Sep 13, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcherMike Leake
(13) rounds the bases on a three run home run against the San Diego Padres during the second inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco Giants used a broom to finish their series with the San Diego Padres.
Sunday’s game was interesting‒it started with the Padres jumping on the scoreboard in the first inning with a couple of triples and a double. When their rookie hit his first big league home run in the second, I started to worry that Sunday was not going to be Mike Leake’s day.
Leake’s last outing for the Giants was a good one, but he suffered from the usual Giants pitching ailment‒lack of run support. On Sunday he decided to self-medicate.
The Giants had some work to do. The bottom half of the second inning started off with a pair of hits‒Buster Posey and Brandon Belt hit back-to-back singles. But Marlon Byrd struck out swinging and Kelby Tomlinson ground into a force out, reaching first on the fielder’s choice and getting Belt out at second.
Ehire Adrianza came to the plate with two out, runners at the corners and a three-run deficit. But no pressure right? Ehire came through with a base hit, scoring Buster. And that brought Leake to the plate. The Giants pitchers have started this new home run thing, making our pitcher almost as dangerous as the clean-up hitter in the lineup.
Leake apparently got the memo, because he hit a high drive to left that was “outtahere,” for a three-run home run and the lead. The San Francisco Giants pitchers lead the MLB in home runs hit by their pitchers‒Madison Bumgarner has five, Tim Hudson hit one and Ryan Vogelsong scored his first big league home run last week in Colorado. Leake’s home run Sunday gives them a total of eight. There is a five-way tie for second place between the Cubs, Rockies, Dodgers, Mets and Pirates with two each. This is Leake’s first home run with the Giants–he also hit one this year when he was with Cincinnati.
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Leake got settled in after that and went on to pitch a great game through the sixth and facing one batter in the seventh. He allowed three runs (one home run) on four hits and two walks. He struck out two. The bullpen took over in the seventh and held the Friars through the end of the game.
When things are right, the Giants usually have a “magic wandoo” inning–a big inning late in the game. Sunday the magic wandoo inning was the seventh inning. Well, it was sort like the magic wandoo inning. Just like Buster is sorta gonna to start delivering babies, right?
Pagan drew a walk to lead-off and stole second. De Aza walked, followed by Duffy, also walking. That brought Buster to the plate and guess what? That’s right, another free pass. This one brought Pagan home‒which goes down on my scoresheet as an RWI (run walked in). Instead of a “magic wandoo” inning it was more like a “magic walk through” inning. Two runs scored that inning and neither were from hits. After Pagan was walked in, De Aza scored when Byrd hit a sac fly to centerfield.
The Giants scored again in the eighth. Ehire led-off with a walk. Pagan hit a little bloop single, scoring Ehire and Pagan took second on the throw. Duffy hit a single that scored Pagan. The Giants were amazing at the plate and Pagan stole three bags while adding on to the score.
But the guys were just as tough on defense: Byrd’s long run back to catch a fly ball in the fourth turned an extra base hit into an out; Tomlinson’s diving catch in the fourth took away a base hit; an amazing catch by Duffy in the ninth, stopped a hit dead in its tracks for out number two. The final score was: Giants 10, Padres 3
The Giants are still headed in the right direction. And they aren’t worried about anyone else‒least of all the Dodgers. Tim Flannery talked about their mindset on CSN-BA, saying right now they are living in the moment and just thinking about what they can do today–not the 19 games they have left to play. And I’d say they are doing fine with what they are doing today. They came home, had a day off and came out swinging. And winning.
Maybe it’s too little, too late. Maybe not. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Because, NO! we are not there yet.