Even though Tim Lincecum was going to be on the mound, you knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Sweeping a three game series is difficult enough. A four gamer? On the road? It’s not impossible, but son of a bitch is it a job. And it’s a job that the Giants accomplished for the second time in only a few weeks.
The Giants escaped more disasters yesterday afternoon than Indiana Jones. There were so many opportunities for things to go wrong. So many chances for the Giants to go out with their heads high on a 5-2 road trip versus division foes. But every time, they buckled down – battled – and came out on top. Sure, Arizona wasn’t the highest quality of opponent and they certainly helped out the Giants throughout the series with poor execution and fielding blunders. But good teams take advantage of those situations and the Giants did exactly that.
Tim Lincecum didn’t have his filthy junk we’re accustom to but he managed to get through the game. His lone mistake(s) were oddly enough to the opposing pitcher, giving up two hits to the righthander – one of which, a two run hit being the only scratch on Lincecum’s scorecard. Lincecum seemed to find his release point on his breaking pitches late (say, 7th inning or so) so when the opportunity arose in the top of the 8th, Bruce Bochy elected to have Lincecum hit with runners on the corners and two outs. Lincecum battled, but struck out. And then it seemed as if it was going to fall apart from there as the D’Backs got runners on the corners with no out the next half inning. Lincecum went to work on Adam LaRoche, striking him out and then pulled a Houdini act when he got Miguel Montero to line out to Juan Uribe at third, who promptly gunned a rocket to first, doubling off the runner. And if that wasn’t ass clenching enough for you, in the bottom of the 9th, the Giants worked out of a similar situation after Sergio Romo allowed a lead off single by not covering first base. The D’Backs again had runners on the corners, this time with one out – but clutch strikeouts of Cole Gillipse and Chris Young avoided disaster. Travis Iskikawa again came up with a clutch hit, an RBI single in the top of the 10th giving the Giants a lead they would not relinquish.
With the win yesterday afternoon, the Giants finally ended their horrific 18 of 22 away from home schedule, going a remarkable 13-5. And that becomes even more impressive knowing the Giants lost the first two games of that road trip and 3 of 4. They finished those 22 games with a record of 16-6, a mark that has them sitting second place in the NL West and atop the NL Wild Card spot.
I’ve got to hand it to the Giants. This was a make or break part of the season. And with the way things had been going prior to the start of this crucial trip and the way it started in Colorado, the Giants had every opportunity to fall apart. And they did exactly the opposite. To say I’m proud of them, is quite an understatement.