The Giants were three outs away from locking the game up and earning a 2-2 series split, but as we all know – it’s never that easy.
Leading 3-2 going into the top of the ninth, Javier Lopez allowed an 0-2 single to Jay Bruce, after which he was immediately replaced by closer Santiago Casilla. Casilla didn’t prove any more effective though as he gave up three straight singles, allowing the Reds to tie the game before he struck out the next two batters and ended the bases loaded threat with a soft liner to Brandon Belt.
The Giants mounted a rally in the bottom half though, thanks to a bloop Buster Posey double followed by an intentional walk to Pablo Sandoval. With Angel Pagan up and both runners on, the Giants’ center fielder smacked a deep fly ball to Jay Bruce in right, who appeared to be struggling with his positioning as soon as the ball was hitting its apex. Shuffling backwards, nearing the edge of the outfield grass, Bruce leaped up for the ball as if he felt he was backed up against the wall, completely whiffing on it, allowing the ball to bounce over him and Posey to score from second. Bruce never even hit the warning track prior to leaping for the ball, so, it’s hard to imagine he felt he was at the wall, but judging from his actions, it sure seemed like he felt he was out of room.
Benches Clearing…Shouting Match? – Reds starter Bronson Arroyo isn’t exactly known for his blazing fastball, but even upper 80mph projectiles hurt when thrown at you. Buster Posey took the first clubbing of the game, a fastball that appeared to get the baby-faced Buster in his shoulder but it was two inside fastballs to opposing starter Ryan Vogelsong that blew the kettle’s top. After one inside fastball on a bunt attempt, another followed, which lead to a (soon to be trademarked) Vogelsong bat-slam and some chatter with finger pointing. The benches cleared, but no punches were thrown and order was quickly restored.
Wasted Vogelsong Start – Seven innings, two earned for Vogey who again tossed another gem. Despite the gaudy numbers though, it was the sixth time this year Vogelsong has went seven innings, giving up three earned or less and he came out of it winless. It might be time to take away the “Cain’d” moniker and rename it to “Vogey’d”.
A Day Of Celebrations – In addition to honoring the 2002 World Series team (which was fantastic by the way), the Giants learned they had four All-Stars for the July 10th Mid-Summer Classic in Kansas City. More then that though, all three positional players awarded a spot on the team were selected as starters with Matt Cain being the outside man (though, it’s a small possibility he could still start the All-Star game). Posey broke a National League voting record with 7.6 million votes while Melky Cabrera finished second in overall voting with 7.5 million.
The Giants finished up their first half of the season at home this afternoon, the win giving them a 26-16 first half home record. They’ll head to the horrifically hot East Coast to take on the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates before they head into the All-Star break. The current stretch of games marks a rough part in the Giants’ schedule as they’re in the process of playing each division leader in three consecutive series’ (division leader at the time of playing them) and then finishing it out with the second place Pittsburgh Pirates. So far so good though, as the Giants have a 5-2 record in those seven games. Six more to go before the break and then three more at home before the Giants head back to the East Coast for the Phillies and Braves, before ending the month on a ten game homestand.