The San Francisco Giants defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-2 last night at AT&T Park in Game 1 of the three game series. Tim Lincecum came away with the win. Kyle Gibson got the loss, and Jean Machi got the save.
The 1st inning started off far more interesting than the rest of the game. The first batter for the Twins, Brian Dozier, hit a double to start off the game, and you just had a feeling it was going to be one of “those” nights for Lincecum. However, Lincecum managed to do something he rarely does – he caught Dozier trying to steal third base and threw him out.
In the bottom of the 1st, Angel Pagan also led off with a double. Hunter Pence singled the the Giants won a challenged play where the umpires originally called him out at first base. Right after that, Buster Posey hit a fielder’s choice. The Twins threw Pagan out at home plate in a run down, while Buster reached first and once again, Pence was involved in a controversial base reaching situation. The Twins thought he was out, as the ball did reach the second base in time to force him out. However, Dozier pulled his foot off the bag before he caught it in order to force the run down with Pagan. Pence advanced to third base while Posey advanced to second base.
It set it up nicely for Pablo Sandoval, who came to the plate and hit a 3-run home run. Just like that, the Giants took a 3-0 lead, and maintained a lead for the rest of the game. The Twins got within one run in the 3rd inning, but the Giants were able to add on some insurance runs and go home with the win.
After the fun in the 1st inning, the Twins scored two runs in the top of the third to keep the game close, but the Giants responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Pagan tripled and Pence was able to drive him in.
In the bottom of the 4th, the Giants struck again when Brandon Hicks hit his 8th home run of the season. We call him the best worst hitter ever. He reminds me a little bit of Pat Burrell. He’s hitting just .171 this season and has 43 strikeouts (2nd on the team behind Michael Morse with 44), but boy, when he does hit the ball, you think it’s going out…and sometimes it does.
In the 7th inning, Brandon Crawford hit a triple to lead off the inning, and Hicks hit a sacrifice fly ball deep enough to easily score Crawford. By the way, Craword is now tied with Pence to lead the team in triples this season. They both have three a piece. That was all the scoring the Giants did, but with 6 runs, that was all they would need to hold off the Twins.
Posey had an 0-for-4 night, but we’re going to blame that on his back, right? Right?
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Despite the fact that Lincecum got the win, and threw out a runner at 3B, his pitching just flat out stunk. He walked a season high 6 batters. To put that in perspective, he only walked 6 batters in all of April. He pitched 6 innings, and I’ll admit, he fought through it. He only allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and he struck out 4 batters. He threw 2 wild pitches in the 4th inning. He did manage to get the win though and earn a quality start. Though, he did have this guy behind him.
Jeremy Affeldt pitched the 7th inning, allowing only one hit. Javier Lopez entered in the 8th inning. He gave up 1 hit, issued 1 walked, and struck out 1 batter. He did get one out before Jean Machi entered and did his what he does. He threw 2 pitches and got the batter to ground into a double play. Machi also came in to pitch the 9th because, well, why not? He only threw 2 pitches in the 8th. He closed out the game and earned the save. His line was 1.2 innings pitched, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, and 1 strike out. He now has a 0.37 ERA on the season. He’s only walked 6 batters all season, which oddly enough, is the same amount that Lincecum walked in this game.