There was nothing typical about today’s San Francisco Giants (64-58) and Philadelphia Phillies (54-68) game. Especially if you watch the Giants on a consistent basis you would think that after being down in the sixth inning 5-1, the game was as good as done. Not so fast.
After a solo home run in the first inning from Hunter Pence and a not-so-great outing by Giants starter, Tim Hudson (8-9, 3.03 ERA), the bullpen stepped in to get the Giants out of what could have been a fourth inning disaster and then calmed the bats of the Phillies. Hudson recorded one of his worst outings of the season going only four innings and giving up five earned runs over eight hits, three walks and three strike outs.
A hectic and crazy sixth inning changed the game altogether. The Giants caught multiple breaks thanks to some sloppy defense from the Phillies. It started with a single line drive from Buster Posey and then a throwing error by Chase Utley allowed Pablo Sandoval to reach first. Michael Morse than doubled to drive in Posey and finally outed Phillies starter, Kyle Kenderick (5-11, 4.90 ERA).
With reliever, Mario Hollands (2-1, 4.23 ERA), on the mound, he walked Adam Duvall, which led to a single for Joe Panik scoring Sandoval. Hollands was then replaced by reliever Justin De Fratus (2-1, 2.83 ERA) who would face Gregor Blanco, who hit a soft fly ball to left field scoring Morse, making the score 5-4, Phillies.
The fifth and final run of the sixth inning for the Giants came from a sacrifice fly from Angel Pagan and scoring Duvall. This tied the game 1-1 at the top of the seventh inning.
“Bats came to life. They started grinding out some bats and we placed the ball well, kept the line moving,” said Manager, Bruce Bochy of the sixth inning. “When that happens it really picks up the energy and we had a couple times there where we couldn’t get the runner in, which can be deflating, but what’s important is that we have nine innings and we kept fighting.”
The winning run came in the eighth inning on a ground ball single from Blanco scoring Panik, who hit his first career triple.
Panik had a career best game, going two for three with a walk and is now 16-for-39 (.410) in his last 11 games. When asked about his game and consistently starting at second base, Panik said that he has finally hit his stride up in the majors.
“I feel like I’ve hit my stride here and I am really comfortable where I’m at now,” said Joe Panik, “When you come up it’s all new to you, pitchers are new, atmosphere is new, once you settle in you start to get a feel for everything and now I feel like I’ve really hit my stride.”
Morse also had a great game going three for three with two doubles, a triple and a walk. It’s the second time he’s recorded three extra base hits in a game this season. Morse said he hasn’t changed much that can he can credit to his sudden explosion at the plate. His response?
“Maybe it’s the big moon? You know, the super moon!” said Morse.
Today’s winning pitcher was Jeremy Affeldt (3-1, 1.99 ERA) and Sergio Romo recorded his 23rd save of the season.
At the end of the day, the Giants have to continue to build momentum on today’s game and look at each game with a new perspective.
“It’s all about going hard for nine innings and they did that today,” said Bochy, “Which is particularly good especially after a loss like we had last night.”
The Giants look to Tim Lincecum (9-8, 4.51 ERA) for a series win in tomorrow’s game against Phillies righty, David Buchanan (6-6, 4.40 ERA). First pitch is at 1:05pm.