Tim Hudson was one out from a complete game in the San Francisco Giants win over the San Diego Padres last night. He pitched 8.2 innings and did it with just 89 pitches. He was the star of the show last night and fortunately, the Giants bats did just enough to reward him for it. It really was pitching as it’s best.
“He just put on a clinic,” Bochy said. “If you had to watch a game and say this is how you want to pitch, tonight’s game would have been it.” (via Alex Pavlovic, San Jose Mercury News)
Hudson’s line for the night was 8.2 innings pitched, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 earned runs, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts, and 1 home run. Unfortunately, that home run ball, to Yasmani Grandal, was his last pitch of the night before Sergio Romo came in for the one out save. The only other run for the Padres came in the 8th after a Cameron Maybin double followed by some hard hit infield balls that were enough to advance him and get him home.
On the Giants side, they had 3 runs on 10 hits and left 12 on base. They didn’t cash in on all their opportunities to score, in particularly after Brandon Crawford hit a triple to lead off the bottom of the 4th. That was disappointing to see, especially from Joaquin Arias who tried to hit a sacrifice fly, but wasn’t deep enough or in the right place to do it. Crawford was stranded on third all inning after Hudson and Juan Perez both struck out.
Hunter Pence was able to single, steal a bag, and eventually score in the 1st inning with some help from a Michael Morse double. Pence got the Giants on the board early and set the tone. In the 2nd inning Brandon Hicks hit an opposite field home run just over the right field wall. He’s one of the few right-handed batters to hit a home run there. I believe we’re going to see a first this year when either Morse or Hicks hits a splash hit, becoming the first right-handed batter to do so. I knew Hicks had power, given this was his 5th home run, I just didn’t realize how much he had.
Robbie Erlin, pitching for the Padres, was able to settle the Giants down and limit damage for the 3rd through 6th innings, but the Giants were able to put one more insurance run on the board in the 7th. It was a much needed run that ended up being the game winner. Buster Posey knocked a ball straight up the middle to score Arias and give the Giants a little breathing room. Posey looked good last night, going 2 for 4 with the RBI in the 7th. He’s starting to come out of his early slump and has hit .313 in his last 10 games, including 3 home runs. He’s coming together, and I think we’ll see a drastic difference from him in the month of May.
Last night at the yard was fantastic weather, perhaps the best ever. The ball was carrying, the crowd was great, and the Giants come away from their homestand 5-1 and the month of April (including March 31st) at 17-11 with a 1.5 game advantage in the NL West over the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies. I’m excited for May.