they both ended up on the ground. Susac–gotta love this kid–made a basket catch, held on to the ball like a dog with a bone and got the out. The final score was:
GIANTS 3, Astros 4
Come to think of it, that game wasn’t really magic either. Just not-so-good GIANTS baseball.