Jun 9, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Nori Aoki (23) jumps out of the way of a low inside pitch against the New York Mets during the first inning of a baseball game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants geared up to take their last bite out of the Big Apple before packing it in to head home. It was a good road trip. Chris Heston tossed a no-hitter, the Giants took four out if six, our rookies were sensational—our veterans, too—Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford, just to name a few. But, seriously, the player of the week has to be Nori Aoki.
What makes Aoki so terrific, so amazing, so magnificent? I could sit here and tell you that he has a batting average of .336, or that his on-base percentage is .404, but you know those numbers mean about as much to me as saying he hits every time the moon is in the seventh house on the third Wednesday of every month that ends with a y.
Nori is not the Giants’ big RBI man. Right now that distinction belongs to Crawford—he has 40 so far this season. He’s not the Giants’ home run king–Posey is with nine. How about extra base hits? Nope. That would be Belt with 16 doubles, and Angel Pagan with three triples.
What is it about Aoki? As much as I make fun of them, the numbers actually tell the story. If you know how to read them, that is. It’s not rocket science. It’s much worse—it’s math. What it comes down to is this: Aoki gets to first base four out of every ten turns at the plate. He’s setting the table. And he’s using the good silver.
I suppose you are wondering what happened today. Today was no different. In fact, Aoki was better than advertised, reaching first base two times in his four at-bats. All in all, during this six-game road trip, Aoki made 22 plate appearances, had 12 hits and drew one walk.
Today, in the top of the first, Aoki hit a single and scored on Posey’s base hit. Joe Panik followed Aoki with a base hit, scoring when Justin Maxwell grounded out. Crawford hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning—scoring Maxwell, who made it to first base on a Mets error.
It was one of those see-saw, yo-yo, tug-of-war games. The Giants led through the fourth inning. The Mets pulled ahead in the fifth, the Giants took the lead back in the sixth, the Mets tied it up in the seventh. Then the Mets ended the game with a walk-off in the ninth. The final score was:
Giants 4, Mets 5
Connie Mack once said “you can’t win them all.” But Connie Mack never saw these San Francisco Giants play. I think he’d agree with me—we may not win them all, but you know what? We’ll win plenty. I like our chances.