Passionless. Inscrutable. Icy. Registering the commands from his catcher before uncoiling his long body for that long, smooth, deceptively slow delivery.
This game was a war of attrition. Doug Fister matched Madison through the first six, keeping the Giants from scoring. But he was racking up a pitch count due to the Giants' patience at the plate. When Fister was replaced by Drew Smyly in the seventh, he had thrown 114 pitches. Hunter Pence singled off him after a battle, followed by a walk to Brandon Belt from the young Smyly and a Gregor Blanco sacrifice bunt that never quite rolled foul, so became a base hit. Brandon Crawford hit into a double play, but that allowed the Giants to plate the first run of the game. Ryan Theriot pinch hit for Madison, when Madison wasn't really done. He had thrown only 86 pitches to keep the Tigers scoreless through seven. 2 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts.
The Giants needed a spectacular play in the second inning to keep from playing catch up from the first inning, though. Prince Fielder took first on a HBP, and third on a Delmon Young double to left, and ran for the plate. Gregor Blanco sent the relay to Marco Scutaro, who nailed Fielder at home. Do you like the Giants' defense? In the seventh, Miguel Cabrera walked on 9 pitches. Then Prince Fielder promptly hit into a double play. Even Madison cracked a smile. The Giants added a run in the eighth on a Hunter Pence bases-loaded sacrifice fly off of Otavio Dotel, but charged to Smyly. Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo were nails.
I'm still letting it sink in. The Giants are up 2-0 against the very tough Detroit Tigers. Down the stretch, we won with offense, and now in the post season, our pitching is coming up huge. We have Vogie and Matt ready to start, Tim fresh out of the bullpen if needed, and our relief corps rested and ready.
Photo: Jack Dempsey / AP (mysanantonio.com)