Saturday, September 11, 2010

Aubrey Huff wills the Giants into first place


From the moment Jonathan Sanchez took the mound and rubbed out the "SD" logo that the grounds crew puts on the back of the mound, you knew it was going to be a tense game.

For the second time this season a Giants - Padres game has ended 1-0 with the deciding run having been scored without the benefit of a hit.  After what has to be the worst 5 inning 1 hit shutout pitching performance I have ever seen the Giants were able to be the ones to score the run that decided the game.

The game was a statement game.  It told the Padres that you can't just come out and beat us whenever you want.  It also secured at least a series tie with the Pads which seems to be a minor miracle given the way the Padres have owned the Giants to date this season.

Leading off the 7th inning Aubrey Huff got hit by a pitch in the back of the right arm.  He looked like he was in tremendous pain, but when the trainer came out to look at it Huff ran away from him and took first base while trying to work the pain out of his arm. “Funny bone. Tingling and numbness,” Huff said. “Just suck it up. I didn’t want to Roger Dorn it too much out there.”

With Pat Burrell batting, huff decided that he would steal second base.  He barely made it to second kicking the ball out of David Eckstein's glove when Burrell swung trough the pitch for strike three.

The next batter was Jose Guillen and Huff violated the cardinal rule of not running to third on a groundball hit in front of you but he wound up being safe.  “It was actually a dumb play on my part,” he said. “I thought it’d be in the hole. Once you go, you can’t stop. Good call there, I was safe. It’s not how you draw it up, not a smart play, but it worked out.”

Huff scored when Juan Uribe beat out the tail end of a double play thanks to Nate Schierholtz's takeout of every Giants' fan's least favorite second baseman.  “I had it in my mind at first base,” Schierholtz said. “I knew on a ground ball, I had to go into second hard. I was able to slide late and he was right on top of the bag. I was able to get a piece of him."

Back to Jonathan Sanchez's strange outing.  As I said earlier it was the worst 5 inning one hit shutout performance ever. It may not have been the worst shutout performance I have seen from a Giants pitcher.    On Sept. 4, 1999 Russ Ortiz went 6 innings, walked 7 batters, allowed 2 hits, and struck out 8 Pirates.  Now his outing could be classified as better since he lasted 6 innings and struck out 8.  But he gave up 2 hits as opposed to Sanchez's one so I think Sanchez did  a better job.

Brian Wilson had two great quotes to sum up the game and to talk about Sanchez's performance:

On Sanchez's brief night: "He knows we've got a lot of arms in the bullpen, He went 100 percent on every single pitch. You can't ask for anything better than that. And then our sixth-inning guy throws 100 mph. That's not bad, either."

On the game and his 5th 5 out save of the season:  "This is what you prepare for. If you need a breather or a day off, go to bed early. You'll have to suck it up and play to win from here on out."

Bumgarner Vs. Stauffer this afternoon

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