Through six innings, Ryan Volgesong was essentially flawless – the only scuff on his resume being a leadoff walk that scored on a fielders choice in the 5th inning. A career high (tie) in strikeouts (8) couldn’t help him avoid the no decision though, as a squeaky infield roller got past the Panda, scoring a pair in the bottom of the 7th which gave the Mets a two run lead before they added another in the eighth. With a seemingly insurmountable deficit, the Giants kept chipping away in the top of the 9th before finding themselves down to their final strike. With a full count and two on, Brandon Belt popped up a shallow, should’ve been caught ball to the outfield, but the San Francisco winds made their way East, playing havoc with the ball as it was overran by Mets centerfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, allowing the game tying runs to score. Not to be outdone in the bizarreness department, the Mets won in the bottom half of the frame with some of the most odd baseball you’ll ever see, which will be recapped below.
Theriot, Oh Theriot, Where Have You Gone – Never thought you’d be longing for Ryan Theriot, did you? After missing last evening’s game battling gastrointestinal issues, Theriot made his way to New York this morning but unfortunately for the Giants, he didn’t take a spaceship. As the Giants forced their way into the bottom of the ninth with a three run top half, Bruce Bochy opted to insert Brandon Belt for Brett Pill (who took grounders at second earlier) for a better hitting matchup. With the Giants now having tied the game, Pill already subbed out and Theriot not at the ballpark, the Giants had no backup infielder so Bruce Bochy opted to do the next best thing: move Aubrey Huff to second base. Yes, you read that right, Aubrey Huff played second base in the bottom of the ninth and of course, in Huff-fashion, made another bone head play. With runners on first and second, Jeremy Affeldt induced a ground ball to short, where Aubrey Huff should’ve been covering second….but he wasn’t within 20 feet of the base. His first reaction was actually moving towards first base. Words, I have none. I’ll give him credit for playing team ball, but, anybody who’s played any level of baseball knows the positions you need to be in, no matter what position you’re playing on the diamond.
More than Huff’s mental mistake was the odd call from Bruce Bochy, who opted to allow Huff to play second when the more logical move would have been to move Buster Posey to second (played SS in college, of course) and keeping Hector Sanchez in the game to catch, who had pinch hit earlier in the inning.
Welcome Back, Vogelsong – There was an obvious assumption that there would be regression in Ryan Vogelsong‘s game this year, it was just a matter of how small or big that said regression would be. But through two starts, Vogelsong has been nothing short of excellent, giving up 9 hits and 5 runs in 13.1 innings, but the stats don’t tell the whole story. Vogelsong’s confidence on the mound has been great – you can see the body language, knowing he belongs. The confidence in his pitches, be it 0-2 or 3-0, is as great as its ever been. The backend of the Giants rotation with Barry Zito and Vogelsong raised a few question marks coming into the season, but as of right now, they’ve been silenced. I’ve long said Vogelsong wasn’t just a good story who got on a lucky streak – this guy, during his time in Japan and through the minor league systems, really learned how to pitch. He may not hold onto a sub 3.00 ERA again, but, he’s a very valuable commodity to this Giants staff.
Haters Gon’ Huff – What else can be said about Aubrey Huff that hasn’t already been said?! He’s just playing awful baseball, and has been for a year plus – not only on the offensive side of the ball but defense as well. With Brandon Belt waiting in the wings, you have to wonder when the sand in Huff’s hourglass will run out. Currently hitting .182, with a SINGLE HIT since April 14th, the veteran first baseman couldn’t run into an iceberg if he was a 46,000 ton ocean liner. Add in the sub-par defense at first and you’re witnessing a sad, sad, situation. Huff’s been given plenty of time to get it right, both last year and through this years first handful of games but has yet to do so. Time is ticking…we hope.
Notes: On the final play of the game, Brandon Belt threw out a runner at home, where Buster Posey tried to complete the back-end of the double play by throwing out the runner at first. In the process however, the incoming runner took out his footing, sliding into his surgically repaired ankle, resulting in Posey spinning to the ground and the ball being thrown wildly into right field, allowing the winning run to score. Posey immediately jumped up to the home plate umpire, claiming interference – so in the heat of the moment, his ankle injury appeared fine but it took a pretty rough hit on the replay. We’ll see tomorrow how much of a toll the slide took.
Also of note, with incoming weather expected tomorrow and an already scheduled game between the two clubs on Monday, you may end up seeing a double header to start off the week. Brandon Belt, who would almost assuredly get a start tomorrow, clearly does not have a fan in Mother Nature.
Make sure to follow @RoundTheFoghorn on Twitter for Giants news and updates. And mean things about Aubrey Huff.