Clay Hensley is the bullpen star of 2012 after his effort tonight in New York. He cleaned up Sergio Romo's mess (men on 2nd and 3rd with no outs) with a one-run lead in the 10th to earn the save. Romo was credited with the win after getting the last two outs in the 9th, cleaning up Javier Lopez' mess. Lopez had a shot at the save, facing three lefties after Santiago Casilla allowed a leadoff hit. Ol' Boch ran into a little bump on the closer-by-matchup/committee road, fortunately he had another great arm available to get it done. Only rookie Dan Otero did not pitch. Guillermo Mota (1 IP, 2 K) and Jeremy Affeldt (2 IP, 3 K) were particularly effective. Barry Zito did not have a meltdown and kept it together for five innings, add that to his two previous starts and we have reason to be hopeful about his season. But Hensley was the pitching star. He's faced 19 batters in his seven games, striking out seven, walking two, and yielding one hit and no runs.
I was excited to see rookie Hector Sanchez get a big hit. He had a rough night with all those different pitchers and he hung tough with all those nasty breaking balls from Affeldt, Lopez, Romo, and Hensley. Melky Cabrera, once again, was the sparkplug. He's sporting a .333/.410/.481 line and always seems to be in the middle of the rallies. His walk and steal to start the 10th was beautiful, just what the team needed after the blown save. He played both corners--starting in right, switching to left, and then back to right. It was one of those "empty the bench" games that featured a pinch-hit appearance from The Great Matt Cain. He, alas, struck out.
Ryan Vogelsong goes tomorrow and Tim Lincecum Sunday. Madison Bumgarner gets the matchup with Johan Santana on Monday. GO GIANTS!