It was a big night at AT&T Park, as a walk-off win gave the Giants a 4-2 victory over the Rockies and handed Bruce Bochy his 1,600th managerial win.
San Francisco got on the board first when, with one out in the fourth, Matt Duffy doubled into left for his second hit of the night. Joe Panik’s single moved him to third, and he scored on a perfect bunt single up the first base line by Gregor Blanco. In place of a resting Brandon Crawford, Duffy went two-for-three with a walk, raising his average from .207 to .250.
However, Franklin Morales shut down the orange and black offense after that, tossing six innings and giving up seven hits and one walk, but only allowing one run while striking out six.
Colorado broke up Hudson’s no-hitter in the top of the fifth when Corey Dickerson sent a soaring home run into McCovey Cove to lead off the inning. It was a milestone for AT&T Park, as it marked the 100th splash hit since it opened 15 years ago.
Apart from the pitch to Dickerson, Hudson was simply brilliant for the Giants. He threw eight innings – marking the 14th time in his 26 starts this season that he’s pitched at least seven – allowing four hits, one walk, and just the lone run. Hudson was incredibly efficient, needing just 87 pitches – 61 of which were strikes. He reached a milestone of his own as well, with his eight strikeouts giving him 2,002 for his career, an accomplishment he wasn’t aware of until after he’d come off the field and Bochy shook his hand.
“It just says I’ve been playing for a long time. It’s definitely a milestone that I’m proud of. I’m not really considered a strikeout guy. I’m just glad I can go out there and still give the team a good chance to win. Bochy had his 1,600th win? I think that’s a little more impressive than 2,000 strikeouts.”
The Giants scratched across another run in the seventh. Angel Pagan worked a walk after being down 0-2 early in the at-bat. Hunter Pence worked a walk of his own, and for the second-straight night, Buster Posey delivered. His RBI singled into left scored Pagan, who’s spin and salute as he crossed home plate was epic.
But San Francisco’s inability to earn a save against the Rockies reared its ugly head in the top of the ninth. Santiago Casilla plunked Drew Stubbs to lead off the inning before Justin Morneau – the same Justin Morneau who broke up Madison Bumgarner’s perfect game on Tuesday night with a double – delivered another damaging double. It scored Stubbs and tied the game at two. It was a painful reminder of the series against the Rockies in June in which the Giants were swept at home after giving up late leads (two in the 9th, one in the 8th) in all three games.
Unlike in June, however, San Francisco was able to prevent any further runs and take the tie into the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Pagan singled, setting up another heroic moment from Posey, who crushed a two-out, two-run homer over the wall in left field. Just like that, the Giants had a win. For Bochy, it moved him ahead of Tommy Lasorda and into sole possession of 19th place on the all-time list and it was a testament to all the people he’s worked with over the years.
“It means I’m very fortunate…I’m lucky to be doing what I’m doing. Up here, it’s just been a tremendous ride…It’s all about the support that you’ve had over the years…that number’s not you. Sure, it goes on your record, but there’s so many people that have done something to help me, and you don’t forget that – how lucky you are…I would’ve liked to have this one a little easier, just got a little more gray hairs on this one…but I appreciate it very much to be able to have been able to do what I love to do for this long.”
With his three hits on Wednesday, Posey is now hitting .483 (15-for-31) in his last seven games with ten RBIs and five home runs, and no one was more appreciative of what Posey’s done lately than Hudson.
“It’s fun to see. He’s really starting to see the ball really well. He’s hitting homers and squaring the ball up. It’s great to see. We need to jump on his shoulders and get us through this last month and win some ballgames and make it interesting here.”
And Posey knows that this is when those big hits and home runs matter the most.
“This is the fun time of the year, and we’re fortunate to be fighting for the division and just trying to get in the playoffs. I think a lot of us know what this team is capable of doing if we do get in the playoffs, so this is the fun time of the year.”
With the Dodgers also winning on Wednesday night, the Giants remain five back in the West. However, with the Cardinals losing earlier in the day, San Francisco is now just a game behind St. Louis for the first Wild Card and 1.5 games ahead of Atlanta for the second.