A bullpen meltdown almost wasted a gritty effort by Matt Cain and a tremendous performance by Pat the Bat. His grand slam in the 5th wrested control of the match away from the pesky Cubs, but Javier Lopez and Guillermo Mota couldn't get anybody out in the 8th, and by the time Sergio Romo put out the fire it was a tie ballgame. The Giants racked up seven big ones with three homers and still couldn't finish off Chicago. Fortunately, the lads put together an outstanding rally in the bottom of the 9th to get run number eight and finally complete the job. Aaron Rowand, subbing today for lead-off man Andres Torres, scored the winning run on a booming fly ball by the pinch-hitting Torres, who was batting in Burrell's spot. I like that sort of thing, don't you?
I was happy to see Fred-D Sanchez re-discover his stroke, and to see Pablo Sandoval smack a triple and a homer. It should not have been this difficult to put away a very poor Chicago club, but I will give the home squad credit for battling and using what seemed like every arrow in the quiver to secure a huge win. Matt Cain needed 121 pitches and faced 26 batters to get 18 outs. Cain only walked one and struck out nine, but it was a long, hard slog. The Cubs got eight hits and also managed 40 foul balls! Buster Posey dazzled the home crowd with a lightning fast catch-and-throw to nail Starlin Castro trying to steal second base in the 3rd inning. Fred-D made an outstanding pick and throw on a ground ball to nail the lead runner in the 4th, and Juan Uribe showed off his rifle arm on a grounder up the middle in the 5th. Giants fielders have been outstanding all year long. Pat Burrell keeps collecting big hits--let's hope his bat stays hot this weekend against San Diego.
Speaking of this weekend, JC and I will be attending tomorrow night's game. Jonathan Sanchez talked smack earlier this week and now he has a chance to back it up against the number one team in the division. Should be a very exciting Orange Friday!