Tonight was a special night. Not only was it Fedora night, but the National Anthem was fantastic. Oh, and we welcomed Eric Nathanson (@2outhits) of Around the Foghorn to his very first game at AT&T Park. You may remember that he covered his first Giants game earlier this month when they visited the Tropicana Dome. The Giants were kind enough to further extend the press privilege to him here in San Francisco.
He apparently met up with “tweeps” at the @SFGiantsCafe. Do we have tweeps?
After Timmy warmed up on the mound to “Blurred Lines” (he’s been using that for weeks now), he used his inner-Thicke to face the minimum through three innings before a little speed bump in the fourth when he walked the first two batters. However, a little conference on the mound, perhaps something about trying to acquire naked ladies to dance around him later tonight, and he induced McCutchen to fly out to right before striking out Alvarez and Jones.
Oh, and of course, he was doing this all with the courtesy of a 4-run lead, established in the very first inning. That’s not only a big inning for the Giants, that’s a big GAME for the black and orange. They sent 9 men to the plate and racked up 5 hits and a couple of cheap RBIs.
The left field ball dude got a work out tonight. One of these days, one of these elderly gentlemen will die on the field, I assure you. Blanco almost died tonight as well with two near HBP and a seed off of Pill’s bat that made Blanco leap into the arms of the batboy.
The fifth greeted Lincecum with a ball deposited deep into the LF bleachers as Tony Sanchez hit his first career homerun. So, a nice moment for the young man. Heck, Giants fans were even nice enough to throw the ball back on the field in a clear gesture of kindness so that he would have that nice fireplace momento. No matter, the Giants matched that run with one of their own in the home half to take a 5-1 lead when a wild pitch by Hughes, who had just come into the game for Liriano, plated a hobbling Hector, who had earlier been hit by a pitch. A nice sac bunt by Timmy pushed him to third to even be in position to score. Small ball at its best.
Lincecum started to run out of gas in the top of the 6th, however. With one out, he walked McCutchen and allowed a 2-strike double down the right field line to Pedro Alvarez, necessitating his replacement with Mijares. The hit parade continued with an RBI single by Sanchez (the Gabby variety), then Machi came in to give up another line drive over the second base bag by Sanchez (the Tony variety) to put the Pirates within two runs. After a controversial strikeout, Panda made a nice back-handed play down the line and fired to Posey at first. However, there was much discussion in the press box, including Andrew Baggarly, on why he didn’t simply run to the bag for the force play.
The Giants got one back in the sixth via the free pass to Pence. He moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a ground out. Panda came through with a big two-out, two-strike single to right.
It looked like the wheels were starting to loosen up in the seventh; with one out and a runner on first, Scutaro received a perfect double-play grounder, but muffed it in the exchange and couldn’t even muster one out, setting up McCutchen as the tying run at the plate, but he flied out to right. Javier Lopez came in to close out the inning without harm.
Casilla pitched a perfect eighth, Posey ended his bid for a 4-hit night, and Romo’s entry music made the fans dance in funny ways before he closed things down (uneventfully) in the ninth for the 6-3 victory.
In the post-game presser, Bochy acknowledged these keys to the game: the 4 run first, the ability to score after Pittsburgh scored, Timmy settling down in the fourth, Lopez’s confrontation with Alvarez, Panda’s 2 out, 2 strike RBI single, and the incredible fan support that they still receive, despite the rough year.
We’ll be heading over to Zeke’s now to record another bonusode. Who knows who will show up.