The Giants not only out-pitched the Braves tonight, they out-performed them on the field as well. The Braves could not make the plays in the 9th inning and the Giants tied a ballgame that they should have lost. Aubrey Huff was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and Buster Posey hit a grounder to short that should have been at least a force out at second, but it was mishandled at the bag by Omar Infante after a low throw from Alex Gonzalez. Juan Uribe hit a fly ball for the first out, and Huff took third base. Pablo Sandoval then hit a grounder to Chipper Jones that should have been a play at the plate, and most likely an out, but it short-hopped the Braves third baseman and scooted into left field. The Giants scored without a base hit. That was theme for the night, as it happened again in the 11th with the go-ahead run. Huff and Posey were walked to open the inning, and Juan Uribe hit a ground ball that forced Posey at second base. Sandoval was walked to load the bases, and Pat Burrell hit a sacrifice fly to score Huff. The Giants scored again without a hit. Even the Giants first run of the night was on a ground out. Torres led off the game with a hit and stole both second and third, flashing a weapon the Giants don't use much (but is certainly nice to have).
Great outcome after a long rain delay. It was a tremendous performance by Barry Zito, who had ten strikeouts in his seven innings, and allowed only four hits. Unfortunately two of them were home runs, one by Tim-killer Alex Gonzalez, and one by Chipper Jones. Home runs are nice--home runs with men on base are better. Two solo shots looked to be enough, though, and Zito's great start looked to be wasted. Credit too, goes to Tommy Hanson for pitching well, as it was an old-fashioned gunslinger's duel out there tonight. But the Braves 'pen and their defense let them down. Funny how Alex Gonzalez and Chipper Jones got the big bombs but couldn't make the little plays. Isn't baseball a great fucking game?
The Giants get a big win as the Padres lose in Arizona. They only got three hits! Hah! Superb bullpen work tonight really sealed the deal. Chris Ray, Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez, and Brian Wilson each threw a scoreless inning, giving up only two hits and no walks and getting five strikeouts. This game sums up the 2010 Giants nicely, as it had plenty of torture, not much hitting, and shutdown pitching. "Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue."
Matt Cain goes tomorrow.