Kruk: “welcome to San Francisco, Mr. Nunez” Kuip: “yeah, you’re gonna like it here.” It was a much better welcome than the one he got Friday night when he was sent out to record the last out of the game.
Let’s start at the beginning. It’s usually the best place to start. In the bottom of the first, Eduardo Nunez led off with a single and stole second, but he was left stranded when Buster Posey’s magnificent hit was caught against all odds by the Washington center fielder.
Unfortunately, many Giants fans (according to the online comments) spent the early part of the game bitching and moaning about missed chances. That’s true. The Giants have missed a lot of opportunities lately. Even today.
One we didn’t miss came in the fourth inning and it was brought to us by Eduardo Nunez–he redeemed himself after leaving them loaded in the second. In the fourth he did something no other Giant (maybe other than Conor Gillaspie) has been able to do since the All∗Star break–he got a nice hit with runners in scoring position. He hit a double, scoring Brandon Belt, who reached on a walk, and Joe Panik, who was on board with a single. Angel Pagan ground out to first, but Mac Williamson, who also reached on a walk, was able to score.
Giants fans greeted the return of Hunter Pence with a lot of noise and a standing ovation. He earned it. He hit a double in the second, but didn’t score. The score was tied in the seventh when Buster got base hit, Pence drew a walk and advanced to second on Belt’s single. Buster moved to third, and scored–breaking the tie–on Panik’s sac fly that advanced Pence to third. Gregor Blanco drew a walk and the bases were loaded. Trevor Brown was brought in to pinch hit. He drew a walk scoring Pence, giving the Giants a two-run lead. The final score was:
Giants 5, Nationals 3
The defense was on fire–especially Buster, who threw out two would-be base stealers. He fired a bullet to Nunez in the fifth, who tagged the runner at second. In the eighth, Buster threw a perfect strike to Panik who laid down the tag, getting Bryce Harper out when he tried to steal second. The defensive play of the day in the outfield was the run-saving catch Angel Pagan ran down in the seventh. Amazing play.
I’m keeping the faith tomorrow will bring more of the same. It’s got to. Here’s what was different today: Hunter Pence was activated. Eduardo Nunez was in the starting line up. My daughter went to the game. She’s gonna have to cancel all her other plans for the rest of the season. I’ll buy the tickets.
Bonus points: the Dodgers lost their Saturday evening game against the Diamondbacks. You hear that clatter of cleats behind you? It just got a little further back and a little quieter. We’re back to two games up. But who’s counting?
Sunday’s game starts at 1:05 pm on CSN-BA and KNBR 680. Join the Facebook group SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat for baseball, beer and brats. Giants supply the baseball, you bring the beer and brats. Follow the link: