Reader Romano sent me an email yesterday saying today's Yusmeiro Petit vs. Andy Pettitte matchup would feature "small" ball. Certainly a lot of little things worked out in the Giants favor, but all the scoring was the result of extra-base hits. Rookie Ehire Adrianza tied things up with a solo shot (his first big-league bomb) in the 6th after Mark Reynolds had hit a solo homer in the 3rd. It stayed 1-1 until the 8th when two doubles--one by Pablo Sandoval and one by Tony Abreu--gave the Giants a 2-1 lead. It looked for all the world that Santiago Casilla would give it back in the bottom of the inning, but a baserunning mistake by Zoilo Almonte saved a run, and a fine throw by Juan Perez to nail Robinson Cano at the plate saved another. In all, Casilla gave up three hits, but two putouts by Hector Sanchez kept the Yanks from scoring. Almonte, with no outs, broke for home on a grounder to Nick Noonan at third and was out by 20 feet. Cano, who had doubled, stayed at second base on the play. He then tried to score with two outs on a single to left. He was clearly out on the bang-bang play to end the inning. It was a nice piece of teamwork from the two youngsters.
Petit pitched another fine game, strengthening his bid to be the fifth man in 2014. After a walk and a bloop hit with one out in the bottom of the 7th, Javier Lopez was summoned in relief. Both runners moved up on a passed ball, but Lopez got two strikeouts to save the day and was rewarded with the win after the Giants scored in the top of the 8th. (I sure hope the Giants keep that guy around.) Pettitte only allowed two hits in his seven-plus, but was charged with both runs and got tagged with the loss. New York is now four back in the Wild Card with six to play, and stand a good chance of missing the post-season for only the second time in 19 years.
The San Francisco squad comes home for their final six, facing West winners Los Angeles on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and fellow also-rans San Diego for the weekend. "Pass the Padres" is my new rallying cry.