Saturday, August 14, 2010

Giants win one of the best games of the season!

Wow, what a game!
San Francisco Giants' pitcher Madison Bumgarner pitches during the first inning at Nationals Park in Washington on July 12, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

The Giants finished off the Padres in 11 innings.  This was easily one of the best games of the season given the history between these two teams this season and the fact that the race to the NL west crown is going to basically come down to these two teams.

This game ran the full emotional spectrum for me.  From anger over the Giants inability to score runs, to excitement over Pablo's homerun, to stress over the Padres loading the bases against Romo, back to excitement when Pat "The Bat" tied the score with a heads up RBI groundout, back to anger when Mike Adams mowed the Giants down, to pure excitement when Posey stretched his single into two bags, and to jumping for joy when Juan Uribe hurt somebody's feelings (thanks Kevin Millar) by driving in Buster Posey in the bottom of the 11th to end the Torture!

July 15, 2010 - San Francisco, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02249915 San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval follows through with an RBI double off a pitch by New York Mets R.A. Dickey during the second inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California, USA, 15 July 2010.Hopefully this is the turning point in the Padres - Giants saga for this season.  This is the kind of scratching, clawing, who wants to win it more kind of game that can break a team and propel the other team.  The Padres had to think they had this game won when Luke Greggerson took the mound with a one run lead since  the Giants had never scored a run off him in 14 games.  But the Giants got a sacrifice fly from Pat The Bat to tie the game in the 8th inning.

Then it was Posey time.

July 18, 2010 - San Francisco, CA, United States of America - 18 July 2010; San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Giants Pat Burrell.After scoreless 9th and 10th innings, including a 10th inning in which Santiago Casilla tried to hand the game to the Padres by throwing 2 wild pitches to put the winning run on 3rd base with only one out, Buster Posey led off the 11th inning with a base hit up the middle that bounced off of second baseman Jerry Hairston's glove and rolled into short centerfield.  When an alert Posey saw the deflection he utilized those catchers legs, which had just caught 11 innings BTW, and stretched that single into a double.  The Giants gave Pablo Sandoval the Barry Bonds treatment by giving him his second intentional walk of the game to bring up Juan Uribe.

Uribe floated a soft single to shallow right field and the suddenly fleet footed Buster Posey scored from second base.


July 18, 2010 - San Francisco, CA, United States of America - 18 July 2010; San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Giants Buster Posey.
There are so many performances in this game that are remarkable.  Obviously Buster's baserunning heroics were huge, Pablo's continued power surge was the spark that erased the Goose Egg the Giants had put on the board up until that point, and Pat Burrell realizing the defense was conceding the tying run when he had two strikes on him and shooting a ball to the right side to score Mike Fontenot.

However, I think the biggest clutch performance of the night belonged to Madison Bumgarner.  He wasn't lights out.  He gave up 8 hits in his seven innings of work.  But this game could have easily gotten out of hand and he battled and battled to keep the Padres at two runs.  Unfortunately, he became an official member of the Giants rotation tonight when he got a no-decision thanks to a lack of run support, but without him this game could have been very different.

This puts the Giants in a position to win their first series of the season against the Padres tomorrow.  Lincecum is on the mound and despite his "struggles" this season he is still the team leader in wins.  The 6-10 Wade LeBlanc is throwing tomorrow so this game is ripe for the Giants to make a statement!

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