New day, new game. And this time the Giants were facing the Cardinals brand new rookie starter. To be fair, it was a level playing field because Matt Moore had never faced the Cardinals. It promised to be a good game–both teams trying to figure out the other’s pitcher.
It started out that way too. Right up until the bottom of the third. That’s when the Giants exploded. Denard Span drew a one out walk, Matt Moore hit into a force attempt and reached on a rare error by Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina–former Giants’ catcher Benjie Molina’s little brother. Angel Pagan drew a walk and Joe Panik hit a sac fly scoring Span. Buster Posey’s single scored both Moore and Pagan. Hunter Pence singled and Brandon Belt hit a two RBI double plating Posey and Pence.
Brandon Crawford singled, scoring Belt who was tagged out at the plate. Inning over. Or was it? The Giants asked for a replay review. The umps in New York overturned the call on the field and ruled Belt was safe–scoring another Giants run and driving the Cardinals’ rookie pitcher out of the game. The Giants batted around the order until Moore ended the inning by striking out. Hey, he needed to get back out on the mound anyway.
The Cardinals scored a run in the top of the fourth, but the Giants took it back and then some, piling it on in the bottom of the inning. Pagan drew a walk and Panik popped up, but the Cardinals first baseman couldn’t get a handle on it right away. He recovered in time to throw Pagan out at second while Panik made it safely to first. Buster was up next and he got what we’ve all been waiting two months for–a Buster Bash–scoring two. When he got back to the dugout, he got the silent treatment–like a rookie get his first big knock–from his teammates before they showed their love.
Moore started leaking oil in the top of the fifth, giving up a couple of singles and back-to-back walks, walking in a run. But he got out of the bases loaded inning with a pop up, getting the job done.
The bullpen took over in the sixth and held the game for the Giants. They–and we’re including Santiago Casilla here–did a great job. A walk here and there was as bad as it got. The final score was:
Giants 8, Cardinals 2
I don’t know about the rest of you–and I’m keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed–but I think Buster Posey is back. Now, I don’t want the baseball gods to punish us for my presumptions, so I’m saying maybe. Maybe Buster Posey is back. And you know what? Of all the theories–screwy and otherwise–maybe that’s what sparked the second half slump. Buster is the Giants captain, clubhouse leader, face of the franchise, etc. Maybe as Buster goes, so goes the Giants–consciously or unconsciously. Kruk and Kuip are always talking about how hitting is contagious, slumps are contagious–maybe the whole team slump followed the Buster slump.
If that’s the case, let’s hope Buster is back. He went four for five Thursday night and three for four Friday night. With a home run. Buster hasn’t had a home run since July 16th–see what I mean? It looks like he might be back. I kinda hope it’s as simple as that.
Santiago Casilla pitched a shut down eighth inning. As much maligned as Casilla has been, I think it’s a good thing that Bochy gave him a chance to re-build his confidence. He’s a Giant. Let’s quit picking on him and Don’t Stop Believing in him. He’s our guy. Period.
Saturday’s game starts at 6:05 pm with Jeff Samardzija on the mound for the Giants. He’s facing Mike Leake–yeah, that Mike Leake, former Giants pitcher. The game will be on CSN-BA and KNBR 680. Don’t miss it.