Sep 16, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Marlon Byrd (6) greets his teammates after they defeated the Cincinnati Reds at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
My new catchphrase for San Francisco Giants baseball is “cruel and unusual entertainment.” It’s entertaining as all get-out, but heartbreaking and tough on the manicure. Sometimes it’s so scary I can’t even look.
Tuesday night’s game went above and beyond, but Wednesday night’s game wasn’t far behind.
Oh sure, at first it was kind of quiet, placid even. But that’s how they get you.
The Giants scored a run in each of the first four innings. Including a home run by‒who else?‒our pitcher, of course. Jake Peavy must have gotten the memo. All San Francisco Giants starting pitchers are required to fire a rocket over the wall at some point during their outing.
There must be a memo, because our starting pitchers are all going yard. Madison Bumgarner has hit five home runs this season, Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Hudson and Mike Leake have all hit a home run. And now Peavy. They lead the MLB in pitcher hit home runs with nine. The only starter who hasn’t hit a home run so far is Chris Heston, but I think you get a pass if you pitch a no-hitter. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Peavy pitched a good game, he kept it close for the six innings he was in the game. He allowed two runs on seven hits and one walk, while striking out eight. Going into this game Peavy was 6 and 0 against the Reds, and let’s face it, this game wasn’t the game to change that zero to a one.
Peavy had a good night at the plate with his home run in the fourth. It was a solo shot, but how often do you think he gets a hit, an extra base hit no less (four bags qualifies for extra bases, right?), a run and an RBI all rolled into one? Nice at bat, Peavy.
Marlon Byrd had a great night too. He put together a couple of nice at bats. He put up two hits‒a double and a triple‒and an RBI. He scored a run in the second: he hit a double and came home on Adrianza’s double. Ehire Adrianza had close to the same as Byrd‒except he didn’t score a run. He knocked in a couple, he also hit for extra bags with a double and a triple.
Angel Pagan got a hit; Alejandro De Aza had two hits, one a double and scored a run‒he scored his run in the first on Buster Posey’s single. Brandon Belt hit a single and scored on Byrd’s triple in the third. Kelby Tomlinson got two hits, stole second and scored a run on Adrianza’s triple in the seventh.
The Reds scored some runs‒one each in the sixth, seventh and eighth‒but it was the runners on board with power bats at the plate that threw a scare into me. And it happened a couple of times, the worst was the in the ninth. I think Santiago Casilla is starting to act a bit like Brian Wilson. Remember him?
The opponents weren’t the only ones who feared the beard‒he scared the the rest of us too. He’d load the bases with two out, get the count to full, and when we were hanging to our collective sanity with a fraying thread he’d throw a nasty pitch and strike the batter out. Surviving a Brian Wilson ninth inning wasn’t for the faint of heart.
It was raining when the Reds came to the plate in the ninth. The Reds were fine with that, but our California boys don’t play in the rain here. Ask Marco Scutaro. It’s not supposed to rain here, in fact according to the old 70’s song, it never rains in California. But Casilla got the save and the game ended with the Reds stranded around the horn. The final score was: Giants 5, Reds 3
I didn’t start breathing again until I heard Tony say…”the lovliness of Paris…” music to my ears. Literally.
But our anthem is still that little ditty by Journey, or if you prefer, like I do‒Ashkon‒Don’t Stop Believing.
I haven’t. Have you?