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Angel Pagan’s two-run homer propels San Francisco Giants over Padres

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Sep 13, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (16) after scoring a run against the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

To all the San Francisco Giants fans who never stopped believing: move over and make room for the newly converted. Suddenly even some the nayest of the naysayers are changing their tune. That’s ok. All are welcome in the world of Giants true believers‒read: die-hard, dyed in the wool, never say die Giants fans.

We’re going down with the ship, IF the ship goes down–and that’s a big if–don’t forget…it ain’t down yet. Not by a longshot. That said, winning the division will be exactly that: a longshot. But Tuesday night’s game proved to everyone, even the non-believers, the Giants aren’t out of this, and not only that, but if it that happens, the Giants aren’t going away quietly. They’re going down swinging.

Tuesday night’s game gave the Giants more hope, it gave the fans more hope and it gave me more hope (I know, you didn’t think I was capable of even more hope). I’m not saying it’s in the bag, not even close. What I am saying is that the possibility just got a little better than it was yesterday. Will we make it? Who knows, but like I’ve said before–I still like our chances.

The Giants played the Padres Tuesday night down in San Diego. The starting pitchers for both teams were slugging it out in a pitching brawl with Chris Heston in the Giants corner. He pitched four and ⅓ innings allowing zero runs, two hits and he struck out seven. Problem was he was handing out walks like they were going out of style‒and at this point in the season, they are way out of style‒he issued five walks and hit one batter with a pitch.

Heston is a great addition to our rotation, one day he will get his control…well, under control. Right now manager Bruce Bochy has neither the time nor the inclination to allow any pitcher much latitude. When Heston left the game, the Giants were up one run‒but the bases were loaded with only one out. George Kontos came in to relieve Heston and he got us out of the jam.

But Kontos didn’t do it alone. As my BFF Vickie put it: we had an Angel in the outfield. The Padres clean-up hitter smoked a high fly ball out to left center field and Angel Pagan tracked it down, reached up into the sky and snagged that hit away from the Padres‒along with all the runs they would have scored‒to end the inning. It was a spectacular play.

Kontos gave up one run on one hit in the sixth inning‒a home run that put the Padres on the board. Hunter Strickland gave up another home run when he took over in the seventh inning.

The Giants had a bit of a scare in the fourth‒Heston threw a pitch down low, it hit the batter and then bounced up, drilling our rookie catcher,  Trevor Brown in the throat. The trainer came out and examined Brown, had him catch some pitches and return the throw. Brown was deemed fit to play on.

Good thing too. In the fifth, Ehire Adrianza–who, by the way, did a great job playing first for his first time ever–drew a walk. Brown came to the plate and got his first big league knock‒a double‒scoring Adrianza. The kid’s his first big league hit was for an extra base no less, and to top it all off, it was an RBI. Nice going kid. Welcome to the bigs.

The Giants scored another run in the sixth when outfielder Alejandro De Aza hit a single, stole second and scored on Brandon Crawford’s base hit. They scored again in the seventh when Jarrett Parker pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot, drew a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a Padres throwing error. Pagan plated him with a home run. The final score was Giants 4, Padres 2

The Giants are one game closer. The Dodgers lost some footing. They keep this up, I know a few people who may have to eat a little crow.

Don’t worry. I have some great recipes for crow. I’ll send them to you.

Or better yet…don’t stop believing.

I hate to end on a sad note, but I feel like I should say something. I am very happy the Giants won. But my happiness is tempered by the loss of one of baseball’s greats. Yogi Berra passed away Tuesday at the age of 90. He wasn’t a Giant, but he was a giant of baseball. He was known as one of the greatest, if not THE greatest catcher of all time and is known for his “interesting” sayings. One of my favorite Yogi quotes is one you’ve seen me use a lot lately: “it ain’t over til it’s over.” Well said. RIP Yogi Berra.

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