Jun 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Nori Aoki (23, left), center fielder Angel Pagan (16) and right fielder Justin Maxwell (43, right) celebrate following the final out of a 7-0 victory against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
It was almost like waking up from a really strange dream. The kind where you find yourself in a strange land and you recognize everyone, but they’re not acting like themselves. Kind of like the Giants lately—these guys look like the Giants, but out on the ball field they’re acting like someone else: making errors on routine plays, missing a catch or dropping the ball, over throwing a base, and hitting into double plays. Then you wake up and everything is back to normal and they’re playing like Giants.
Like they did Thursday night. What a difference a day makes. Wednesday night the Mariners shut out the Giants. Thursday night the Giants returned the favor. And then some.
If you want me to name the player of the game, I’m going to have to say…the San Francisco Giants. All of them. Everyone contributed to Thursday’s win. They kept the line moving—getting on board, moving runners over, getting hits with runners in scoring position. And they did it all in two innings —the Giants scored three runs in the second inning and four runs the eighth inning.
Interestingly enough, only two players came up hitless—Buster Posey and Brandon Belt. Although that’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is this: only two players drew walks. Same two—Posey and Belt. Each and every Giant that was in the starting lineup got on base one way or another. Those of us who saw Moneyball, know that it doesn’t matter how you get there, what matters is you got there. Six of them scored seven runs. Only one player scored more than one run: Belt—he scored both times he was walked, each time on Joaquin Arias’s base hit. Arias and Matt Duffy were the only Giants who had more than one RBI.
The big hit of the night came off Duffy’s bat—he hit a triple in the eighth inning, scoring Posey and Angel Pagan. Pagan got on base by hitting a line drive to left field. It was Pagan’s second hit of the game. Nori Aoki and Joe Panik both contributed with a base hit and an RBI each; Andrew Susac scored a run, had two hits and an RBI; and Justin Maxwell contributed two hits. The Giants were working that field like lobbyists at a political fundraiser—they were everywhere.
It was truly a “together we’re Giants” game. When the camera panned the crowd in the first inning you could see all the Giants fans, and they were wearing their rally caps from first pitch to last. Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper, the unwitting leaders of Gamer Babe Nation, announced at the beginning of the game: “there’s a lot of orange and black here today.”
I guess if I had to name a game MVP, it would be Ryan Vogelsong. Like manager Bruce Bochy said: “he was really on top of his game.” Vogey pitched six and two thirds terrific innings. He gave up no runs—I told you already, it was a shut out, remember?—three hits and two walks. He struck out six batters. The best part about the whole outing was the run support the Giants gave him—of course, you really can’t win without it.
The final score was: Giants 7, Seattle 0