Despite all evidence to the contrary heading into this series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the San Francisco Giants possess the ability to hit … and field … and pitch. They showed off all three skills simultaneously during Sunday’s 6-2 series-clinching win over the first place D-Backs, headlined by yet another outstanding six-inning performance by Chad Gaudin. Gaudin’s second start as a Giant was even more impressive considering this:
Gaudin had a stomach issue all game. Said he threw up in the third and sixth innings.
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) June 9, 2013
Maybe there were Giants teams in the past that dealt with the same amount of problems with assorted viruses, and we only hear about it every time a guy feels sick because every semi-newsworthy tidbit gets posted on Twitter. But from the start of this season, we’ve been hearing about Giants getting sick. Andres Torres vomited during a Spring Training game. Brandon Belt lost several pounds at the beginning of the season after coming down with something (“the crud,” according to manager Bruce Bochy). Pablo Sandoval got an IV before game he ended with a 464-foot walk-off home run. Now Gaudin is sick.
Whoa, whoa, my apologies. Getting a little gross here, which is a shame because the game, in many ways, was beautiful. Gaudin and four relievers struck out 10 and only walked one, and that was an intentional free pass issued by Gaudin that allowed him to face Tyler Skaggs. The Giants started the game a flurry of singles and hit two home runs for the second straight game — before yesterday’s win the Giants had only hit 16 home runs in 28 road games.
It was the defense that might have been the most surprising — and gorgeous — aspect of the Giants’ overall game. Paul Goldschmidt was robbed twice on long drives, including an unforgettable catch by Juan Perez, who smashed into the wall and held onto the ball … not a bad way to end the first inning of your Major League debut.
After the game, Perez — who also collected his first big league hit on a single in the third — was interviewed by Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow. He tried like hell to keep from smiling throughout the entire discussion, and it was damned near impossible. It rarely occurs in the professional ranks, but baseball sure is fun when players find it impossible to hide their true emotions.
— I watched the first few innings of this game at Carmen’s condo near AT&T Park, where she was celebrating her cat Clayton’s third birthday. We brought our Pomeranian, who scared the hell out of the birthday boy when she ran toward him, sending poor Clayton sprinting under the bed. A cat’s birthday ruined by a small dog — now if that isn’t the most San Francisco “Stolen BASG” I’ve ever written, I don’t know what is.
— There were two more spectacular defensive plays made by the Giants in the fifth inning. First, Joaquin Arias dove to his left to stop a sharp grounder off the bat of Gerardo Parra. The ball rolled a few feet behind him. Arias scrambled back, grabbed the ball and threw while pivoting on his right knee.
— Hunter Pence also collided with the wall to rob Goldschmidt and get the third out of the fifth. Except in contrast to Perez, Pence didn’t make hard enough contact to send him sprawling to the warning track dirt.
— Pablo Sandoval is probably heading to the disabled list. Maybe he just needs a break of about two-to-six weeks in the middle of each season. Or, perhaps his weight puts extra stress on his bones, joints and ligaments. It could also be that he plays third base, a position not many can play at a high level for 150+ games per season. Whatever it is, the Giants are going to have to figure out how to keep scoring runs the way they have the last two games without one of their best hitters.
— Belt hit his first home run of the year against a lefty, but in his career he has hit eight against left-handed pitchers. Belt has hit a home run per every 43.8 plate appearances against right-handers; 29.8 PA per homer vs. lefties.
— Lots of Brian Wilson talk today from the broadcasters. During the pregame show, Marty Lurie asked Andrew Baggarly what he thought of a potential return for the man known as “Weezy.” Baggs more or less said that ship has sailed in regards to Wilson playing again for the Giants. Lurie didn’t quite agree, going as far to say that Wilson would have a decent shot at becoming the closer once again.
During the eighth inning, Jeremy Affeldt retired the first hitter he faced on a grounder to Marco Scutaro. “Scud and a ground ball, that’s Jeremy Affeldt,” Krukow said. About a minute later, Krukow said this:
“Just got a text message from Brian Wilson, who’s watching the game. He said that Jeremy Affeldt’s ‘scud meter’ is at 4,364. Now that’s from his count.”
(Krukow and Kuiper both chuckle a bit.)
“Great to see Willie’s watching,” Krukow said.
“I have a feeling Buster Posey might think that that number’s a little low,” said Kuiper.
“Happy to report that Brian Wilson is progressing nicely rehabbing his arm. And hopefully someday we’ll see him in a Giants uniform again,” Krukow said.
It makes sense that the broadcasters would like to see Wilson back. Wilson, regardless of what you think of his act, is great television and gives fans (and talk show hosts) something to talk about.
There was a little bad blood between Wilson and the Giants after they allowed him to become a free agent this year, so maybe Wilson’s text showing that he’s paying attention to his old team could be considered an olive branch of sorts. It’s been said that as an employee of the team, Krukow sometimes says things that come straight from the organization, although this mostly refers to his appearances on KNBR’s Murph and Mac Show. Are the Giants warming everyone up for a second act from the bearded one, or was Krukow speaking for himself today? With Santiago Casilla recovering from knee surgery, Chad Gaudin looking more and more like a starter and Ramon Ramirez looking pretty terrible this season, the Giants could always use another right-handed reliever. However, Wilson is coming off a second Tommy John surgery, and he isn’t an ordinary right-hander for reasons both good and not so good.