Now that’s the Giants team we remember from the last couple months! Runs in the first inning, home runs aplenty on the road, Tim Lincecum coming in as a reliever and holding the lead for multiple inn…
Okay, maybe it wasn’t EXACTLY the Giants team we remember. But just the same, the Giants won “one game at a time” for the second day in a row, and for their efforts they get to play in Great American Ballpark one more time.
So are you ready to watch a morning baseball game that means everything? What really matters is if Matt Cain is ready to make up for a subpar outing in Game 1 against the perfect villain — Mat Latos.
Back to normal
Barry Zito got his first postseason start since 2006, and it was typical. After his fourth walk, Bruce Bochy made a beeline toward the mound and sent Zito back the dugout, almost certainly on his way to an off-season of rest. After George Kontos finished out the third and recorded the first out in the third, Jose Mijares (just dreadful on Sunday) came in and struck out Joey Votto.
At that point, the lone Reds fan in The Boardroom, who had pleased for Votto to do something on several occasions this afternoon (“Show us why we’re paying you $200 million!”), packed up his things and walked out. From then on, the Giants fans had the bar to themselves to cheer unanimously. There was plenty to go clap and yell about, and those cheers were brought to us — and those of you reading this post — by Lincecum.
“That seriously looked like Lincecum right there,” said Keith, owner of The Boardroom. That was after he struck out Chris Heisey to end the 8th.
4.1 innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 earned run allowed, 6 strikeouts and 0 walks.
It’s impossible to determine whether Lincecum recaptured his Lincecumness because Bruce Bochy rattled his cage by leaving him out of the rotation, or if baseball has bored him ever since the 2010 postseason. Maybe “bored” is too strong a word, but I’m not qualified to understand or describe what exactly it takes for someone to become fully engaged in a sporting event or anything, really. Let alone what goes through the head of one of the most unique sports superstars I’ve ever seen.
Who cares, anyway. Lincecum is back until further notice, and so are the Giants.
— Myles (@MylesInSF) came down and hung out with us and bet my wife (@SportsGirlLiz) that Hunter Pence would get a hit. After Pence’s single, my wife bought him a shot of Jameson. Nothing wrong with day drinking during the playoffs!
— I’m not sure if Marco Scutaro needs a new glove or a new barehand. Glove would probably be easier. At least he knocked in a run with that single.
— The way Pablo Sandoval drew in his elbows and threw his hips into that home run reminds us why we deal with all the 1-pitch at-bats and all the rest.
— For all the consternation over Bochy’s lineup — with Hector Sanchez catching and Brandon Belt on the bench — things sure turned out pretty swimmingly. If Hector Sanchez walking twice doesn’t show what the Baseball Gods think of us minions, I don’t know what does.
— When Angel Pagan is on, the Giants seem unbeatable. It’s not like the Giants are toast tomorrow if he doesn’t reach base against Latos in the first inning tomorrow, but his leadoff home run today was almost an extension of Scott Rolen’s error yesterday. Sunday seems so far away right now.
— The Giants won this game 9-3 and Buster Posey went 0-for-4 with a walk and left three guys on base.
— Gregor Blanco truly is a Great White Shark. I’ve interviewed him up close — he has several rows of teeth.
— I can’t end this post without mentioning Joaquin Arias, who was trending Worldwide on Twitter this afternoon. It’s too bad for Brandon Crawford, who came on both offensively and defensively over the last two months (and I’m sure Crawford will still start against right-handed starters), but Arias’ fearlessness and production in key moments can’t be ignored. What a season he’s had. From Spring Training on, other than Posey, I might remember this season for Arias’ story as much as anyone else’s.