To say the ball was jumping out of Citizen’s Bank Park today would be quite the understatement. The Phillies and Giants combined for six round trippers this afternoon (equally splitting them at three a piece) in an old fashioned slugfest. Well, sort of. It wasn’t your typical, high scoring, offensive outburst, but rather a game of powerful blasts as 9 of the 11 runs the two teams combined on were from the longball. Even more impressive than that though was that each starting pitcher went deep, Matt Cain in the top half of the third, Cole Hamels in the bottom.
The game was forced into extra innings thanks to a Melky Cabrera homer (what else) in the bottom of the 8th before the Giants were able to take the lead against Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon in the top half of the 10th. Santiago Casilla finished off the Phillies with relative ease, despite allowing a base runner.
Scorching Posey – It wasn’t that long ago that Buster Posey was grinding pretty hard. His average was down to .288 (the lowest it had been since middle May) and he was swinging at pitches he normally leaves alone. Nine games later (ten if you count the All-Star game) and Buster Posey is now hitting .314 on the season with 13 RBI in those nine games, including three contests with three knocks each and today, with four. With Brandon Belt looking completely lost, hard to imagine Posey getting a traditional day off any time soon as he’ll be spending his “days off” manning first base with a bat that hot.
One, Two, Punch – Javier Lopez had a small hiccup prior to the All-Star break, but outside of that, the LOOGY has been nothing short of dominating all season. Combined with the video game numbers of Sergio Romo, the two have continued to be the deadly force we’ve come to expect – but possibly even more filthy than years before. Lopez was knocked around for four runs in a game against Miami earlier in the season and gave up three earned in just one inning (three different appearances though) before the break – outside of those anomalies he’s given up one earned in 17+ innings. Romo on the other hand has been devastatingly wicked with his .64 ERA (yes, you read that right). Factor in that both of these guys are continually thrown into the fire late in games, it’s hard not to be impressed with what they’ve done so far this year. I hear a good bullpen can take you places….
Now sitting 4-1 on the current six game road trip, the Giants will try to return home with a clean sweep of the Phillies and a fantastic 5-1 roadie.