SF Giants spring upset

buster.hunter 03.25

8 days to go!

The Giants played the Padres Saturday afternoon at the Giants ST home in Scottsdale–it’s a good thing, too because the Giants needed the last ups.

It was Johnny Cueto‘s turn to pitch, but since the Giants will see the Padres very early in April, Cueto switched places with minor league camper Chris Stratton to keep his moves a secret.  I get the feeling Johnny Beisbol had more fun over in the minor leagues.

Stratton got rung up like a cash register on White Flower Day at Macy’s. He pitched to 18 batters in three innings and gave up seven runs–three were home runs–on nine hits and a walk. He struck out three.

The Giants scored one run in the second inning when Buster Posey–who found his power bat on the WBC circuit–led off the inning with a solo dinger to right. The Giants scored again in the fifth after Nick Hundley led off with a double and Chris Marrero reached on an error. Hundley scored when Aaron Hill groundout and Marrero scored on Gorkys Hernandez groundout.

The Giants scored two more in the sixth when Buster led off with a single and Brandon Crawford–whose performance in the WBC was MVP worthy–hit a home run, scoring two. In the seventh, Justin Ruggiano led off with a double and Joe Panik tripled him home. Marrero drew a walk in the eighth–Bryan Reynolds was brought in to pinch run–and Reynolds scored on Hernandez’s double.

By then the score was all tied up. It all came down to the ninth inning. And the Padres weren’t able to add to their score at the top of the inning.

Ruggiano drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Rando Moreno put down a sac bunt to advance Ruggiano–who reached second safely–and Moreno made it to first anyway. Austin Slater was up next and he was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Jae-gyun Hwang‘s base hit scored Ruggiano for the walk-off win.

The final score was: Giants 8, Padres 7

hwang 03.25What a fun game to watch. Especially the walk-off win part. Hwang is making a great argument for a spot on the opening day roster. Speaking of Hwang, he is this year’s Barney Nugent Award winner. For those who have to ask–like me, for example–the Barney Nugent Award is an award for the best player at his 1st big league camp. Coaches, players and trainers have been awarding this honor for years, but renamed it after the Giants’ former trainer  who passed away in 2014. Past awards have gone to players like Russ Ortiz, Tim Lincecum, Matt Duffy and Trevor Brown. That puts Hwang in pretty good company.

Sunday the Giants head over to Camelback Ranch to face the Chicago White Sox. Ty Blach–who just got engaged!–will start for the Giants at 1:05 pm. The game will be televised on the MLB Network or you can listen on KNBR 680. Your choice. Sometimes it depends on who is handling the TV duties, doesn’t it?

Toni Cecchetti

25 March 2017

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