Turner Field played small tonight and the Giants raced to a 6-0 lead on three big flies by the Brandons, one by Belt and two by Crawford, and bomb of his own from Buster Posey. Unfortunately Matt Cain's game fell apart in the 6th when the Braves strung together four hits including a three-run homer to halve the deficit. Bruce Bochy didn't like what he was seeing from the big righty and yanked him after 80 pitches. George Kontos allowed a two-out hit to Nick Markakis and it was suddenly 6-4 with Cain's last batter scoring from second base. Matty had worked an efficient five, putting up zeros, but the Braves had hacked out six hits with an aggressive approach early in the count. He was helped by two double plays including a stylish 3-6-4 on a bunt attempt.
Things got dicey in the 7th when Hunter Strickland allowed his first long ball of 2015 (out of 112 batters faced) and the Braves were only down by a run. Sergio Romo was stalwart in the 8th however, and Ehire Adrianza, Justin Maxwell, and Nori Aoki created an insurance run with two outs in the 9th. Javier Lopez got Markakis to start the bottom half and Santiago Casilla came on for the final two but could not get it done. A.J. Pierzynksi of all people blasted a game-tying two-run homer with two outs to ruin things. Somehow the team got the third out and it went to extras. It's looking a little scary with the closer out there these days.
Yusmeiro Petit got the call to keep the lid on things and he got through to the 11th untouched. In the 12th rookie Kelby Tomlinson got a hit in his debut plate appearance and wound up scoring on a two-out hit by Buster Posey. Way to go FNG, batting 1.000!! I've worn glasses since the third grade--I think I have a new favorite player. Ryan Vogelsong came on to get the save and the Braves hit ANOTHER two-run homer (this time Adonis Garcia) to walk off as 9-8 winners. It was a wretched ending after the terrific start, and it was especially agonizing to see two blown save chances. The Giants hit the first four homers of the game but the Braves hit the last four.
I did not see a single inning of the games in Texas as we had a big family get-together over the weekend. I was happy to note in the boxscore that FNG Mike Leake pitched well. They lost their hitting mojo when he was out there it seems, and missed a chance to win the series. Joe Panik was placed on the 15-day DL for his back issues. The kid has been raking (.309/.374/.443) and his glove has also been exceptional, B-R rates his season so far at 3.3 WAR. It's a cruel blow. Not sure what to say about Cainer. He is still in April while the team is in August. That's life in the big leagues, I guess. The Giants need to get some of that winning magic back, and soon. It's Jake Peavy tomorrow against Shelby Miller.