Tim Lincecum gets save as San Francisco Giants win in 14


On a night when all eight relief pitchers performed in the same game, it took starter Tim Lincecum to close it out, as the San Francisco Giants out-slugged the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-6, Tuesday night, in a game that lasted fourteen innings and went five hours and forty-six minutes. 

After the Giants scored one run in the first inning, the Phillies came right back with two of their own, only to see the Orange and Black tie it up in the second inning.  San Francisco went ahead by a run in the fifth but the Phils responded with three fifth-inning runs of their own, assuming a 5-3 lead.  The Giants got one back in the seventh, tied it in the ninth, and blasted it open in the fourteenth with four runs to put the game on ice.

Buster Posey was the first hero, hammering a solo home run in the ninth inning to tie the game at 5-5, and Brandon Crawford put on his cape in the fourteenth, and doubled to clear the bases and give the Giants an 8-5 lead.

Starting for the ailing Matt Cain, Yusmeiro Petit gave up five Phillies runs, on seven hits, with two walks and five strike-outs.  Beginning in the top of the sixth inning, the entire bullpen ponied up to the bar and contributed to the entire-team victory.  Juan Gutierrez pitched the sixth, Javier Lopez and Jean Machi shared the seventh, and Sergio Romo had a 1-2-3 eighth.  Along came Jeremy Affeldt who pitched the ninth and tenth innings, and to one batter in the eleventh, who drew a walk.

Satiago Casilla managed to get out of the mini-jam created by Affeldt’s walk, which led to George Kontos, who ended up geting the win, pitching the twelfth and thirteenth innings, and three batters into the bottom of the fourteenth.  But Kontos gave up a lead-off single and a one-out double to Wil Nieves, putting runners on second and third, with only one out, and Bochy went to that well-known closer for the Giants, Tim Lincecum.

Lincecum, Friday’s projected starter for the opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers, had been warming up in the bullpen.  He induced a ground ball, which scored the sixth run for the Phillies, walked  Cameron Rupp, and got Dominic Brown to ground out to Buster Posey at first, Timmy taking the throw for the final out of the game.

For the Phillies Roberto Hernandez started and pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on five hits, with three walks and one strike out.  Antonio Bastardo, the first of seven relief pitchers, got the Phillies out of a sixth-inning jam by getting pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias to fly out to right field.

Ken Giles (seventh), Jake Diekman (eighth), and Jonathon Papelbon (ninth and tenth) were the next three, with Appelbon giving up his first home run this season to Buster Posey in the ninth inning.  Justin De Fratas pitched the eleventh and twelfth innings, before Jeff Manship came in to pitch the thirteenth.

He got a 1-2-3 thirteenth, before his own personal nightmare began at the beginning of the fourteenth.  Adrianza flied put to right field for the first of two times in the inning, but Buster Posey doubled, Sandoval was walked intentionally, and Kontos successfully bunted them over to third and second base, bringing Blanco to the plate.  He worked the count full and drew a walk, loading the bases and allowing Crawford to nail it all down with his double, clearing the bags.  Hector Sanchez knocked in Crawford for the ninth and final run.

Hunter Pence led off the game with a soft hit up the middle that Chase Utley tracked down, but then determined that there was no point in making a throw to first.  Joe Panik followed with a ground ball to Ryan Howard at first, who booted it, recovered, and made a toss to Roberto Hernandez covering the bag.  

Hernandez took the throw but his foot was all over first base, leaving Panik nowhere to go but down on Hernandez’ foot, turning his ankle inward in the process.  It looked painful.  Panik was replaced in the second inning by Ehire Adrianza and it was later reported that Panik had suffered a sprained ankle.

Jun 25, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Buster Posey (28) had four hitsd, including a home run, two doubles and a single. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Altogether, San Francisco had eighteen hits, with Buster Posey’s four (home run, two doubles and a single) leading the pack.  Hunter Pence added a majestic home run that landed in the concession stand area and two singles; Brandon Crawford provided the heroics in the fourteenth with his bases-clearing double, and also added a single, a walk, and an RBI-ground-out, bringing his RBI total to four.

Pablo Sandoval (double, single), Hector Sanchez (two singles) and Ehire Adrianza (double, single) each had two hits, while Gregor Blanco had a double and two walks, the second a crucial walk loading the bases in the fourteenth, and bringing Crawford to the plate.

Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run home run in the second inning and Ben Revere had three singles for the Phillies, while both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard had a pair of singles.  With runners on first and second in both the ninth and eleventh innings, Ryan Howard struck out in the first instance, and grounded to first base to end the eleventh, the Giants’ bullpen functioning at its best.

In the two games of the series so far, the bullpen has worked fourteen innings, giving up one run, on seven hits, with six walks and ten K’s.  Not too shabby.

The win improved San Francisco’s record in National League East parks to 12-3 in their last fifteen games, and was their fifth in their last six games, their fourth victory since coming back from the All-Star break.

It was a complete-team win, with every player making a contribution except for three starting pitchers.  Tim Lincecum, especially, deserves note for coming in to save the game in the fourteenth, for his first career save, even though he is slated to pitch on Friday.  After coming from behind to tie the game in the ninth, it would have been a crusher to have lost it in extra innings, especially in light of the fact that the Dodgers lost in Pittsburgh, giving San Francisco back its one-game lead in the NL West.

Great success, as they say, and a greater one if they can keep the momentum going in Philadelphia, in preparation for the upcoming showdown with Los Angeles.

July 6, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) walks back to the dugout after striking out against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: ©Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports