Talk about a roller coaster of a game. If you watched Thursday’s tilt, then you can skip through the first eight innings of last nights game as it was a near carbon copy. It wasn’t until the 9th inning things got interesting as the Giants trailed 2-1.
Buster Posey hit into what should have been a double play but an errant throw by shortstop Alex Gonzales kept the Giants mini rally alive. After a sacrifice fly by Juan Uribe which moved Aubrey Huff to third, Pablo Sandoval hit a high chopper to Chipper Jones at third. Would it have been a double play? Tough call. It looked to be hit too slow, but, either way it would have been a close play. I’d venture to say the Panda would have beat out the back end, but thankfully, we didn’t have to worry about that as Jones tried to backhand the ball and looked to be making an attempt to throw out Huff at home. Problem being? He didn’t have the ball. It trickled under his glove and rolled down the third base line, letting Posey get to third, Sandoval to second, and Huff score the game tying run. Sadly, the Giants couldn’t add the go-ahead run in the top of the 9th…so off to extras we went. And then it became the tale of two pen’s.
Both Barry Zito and Tommy Hanson threw gem’s for their respective teams and neither pitcher deserved a loss. But it was the Giants pen that out-shined the Braves. Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez, and Brian Wilson all pitching wonderful but the same couldn’t be said for the opposing side. For four innings straight, the Braves pen walked the lead-off batter in each inning and it finally came back to haunt them in the 11th when the Giants were able to scratch and claw a run across without even getting a hit. Pat Burrell had another impressive at-bat, working himself into count leverage and muscled a deep fly ball to left allowing the go-ahead run to score.
It was a bit shocking to see the Braves pen struggle so bad with their control – I mean, many of the pitches were a good foot or two outside, they weren’t even close. The Giants scored the game tying and go ahead runs without a hit. Two errors in the 9th and three walks in the 11th did all the damage.
It wasn’t the prettiest victory of the year but it was a crucial win.
The Giants again sit one behind the Padres for first in the National League West.