Having a 0-0 shutout past the fifth inning or so in Arizona is pretty rare. Having a 0-0 shutout going into extra innings in Arizona is almost unheard of. Yet, that’s exactly what the Giants and Diamondbacks accomplished yesterday afternoon.
There were two clear instances where the game could have ended, each team having their respective turn, but great defense and pitching from both squads nixed those opportunities.
Most impressive was the Giants bullpen pulling a Houdini act after allowing a leadoff double to Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy in the 8th inning. Kennedy was able to get to third on a deep sacrifice fly by Stephen Drew, yet, the D’Backs simply couldn’t get the run in after impressive displays by both trade deadline acquisitions, Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramierez. Both players have been outstanding since coming over, especially Lopez who’s been routinely thrown into the fire by Bruce Bochy.
It wasn’t until the top of the 11th when the 0-0 tilt was finally broken, thanks to a two out double by Nate Schierholtz which scored both Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey. Brian Wilson came in to handle the bottom half and earned his 41st save of the season, joining Robb Nen as the only other San Francisco Giant to eclipse two seasons of 40+ saves.
The offense again struggled – not to say D’Backs pitcher Ian Kennedy didn’t have good stuff, he did. But did he have two hit stuff in 8 innings? Yea, not really – no. Andres Torres has been leading the struggle, something that has to change quickly. I’d really like to see Torres try to get down a bunt or two here in the next day, just something to get him back into the rhythm. He’s looked just terrible at the plate lately.
The Dodgers weren’t able to extend the Padres losing streak to 11 games, so the Padres still hold a one game lead over the black and orange going into Tuesday evening games. The Giants were able to pick up a 1/2 game on the Phillies however thanks to a double header split with the Florida Marlins. They now sit 1.5 games (only 1 in the loss column) behind the Phillies who lead the Wild Card.