Giants Finish Third In NLW With Hunter Pence Walk-Off
Today felt like the playoffs but it was actually a fight for third place in the NLW. The Giants came out on top of the Padres, winning 7-6 in a walk-off win by the recently re-signed Giant, Hunter Pence. He also started his 162nd game this season, leading the National League starting every game for a team. He finished 2013 with a .283 BA, 27 HRs, 99 RBIs and a .339 OBP.
Hunter Pence before the game on 9/29/13. Photo by Denise Walos.
Guillermo Moscoso allowed Nick Hundley to homer in the third inning and Tommy Medica to double in the fourth which scored Chase Headley (who reached base on a walk). Trouble arose in the fifth inning when Moscoso loaded the bases and Jake Dunning came in from the bullpen to allow Jedd Gyorko to hit a grand slam that made it 6-2 Padres.
Barry Zito pitched in the eighth inning to strike out ex-A’s teammate Mark Kotsay in his last at bat. We all cried. It was an emotional moment watching him throw his last pitch as a Giant.
Zito throws his last pitch as a Giant on 9/29/13. Photo by Denise Walos.
Then his teammates pushed him out for another bow to the screaming crowd. The Giants showed their love and respect for Zito too.
Zito bids AT&T farewell after striking out Kotsay. Photo by Denise Walos
In the ninth inning on a 3-2 count with two outs, Will Venable hit to left center field off Sergio Romo. There was a collision by Blanco and Pagan in center field and Blanco had to leave the game. Thankfully xrays came back negative.
Francisco Peguero came in for the injured Blanco and in the bottom of the ninth inning became the hero. He was batting .179 and I think most were hoping for a Brett Pill PH. But instead we watched Peguero hit his first career home run to tie the game. Unbelieveable.
There was still no one in the bullpen for the Padres during the Huston Street meltdown. But he is their closer. Memories. I was in San Diego last year for the final Giants at Padres game on September 30. Huston Street was in the game when Xavier Nady hit a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning followed by a Pence two-run home run to win the game for the Giants. Here is a recap in SFGate from that game last year.
Then Pence happened again a year later with the bases loaded. We were hoping for that grand slam that didn’t happen in the bottom of the seventh inning. We wanted to see Pence reach 100 RBIs this year. But still there wasn’t a doubt in my mind he would be able to do something with the bases loaded and zero outs. He singled to center field to end the game in the Giants’ 12th walk-off win this season, beating the Padres 7-6.
Pence hits a walkoff single in the bottom of the 9th inning on 9/29/13. Photo by Denise Walos.
Bruce Bochy came out to address the crowd after the game and praised the fans for their loyalty and support. He promised they’ll work hard in the offseason to bring the championship back in 2014. Buster Posey then thanked the fans and handed the microphone to Barry Zito who gave a touching speech about the fans and his last seven years in the organization. More tears.
Zito addresses the fans on fan appreciation day on 9/29/13. Photo by Denise Walos.
I didn’t want to leave AT&T Park. I can’t believe the season is already over.
"“Who would want to leave this place. Ever?” – Kruk"