Sep 20, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcherTim Lincecum
(55) pitches against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The big stage of Yankee Stadium didn’t faze Tim Lincecum. Why should it? He has 2 Cy Young awards, pitched a World Series clinching game as well as some big innings in another World Series victory for the Giants. He’s done it all. Yankee Stadium? No big deal.
Lincecum handled the Yankees in check for 6 innings. He struck out 6 and walked 2. His ball was dropping out of the zone all night. The only blemish was a solo home run by Alfonso Soriano to right field that would have been just another fly ball out in any other park.
Then the 7th inning unfolded as if it were October Drama. In a 1-1 ballgame Eduardo Nunez led off with a ground ball that squirted through the hole on the right side. It was not hard hit and just barely snuck through Joaquin Arias and Brandon Belt. With one out Brendan Ryan was hit by a pitch and the Yankees had two runners on.
JR Murphy hit a smash down the 3rd base line that Pablo Sandoval speared. He stepped on 3rd base for the second out but threw the ball wide to Belt at first to keep the inning alive. It was still a great play by Pablo as he saved extra bases and got the lead runner out. Bruce Bochy allowed Lincecum to face Ichiro Suzuki with 2 on and 2 out. He walked him on a very close 3-1 pitch and was done for the night. Bochy went to the bullpen.
Alex Rodriguez was coming to the plate with the bases loaded and 2 outs. George Kontos, who was originally drafted by the Yankees, was Bochy’s choice to face him. On a 2-1 fastball on the outer half of the plate ARod drove the ball in to the jet stream that is right field at Yankee Stadium. He hit a grand slam to make the score 5-1 Yankees, and wash away Lincecum’s stellar performance. It was ARod’s 24th grand slam passing Lou Gehrig to be all alone in first all time.
The Giants offense didn’t help much either. CC Sabathia has been struggling all season and the Giants didn’t take advantage of their opportunities. In the first inning with runners on first and third, Buster Posey grounded in to a double play. In the 4th it was Brett Pill that hit in to a double play with 2 on and 1 out.
The Giants out hit the Yankees 7 to 6. They had 4 walks to New York’s 2. The only run was driven in by the hometown boy Juan Perez. In the top of the 3rd inning Brandon Crawford led off with a walk. Two batters later Juan Perez drove him home on a double. It was really just a ground ball through the middle, but took so long to get to Curtis Granderson, that Perez was able to motor in with an RBI double.
Between yesterday and today Juan Perez reached base in each of his first 6 plate appearances in New York. The rookie from the Bronx really likes being at home.
Just to note. The fans are still making the Giants proud. During the 3rd inning there were both “Let’s Go Giants!” chants and “MVP” chants for Buster Posey. The Yankees fans didn’t appreciate it too much as they tried to boo down the cheers. That’s a testament to this great fan base.
The Giants will try to bounce back and even the series tomorrow at Yankee Stadium. In a matchup of right-handed starters it will be Ryan Vogelsong (3-5, 5.73 ERA) against Ivan Nova (8-5,3.36). First pitch is 10:05 am pt. It’s the featured game on Fox so let’s hope the Giants can put on a show.