Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Thrilla in Vanilla

Matt Cain and Josh Johnson duked it out for seven innings like a couple of heavyweights, putting on a display of country hardball that would have warmed the hearts of any it-was-better-the-old-days curmudgeon. Cain only gave up four hits, but two of them were home runs. Johnson gave up eight hits, three of them doubles. Both walked three, Cain struck out six to Johnson's five. Matty was perfect through three, but a rookie making his debut (Logan Morrison) spoiled it with a bloop hit. It took Johnson 31 batters and 114 pitches to get 21 outs (Game Score 51). Cain needed 98 pitches for 25 batters (Game Score 60), and certainly enjoyed better fielders behind him. The 2010 Men in French Vanilla in have been flashing some big league leather, eh?

But the  pitcher's duel came to an abrupt and shocking close when the Giants hit two home runs in the bottom of the eighth off reliever Brian Sanches. Juan Uribe was no surprise, it's the kind of at-bat he seems to live for. Banging out the big blast to break the tie was a game-changer. It looked like we'd go to the ninth with a nail-biter and count on Brian Wilson to be brilliant once again. But that's not what happened. What happened is that the Giants decided to be the New York Yankees and score six runs. Hey, you score six runs, good things happen. In a wildly improbably sequence, Aaron Rowand got a hit and Edgar Renteria hit a home run (only his second of the year). You read that right. Suddenly it is 6-3 Giants and I'm jumping out of my chair screaming "go for the kill!"( Really, you can ask JC.) The cushion turned out to be the difference as Wilson gave up a solo shot to Uggla (his second, his first tied it in the seventh), but it didn't tarnish the win. I like it when we have a cushion of runs. You can never have enough goddamn runs.

Giants win 6-4 by beating one of the hottest pitchers in baseball, and by beating a homer-happy club at their own game. It was a sweet, sweet victory, and a really quite impressive team effort. Seven guys got hits and five guys scored runs. The top of the lineup kept us in it against Johnson, and the bottom of the lineup won it against the bullpen. Matt Cain gave us another studly outing, the 12th time in 21 starts he's thrown at least seven innings and given up no more than three runs (and his 16th quality start). If our rejuvenated, Buster-fied lineup can keep it going, that sort of thing is going to give us a lot of chances to win. I saw the Panda in the dugout, I'd love to see him pick it up and start raking like it's two-thousand-nine.



Anonymous said...

The title of the post made me smile. I always did like Joe Frazier...

It was a nice game. It was feeling like a win. We took the lead, they climbed back, we took it again, they tied it again. Then the guys tried 3 RUNS and that proved to high for the fish to tie. I gotta say though, I think it was Buster's last at bat, that was just ridiculous. He made contact with his bat, and it went like straight to the ground and just fair. Although a hit would have probably brought 2 runners home, but it was funny (so long as we don't see too many of those). About time B-Weezy gave up a home run. I'd rather him get it out of his system now. A great game, though, I wish they played earlier. That 3 hour difference sucks, keeps me up late. Oh well, Go Giants!

Anonymous said...

Simply the Giants bullpen was a little bit better than the Marlins bullpen