For the first six innings last night, things looked bad. Real bad.
The Padres had lost their 9th straight, which was good – but after staking the Dodgers to a 4-0 lead and the Giants offense putting on another anemic performance, the Giants had to scrape together at least five runs with only 9 outs to play. And considering they’d had less hits than fingers on my right hand in their previous 15 innings, the writing seemed to be on the wall.
But it wasn’t.
A bomb of a homer hit by Buster Posey in the 7th gave the Giants a mini spark, but they still trailed by three at the time.
In the 8th, Edgar Renteria took Ted Lilly deep in Renteria’s first game since his return from the DL, which was then followed by a lengthy eight pitch at-bat by Pat Burrell which was capped by another homer, making the score 4-3 Dodgers. The Burrell moonshot was pretty special considering he quickly fell into an 0-2 hole, battled his way for six more pitches, then went yard. That at-bat really turned the tide, IMO. It gave the Giants a “we can really win this thing” feel – you could see it in the dugout.
Onto the ninth where Joe Torre decided to opt with former closer Jonathan Broxton to finish off the G-men. Torre used his current closer, Kuo, in the top of the 8th to dangle their way out of that mess and for whatever reasons decided against sending him back out for the 9th, a game changing decision possibly.
Broxton was almost to a point, wildly effective. He continually got behind in counts yet somehow almost seemed to escape damage free. Almost.
Cody Ross hit a slow ground ball up the middle which Furcal made a wonderful play on, but Ross was called safe on the bang/bang play. That gave Juan Uribe a chance to be the hero and he didn’t disappoint.
Broxton threw about 12-13 pitches in the inning (prior to Uribe), all fastballs. On the 14th or so pitch, he threw a breaking ball. A fat, breaking ball. Uribe promptly delivered it over the wall into left-center, giving the Giants a 5-4 lead.
Brian Wilson came in for the ninth and did his best Shooter-esque performance, putting the game tying run at third base with only one out – but he got a pop up and a hard ground ball to third, ending the game and giving the Giants a monumental win.
These are the type of wins that change seasons, late in the year. That put teams on a run. The Giants are weird….so who knows how this effects them, if it does at all. Maybe it sends them on a 10 of 15 streak. Or maybe they continue to play .500 baseball. Who knows. But whatever the situation, to come back from the jaws of defeat last night – MASSIVE in keeping the postseason hopes alive.
The Giants now sit two games behind the Padres in the NL West race (3 in the loss column) and three behind the Phillies for the Wild Card lead.
Simply amazing the Giants are now closer to the NL West crown than the Wild Card. Phillies can’t lose, Padres can’t win.
And one last note – please, for the love of Posey, no more outfields of Rowand, Ross, Guillen for the rest of the year, mmkay?