San Francisco Giants pull off victory over Pirates with early home runs, Marlon Byrd is the word


Aug 21, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Juan Perez (2) and center fielder Gregor Blanco (middle) and right fielder Marlon Byrd (R) celebrate in the outfield after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. The Giants won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Marlon Byrd knows that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. And he sure made a good one in his Friday night debut as a Giant playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Byrd also got the memo on the Giants new “two out thunder” thing, and he put it to use immediately. In the first inning, in his first plate appearance as a Giant, with  Matt Duffy (who drew a walk) on base, two outs and on a two strike count, he sent a rocket over the left field wall scoring a two–run home run. Before that, Nori Aoki led off the inning with a base hit and scored on Buster Posey‘s sac fly, giving the Giants a three run first inning.

Although Byrd was the word, he wasn’t the last word. Madison Bumgarner had something to say too. In the second inning, Gregor Blanco hit a ground ball double to left field. Bumgarner plated Blanco with another Giants home run, Bumgarner’s fifth home run of the season.

Bumgarner wasn’t pinch-hitting this game–like he did in the last series. He was the starting pitcher and he put together a decent outing. It didn’t start out as his best work, but he worked it out. In the first two innings he was shaky, but then he settled down for a one, two, three shut down inning in each of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.  He allowed three runs, six hits, one walk and struck out six in the six and ⅓ innings he was on the mound.

Bumgarner pitched to three hitters in the seventh, and when his count reached 109 pitches, manager Bruce Bochy turned the ball over to Sergio Romo. Romo allowed a run and four hits in an inning and ⅓.  Josh Osich relieved Romo and faced one hitter. Santiago Casilla pitched the ninth inning and earned the save.

The Giants lowered the jolly roger with five runs in the first two innings of the game, but they didn’t stop there. In the fourth, Blanco led off with a base hit, advanced to third on Duffy’s single and scored on Brandon Belt‘s double. The Giants put up a total of six runs, 14 hits and drew two walks.

I said in my previous post that Blanco had a bad night Thursday night. He turned that around on Friday with two runs, two hits and a walk. It was a great night for the White Shark. The good news is this: sharks eat Pirates, and while our White Shark may have gone hungry Thursday, he feasted Friday.

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Byrd’s impressive debut wasn’t limited to his first inning home run. In the third inning he hit a single and in the fifth he hit a double. He ended the night just one leg shy of the cycle.

The Giants produced some TOT in the seventh, but weren’t able to close the deal. Brandon Crawford and Kelby Tomlinson both hit singles and advanced a base on a a fielding error, but were left on board when the inning ended. The final score was: Giants 6, Pirates 4

Before the game I posted the lineup on Facebook, like I usually do, and while I was lurking around Facebook reading other Giants fans comments about our new outfielder, I stumbled across a post by a reader, Oliver J. Messier,  who proposed the nick name “Birdman from Alcatraz” for Byrd. I like it. It works.

Here’s a trivia question for you: What do the Birdman of Alcatraz and Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” “Doc” Graham have in common? Hint: there are two possible answers. Leave your answer(s) in the comments, please! Extra hint: Oliver Messier’s proposed nick name is a key in reaching one of the answers. There will be a surprise for the first person who gives both answers correctly .