Jun 5, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco (7) and right fielder Justin Maxwell (43) and center fielder Angel Pagan (16) congratulate each other after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The San Francisco Giants won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
In about the third inning I thought: “They’re gonna break my heart.” I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, Toni, ye of little faith: Aren’t you the one who’s always telling us you believe?” You’re right, shame on me. Mea culpa. I’ll say 20 “Bye, Bye Babies” and lay off the garlic fries for a week.
The Giants took the Phillies in a see-saw contes that saw the lead being tossed back and forth like a well-worn baseball in a game of backyard catch. But it was the long ball that did it for San Francisco. Matt Duffy was the first Giant to go yard, in the second inning, Justin Maxwell hit one in the fifth, scoring two.
Honestly, I miss Hunter Pence when he’s on the DL, but Maxwell does his best to fill the shoes—and those are some pretty big shoes. Like clown shoes big.
Buster Posey hit a solo shot in the seventh, giving the Giants the go-ahead run and ultimately, the win. Oh, and he adds another home run to his near double-digit tally.
But it was the see-saw, yo-yo, back and forth scoring that had me sitting on the edge of my seat, chewing off what little was left of my manicure. Talk about torture! I know it’s passé, but, I swear this was the real deal. I’m telling you—it took my breath away. It was absolutely grueling.
The Phillies grabbed a spot on the scoreboard first after Tim Lincecum walked the first batter of the game. Hasn’t anyone told him it’s never a good idea to walk the first batter? It never ends well, and this was no exception. Speedster Ben Revere wasn’t satisfied with a free ninety feet—he helped himself to another when he stole second base. Timmy got the next two hitters out, which brought up Ryan Howard. And he did what power hitters do, sending the ball over the fence, scoring two.
Speaking of Lincecum, this wasn’t his best effort, but it was by no means his worst. He pitched six innings, gave up four earned (two on home runs) with four strikeouts against two walks. In the third inning, he hit a line drive for a double, but was left stranded on second base when Gregor Blanco grounded out.
Jun 5, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Justin Maxwell (43) is congratulated after hitting a two RBI home run during the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
I know I already told you about Duffy’s solo home run, but I’m nominating the Duffman for defensive player of the game. With the Giants holding a tremulous one run lead in the ninth, the Phillies sailed one into foul territory. The ball was headed for the seats, but Duffy didn’t let a little old wall stop him—he reached right into the stands and stabbed it before it landed on the fans.
The good news? The ball was headed toward a Giants fan—in fact, he was sporting an Omar Vizquel jersey—and he clearly knew how to behave. He leaned back and allowed Duffy to reach for the ball, without interference, for out number two.
Philadelphia scored one run in the bottom of the second inning, and another on a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth. They made some noise in the seventh against Hunter Stricklan, but with two runners on, former Giant Jeff Francouer popped out. Unfortunately for the Phillies, the runner originally on first didn’t re-tag the bag at second, and some eagle eye in the Giants dugout called him on it. The play was reviewed, and Frenchy’s pop fly turned into a double play. Just like that, the inning was over.
The eighth inning was a little smoother and the ninth inning…well, I already told you about Duffy. The last guy up? Santiago Casilla struck him out.
And suddenly, I could breathe again.
Final score: Giants 5, Phillies 4