The San Francisco Giants beat the Houston Astros last night 6 to 3 in the first game of the series. In a game where a lot of things went right for the Giants, and not too much went wrong, it was nice to get a win on what would be a pretty special night.
Let’s get right to the most important things of the game.
Madison Bumgarner issued 0 walks and struck out 12; a season high for him, and just one short of his career high. He was a beast on the mound. You still want more from the beast? He also hit is first major league home run of his career. Being at the ballpark last night, every single person in the stadium knew as soon as it hit the bat that it was gone. He was due one. He’s been hitting them out all season in batting practice and everyone has just been waiting. Watching a pitcher hit a home run really is a special thing, especially the first of what I hope to be of many (for a pitcher).
His home run came in the 3rd inning to tie the game after a costly error by Brandon Crawford ended up costing the Giants a run. More on Crawford in a minute though.
The other man of the night, who needed a home run probably even more than Bumgarner, was Brandon Belt. The Giants already had a 4-2 lead going into the 8th, so maybe Belt was feeling more relaxed at the plate. He smashed a two run homer over the right field wall, bouncing and landing into McCovey Cove. If you watched the game at the park, or even on tv last night, you were’t surprised. Belt was seeing and hitting the ball well last night. He had a shot to left field in his first at-bat that with just a bit more power, could have been out. He also had a nice line drive up the first base line, but was robbed of a potential double by Matt Downs who made an excellent fielding play to catch it.
Other players of note:
Brandon Crawford: Let’s face it. He’s had a mostly miserable season, both on the field and behind the plate. An error in the 3rd last night ended up providing the base runner that scored the first run of the game. But rather than let that play define his night, he made up for it behind the plate going 2 for 3 with a walk and a 2 run single in the 4th.
Nate Schierholtz: Nate ended up on base every at-bat he had last night. After hopefully beginning to break out of his funk in the Texas series, he continued to show why he has a lot of value on this team. He was 2 for 2 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He scored 2 of the 6 runs we had last night, and it was good to see him being able to contribute to the team offensively. Of course, he was only in the lineup because Angel Pagan was out, and will likely sit tonight if Melky Cabrera and Pagan are both playing, but I would like to see him get a bit more playing time.
It was a pretty solid outing of the Giants. They had 9 hits and most of them looked a lot more relaxed at the plate than I’ve seen in a while. It didn’t matter that Pablo Sandoval and Gregor Blanco was 0 for 4, each. The bottom of the lineup really go it done last night. The Astros aren’t a great team. In fact, they’re pretty bad, but given that the Dodgers simply aren’t losing, the Giants have to make certain to beat all the crappy teams they can and hope to play well enough to hang in there with the Dodgers and the Wild Card race for the last 100 games of the season.
The Giants are back in action at AT&T Park tonight at 7:15pm behind Matt Cain.