SF Giants down to the wire

09-17-mlbf_1172719383_th_45It was Samardzija v. Leake. The former Giants pitcher against one of his replacements. Jeff Samardzija pitched good enough for the win. It was a fairly tame game considering how close it was. But there was torture. It happened at the end.

The Cardinals drew first blood with a solo home run in the top of the first. It was the only run Samardzija gave up. The Giants held them to one run for the entire game. At least until the ninth.

The Giants tied it up in the bottom of the second when Hunter Pence singled and scored on a Brandon Belt double. The Giants scored another run–the go ahead run–in the fifth. Eduardo Nunez singled, Denard Span followed with another single and Jeff Samardzija hit a sac fly into a double play, but Nunez scored anyway.

The Giants were great on defense. When the Cardinals got their lead off hitters on, the Giants turned double plays to get them out. Brandon Crawford was pulling line drives out of thin air with a single bound.

And then along came the ninth inning. It’s the same old song. Sing it with me. Sergio Romo pitched to the first hitter and got an out, but put the next guy on with a single. Bochy called for Casilla. Casilla walked the first hitter he faced, then gave up a single and a run scored, tying the game.

Things happened in the ninth the Giants were able to avoid through the game until then–Buster threw to second to catch a runner stealing and no one was covering, a ground ball went right through the infield for a base hit instead of the double play they were looking  for. A sac fly brought the go ahead run home for the Cardinals and the Giants went to the bottom of the ninth with some work to do.

Eduardo Nunez and Denard Span got on base with a little two out thunder–maybe thunder is overstating it. A little two out buzz. But that’s as far as they got. The final score was:

Giants 2, Cardinals 3

It’s a shame. We had a two win streak. And we had this one in the bag. But it got away and for many reasons. For those who are tempted to blame Casilla, think again. He went out there with Romo’s runner on. He didn’t get the job done, but he also came out of the bullpen to boos from the fans. Giants fans don’t boo our guys. Shame on those who did.

Sunday’s game starts at 1:05 pm on CSN-BA and KNBR 680. Albert Suarez is on the mound. Let’s cheer for the guys. No more boos. Don’t Stop Believing.

Toni Cecchetti

17 September 2016

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