Post game notes (I could get used to this):
Coming into AT&T Park today, there was an ominous feeling in the air. I was certain in my bones that it was going to be another heart-wrenching defeat at the hands of their cross-bay rivals. One that would end with a bloom of green and gold-clad fans waving miniature brooms. No basis for this, except for the fact that the A’s are hot, Giants are Arctic-cold, and I’m human.
Zito was walking the high-wire all day, getting out of self-made jams (not the fruit variety) after dishing out almost enough walks for the entire A’s lineup, including one to pitcher, A.J. Griffin, which put a runner in scoring position with two outs and enabled the production of the first A’s runs. However, he ended up no-hitting the A’s through 6…except for Coco Crisp, who was 3 for 3 off Zito with a double and an RBI.
However, Rip Van Winkle, dressed in black and orange, awoke in the 6th, erupting for 4 runs on key hits by Sandoval and Belt, giving Zito the unique position to actually WIN the game. But, no sooner did the A’s fans put their brooms away, than reliever Ramon Ramirez issued the dreaded momentum-killing leadoff walk in the top of the 7th. After an out an a seeing-eye single to right, George Kontos came in to face Cespedes, who promptly cue-balled a floater to right to score the A’s second run and put runners at the corners. But, Affeldt came in with 2 outs to face Brandon Moss and ended the threat with a full-count strikeout.
The Giants promptly got that run back in the bottom of the 7th. Noonan lead off the inning with a bunt single between the mound and second, past the mound. The rotation play was on, so the second baseman was already heading to cover first. He redirected to the ball, but couldn’t throw out Noonan in time. Brett Pill hit a rocket to left for the first out, then Gregor Blanco flipped his bat and dropped his head after hitting one up to shallow left center field. However, Rosales lost the ball in the sun for a mother-nature-aided single. Brandon Crawford hit a ground ball to Moss right, where he speared it on a dive, threw to second for one out, and Rosales air-mailed it into the A’s dugout, allowing Noonan to score, increasing the Giants’ lead to 5-2.
A quiet 8th and a Romo 1-2-3 9th ended the bleeding for the Giants.
In Bochy’s post-game presser, he stressed the need for the starters to pitch well, and he seemed to have a little something extra in his voice that seemed to indicate the desperate need they have for solid performances from those five. He also used the word “Houdini” regarding Zito’s escape act all game (I tweeted that earlier!!!). Scutaro is still feeling the “funk,” referring to whatever sickness he has, and Pagan will certainly miss the first game in St. Louis. He also acknowledged Pill’s contributions, and the bullpen’s ability to shut the game down in the end.
A suggestion to the Giants: take the TortureCast crew with you to St. Louis, you’re 2-0 when we wear the press hat.