Johnny Cueto had a nightmare 1st inning in his San Francisco debut. It started when he hit Chase Utley, the first batter, and ended with him giving up five runs on five hits and a walk. He even looked bad in the field, failing to cover first base on a bunt. We weren't happy campers, but we knew that the best time to be behind 5-0 was the 1st inning, so we had not gone over to despair. Sure enough the boys answered with two runs in the bottom half. Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir gave up a two-out hit to Buster Posey, walked Hunter Pence, then gave up singles to Brandon Belt and Matt Duffy. We had the feeling that if Cueto could settle down the lads would get more chances to do some damage.
Sure enough JohnnyC hit the reset button and threw six excellent innings,five scoreless, giving up one run in the 4th and notching eight strikeouts. The lineup, meanwhile, stepped up with three to tie it in the 3rd on two spectacular home runs, one by Buster Posey and one by Brandon Belt. We had a great view of both, Buster's was a high, soaring blast to left that stayed up forever, Brandon's was a screaming liner to center that got out in a hurry. Even the run the Dodgers got in the 4th was answered right away by Angel Pagan's solo shot. Whatever LA could conjure up the Giants seemed to have an answer. In the 6th the Giants knocked out three more runs off reliever Louis Coleman, the big blow a double to deep center from Joe Panik.
The bullpen was up to the task and go the last six outs, one by Sergio Romo, two by Josh Osich, and a neat 1-2-3 9th from Santiago Casilla. All in all it was a fine day at the yard. The Giants take three of four and come within a whisker of a sweep. We had an excellent group of old friends in section 148 today and the mood at the Park was festive. The youngster next to me got a ball tossed to him by Hunter Pence, that was a nice moment (excellent work by JC to make it happen!). The weather was overcast and pleasantly cool, very comfortable for sitting and watching the action. We got to jump up and down a lot and celebrate. The Giants had 12 hits including three doubles and three homers! JohnnyC looked bad and then he looked great and finished strong.
Here's a few shots of the group:
That's JC on the selfie-cam with Jim behind him, then Susanna and Ron to the right and Zo in front of them.
That's me on the left and Steve behind me, JC on the cam and Jim on the right.
The Giants have hit 14 homers in 7 games. I don't think we can count on that sort of pace, but I do think this team will be able to thump it. They can also do the small-ball thing and the keep-the-line-moving contact hitting thing and the gappers-and-speedy runners thing. It's a versatile lineup. If they get consistent pitching they will be very tough. Cueto showed, for the last six, what it can look like. It's too early in the year to get too high or low, but damn if the team didn't show us something this weekend!