Aaron Rowand bombed a 2 run shot off of Jenrry Mejia in the top of the 8th to boost the G-men over the Mets 6-5 at Citi Field. All three games of this series were decided on home runs in which the Giants fell victim to Friday and Saturday but reversed the trend on Sunday.
On Friday night Jonathan Sanchez pitched seven innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits. Going into the ninth, San Francisco was down 4-3 until John Bowker hit a monstrous pinch hit homer into the second deck to tie the game with one out.
However, in the bottom half of the inning Rod Barajas hit a walk off shot off Sergio Romo for his second homer of the game and 9th on the year! And Just as I thought Sergio had gained his confidence back, there it all went flying out the window.
Saturday afternoon the Giants had Todd Wellemeyer on the mound but he left in the 5th having pitched 4.1 innings, giving up five BB’s, three hits and four runs. The Giants found themselves down 4-2 until an 8th inning rally in which they rallied together two runs to tie it at 4.
To the bottom of the 11th, and as of right now our bullpen has been brilliant. Brandon Medders came in and threw a few solid innings as well as Jeremy Affeldt. Guillermo Mota pitched through the 10th inning which gave the bullpen 5.2 innings of shutout baseball only allowing three hits. Unfortunately, that all changed with the first batter of the 11th, Henry Blanco, who went yard and sent everybody in New York home happy for the 2nd straight night.
Are you serious?? Two walk-offs in a row! The Mets didn’t even have two walk-offs all of last year!
On to Sunday where Tim Lincecum took the hill still in search of win #5. San Francisco took a 4-0 lead into the 6th where the Mets then manufactured two runs and made it Lincecum’s last inning as he had already reached 116 pitches.
Dan Runzler came on in the 7th before leaving with the bases juiced and only one out. Romo came in relief of Runzler, and the first batter he faced hit what should have been a routine fly ball to left field. The problem was the wind was blowing gusts of up to 40 mph and Andres Torres failed to get a good read on the ball off the bat. He started drifting back and the ball was coming in, Torres had to adjust to try and make a play but didn’t work out so well as New York put two more runs up. The very next batter scored Jose Reyes on a sac fly and that right there my friends, took Tim off the decision board for the 3rd time in as many starts and put the Mets on top 5-4.
That is when Rowand connected on a 3-2 fastball in the top of the eighth deep to right center which ultimately became the deciding factor of this game. It actually was the Giants only extra base hit all game and with as many base runners we had, thank god we finally capitalized. Out of the 13 free passes we had (11 BB, 2 HBP), we only managed three to go all the way around the bases and score.
Are you kidding me? With that many base runners reaching freely, we should have straight wiped these guys out! But I guess when you’re the worst team in the league with a .193 batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs, it makes sense we can only score on three of those thirteen freebies.
Brian Wilson took the game over in the bottom half of the 8th and after Jason Bay led off with a double, Wilson decided to take control. He retired the last five batters of the game with five strikeouts on his way toward his 7th save of the year.
The Giants completed the quick east coast swing taking 4 out of 6 games and will be headed back to the bay for a showdown with the division leading Padres.
Tuesday – Padres will toss lefty Wade LeBlanc on the mound who absolutely owns the Giants as of right now. In two starts, he has given up two runs and has got himself two wins. Oh, and he is holding us to .133 batting average! Barry Zito will be looking to continue his dominance and snatch up win #6 Tuesday night at AT&T Park.
Wednesday – Clayton Richard will start for San Diego and in his two appearances versus the Giants, has been straight rocked! On the year he holds a 1-2 record with an ERA of 3.34. Matt Cain is coming off of two consecutive solid outings and looks like he has his confidence knob turned up! And let us all pray that he plans to keep it that way.
Thursday – Most likely to be on the mound is Matt Latos who is coming off an eight inning performance in which he gave up no runs and only two hits. He also pitched seven shutout innings against the Giants in San Diego back on 4/20. Jonathan Sanchez is the probable starter for San Francisco and is looking real hard to come out strong after two subpar performances. No better way than to do it against the team he had no hit back on July 10, 2009!
As of right now, the Padres hold a 0.5 game lead on us and I cannot wait to get this series started. Both of these teams are backed by excellent pitching staffs. The Padres lead the league in shutouts with seven and also have the 2nd best ERA in the MLB at 2.73. They also have the 3rd best opponent batting average at .296 but the Giants have the 7th ranked batting average at .273 to go against that.
The G-men have the 4th best ERA in the big leagues at 3.04 and are holding opponents to a batting average of .294, good for 2nd in the league. The Padres are 23rd in batting average at .243 and also have struck out 266 times which is the 3rd highest mark in the majors. San Francisco is tied for the MLB lead with 257 strikeouts.
Should be a fun series! I’m excited that’s for sure and hopefully at the end of it we will have switched spots in the NL West standings.
Meanwhile, back in the bay…….
The bay? Okay, maybe not the bay, but the “Town.” The town where Oakland pitcher Dallas Braden was working on some serious town business!
Sunday afternoon Braden became the 19th pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game in the A’s 4-0 victory of the red hot Devil Rays. The same D-Rays who had only lost one road game out of their first fourteen to start the year but just got handed two in a row. The same D-Rays who were victims of the 18th perfect game thrown by Mark Buehrle on July 23, 2009. Ahh, but most important, the same Tampa Bay Devil Rays who own the best record in the big leagues but were perfected by Dallas Braden on mother’s day of 2010.
Dallas Braden? The same Dallas Braden who called A-Rod out for jogging over the mound on his way back to the dugout at the Oakland Coliseum. Apparently a big no-no. That is most likely what he was best known for, but that has all changed as the 26 year old left hander blanked the D-Rays and improved his record to 4-2 on the year. Congratulations player!