Sep 24, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (35) hits a solo home run during the second inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Well, as the late, great Yogi Berra would say‒for the San Francisco Giants “it’s déjà vu all over again.” Thursday night’s game ended with a repeat of Wednesday night’s ending–another walk-off. Uncanny.
Madison Bumgarner was the starting pitcher for Thursday night’s game, and as usual, Bumgarner was our dependable, solid ace. With Bumgarner on the mound you know the Giants have a good shot at the win. But not Thursday. And it wasn’t necessarily Bumgarner’s fault.
Bumgarner pitched seven solid innings. He allowed three runs on three hits and three walks, but he struck out nine. As usual, that doesn’t tell the whole story. The three runs actually scored on a home run‒and everyone was at a loss to explain how the Padres hitter knocked that 75 mph curve out of the park. After that, Bumgarner held the Friars scoreless through seven.
The Giants jumped on the board right away just like Wednesday night. Brandon Crawford led-off the second with a solo home run‒his 20th on the season. We’ve been waiting on that for some time. Crawford, I’m sure, was more relieved than the rest of us. He led the Giants in home runs before going on the DL, and while he was gone Buster Posey started catching up, finally tying Crawford’s record a few days ago.
Crawford is in the lead, sort of. Marlon Byrd came to the Giants with a 19 home run record with the Reds. He has hit three long balls since becoming a Giant. Technically, he is the home run leader with 22. Byrd hasn’t hit a long ball since August 28th in the game against St. Louis.
Instead of waiting until late innings to score, the Padres answered immediately. In the bottom of the inning, Bumgarner gave up a walk and a single before the Padres catcher caught the better part of Bumgarner’s curve with his bat, knocking the ball over the fence, scoring three.
Angel Pagan hit a single in the third and scored on Alejandro De Aza’s double. In the fifth, De Aza doubled, advanced to third when Buster ground out and scored on Byrd’s single. Crawford drew a walk, advanced to second on Byrd’s single, took third on a wild pitch and came home when the Padres pitcher balked‒giving the Giants a one-run lead.
The Padres didn’t score again until the eighth. Hunter Strickland faced one hitter and served up a four-pitch walk. Javier Lopez was brought in to replace Strickland. The hitter he faced bunted the ball and Buster threw to second getting the lead runner out.
Sergio Romo came in to face the next hitter who hit an RBI double to tie the score. In the ninth inning, with Mike Broadway pitching, the Padres got a couple of hits and Broadway intentionally walked a hitter, loading the bases. Josh Osich relieved Broadway and immediately gave up a base hit, allowing a run to score.
And just like Wednesday night’s game, the Padres won in a walk-off. The final score was: Giants 4, Padres 5
Cruel and unusual entertainment? Sure. It’s Giants baseball. We expect nothing less. And we love it.
In fact, I believe in it.