Oct 1, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Hudson (17) acknowledges fans after leaving the game in his final MLB career appearance during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco Giants are done with the Dodgers. For 2015 anyway. The Giants and Dodgers faced each other in 19 games this season. The Giants won 11 of those contests, including the two of the four we just played. Unfortunately, Thursday’s game wasn’t one of them. Giants have nothing to be ashamed of though. In fact we have a lot to be proud of. Like the fact that before Monday’s game the Giants were zero for Greinke, or how about the fact that the Dodgers were facing mostly September call-ups. Our rookies are
We’re coming for you in 2016, Boys in Blue, and while we’re at it, we’re going for the division. Count on it.
Thursday’s game was bittersweet. Saying good-bye to the Dodgers for the year was sweet, but bitter that it ended with a Giants loss. Splitting the series with the Dodgers was both bitter and sweet: bitter because we didn’t take the series and sweet because they didn’t either. But it wasn’t just the end of the Giants v. Dodgers for 2015, there were other endings going on at AT&T Park‒mixing the bitter with the sweet.
Thursday morning, Jeremy Affeldt announced his retirement from baseball at the end of this season. In a move that stunned many fans, he broke up the “Core Four”‒the four bullpen relievers who were the architects of our post season late innings successes since August 1, 2010, when Javier Lopez was traded from Pittsburgh. The Core Four also includes set-up man Sergio Romo and closer Santiago Casilla.
Affeldt’s on-field performance and clubhouse persona are irreplaceable.
Tim Hudson pitched his last start as a Giant Thursday. We all knew he would be leaving us at the end of the 2015 season, but it was still bittersweet. As Giants fans we’re happy for him to be able leave at the top of his game‒still in the starting rotation. He’s been a great clubhouse presence for the guys, and, as it turns out, Hudson and our ace, Madison Bumgarner, have a special bond that developed last year when the Bumgarner’s needed postseason housing and the Hudson’s opened their doors. We’re sorry to see him go.
I would have wished for Hudson’s last outing to be a better one, but let’s face it, it wasn’t really about the pitching Thursday, it was about giving Giants fans a chance to honor one of their warriors. He entered the game to thunderous applause and left to a huge–and very deserved–standing O. He pitched two and ⅓ innings, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks. He struck out one.
Affeldt was brought in to relieve Hudson, and he pitched the remaining ⅔ of Hudson’s partial inning. Affeldt allowed one hit and struck out one. The big pitcher of the day was Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched four solid innings of shutout baseball, allowing only one hit and striking out six.
The Giants bats showed up a little late to the party. Oh sure, early in the game they got a hit here, a fielder’s choice there, but they didn’t score until the eighth inning when they were able to string a few of them together to make up a run.
Jarrett Parker led-off the eighth with a base hit, advanced to second on a Dodgers fielding error and moved to third on Trevor Brown’s ground out. He came home when Angel Pagan singled to second base. Pagan moved up to second on Brandon Crawford’s ground out and scored on Kelby Tomlinson’s double. And that’s how you score Giants-style. The final score was: Giants 2, Dodgers 3
All we have left is the three game series against the Rockies this weekend. Be sure to wear your orange on Friday, because well, Captain Obvious, it’s Orange Friday and let’s face it, it’s always fun to wear our colors. Not only that, we’re running out of legitimate chances. Then again, since when do we need legitimate chances?
Three more days of Giants baseball. Got to savor them, because after that it’s winter. And like Bill Veeck said, “there are only two seasons-winter and baseball.” This winter I plan to write about baseball. Let’s hope the powers-that-be give me something interesting to write about. I know I shouldn’t wish my life away, but I can’t wait for the winter to end and baseball to begin again.
Three more games. Then I “stare out the window and wait for spring.” How about you?