Sep 23, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Buster Posey (left) slides safely past San Diego Padres relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) to score on a wild pitch during the ninth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
I told you earlier‒San Francisco Giants baseball is cruel and unusual entertainment. And Wednesday’s game was no exception. In fact it was probably the blueprint for cruel and unusual entertainment. I don’t know how I came through it without chewing my fingers off. That’s all I have left‒fingers. The fingernails have been gone for weeks.
The Giants jumped on the board right away, scoring two runs in the first inning. Angel Pagan, the lead-off hitter, drew a walk, and Alejandro De Aza did the same. The Padres pitcher settled down after that, and quickly knocked out the next two hitters, bringing Brandon Crawford to the plate.
Crawford was due. He was on the fast track for RBI leader when he landed on the DL, and he was ready to add to his total again. So he did, with a line drive to center field scoring both Pagan and De Aza.
Jake Peavy really had his stuff and he pitched a shut-out through the sixth. He did exactly what he needed to do to give the Giants the win. He had a great outing. I can’t say enough about what a great job he did. But he has a limit‒Peavy had thrown 88 pitches when the sixth inning ended and manager Bruce Bochy thought it was time to bring in the bullpen. Peavy pitched a solid six innings, allowing zero runs on four hits and one walk. He fanned four.
Cory Gearrin faced two batters in the seventh, giving up one hit and one walk. Josh Osich was brought in to relieve Gearrin, struck out two, but then gave up a double that scored both base runners. Game tied. Osich walked the next batter and Hunter Strickland was brought in. He faced one hitter who flied out.
Jarrett Parker, who was brought into the game on a double switch, stayed in the game. Good thing, too. He was the lead-off man in the eighth and he led-off with a home run. I love these rookies! Game no longer tied.
Sergio Romo pitched the bottom of the eighth. The first hitter flied out, then Romo gave up back-to-back singles, the next hitter ground out, but the guy after him hit a double scoring both base runners and for the first time in the game the Padres took the lead.
In the ninth inning, Buster Posey led-off and reached on a fielding error. Brandon Crawford doubled, advancing Posey to third and when the Padres closer tossed a wild pitch, Buster‒who was in heads-up base running mode‒came sliding home. Game tied. Again.
In the Padres half of the inning, George Kontos got one hitter out, gave up a double and an intentional walk and was replaced by Jeremy Affeldt, who faced one hitter and got the out. Bochy turned the ball over to Santiago Casilla, who also faced one hitter‒but that was all it took. The hitter singled on a line drive, scoring the base runner and the walk-off win. Game over. The final score was: Giants 4, Padres 5
Bochy replaced Jake Peavy with nine relievers, and the relievers proved to be our undoing. It wasn’t the Padres that beat us, it was our own bullpen.
I know, I know. You think this is more evidence that the Giants are done. I say it’s more evidence that this thing isn’t over. Not by a longshot. Wednesday’s game shows the Giants will keep fighting, scrapping‒they’re going down slugging or not going down at all. There’s still some fight in those guys yet. Like Bochy said “we’re still breathing.”
Do I still believe? After watching those Giants fight tooth and nail, clawing and kicking…yeah, yeah I do. Now more than ever.
Still with me?