A day earlier, Colorado enjoyed a walk-off win in a game that left Giants fans and announcers upset with the Rockies’ MVP, mascot and official scorer. After a 5-1 win on Tuesday, the Giants are upset at themselves.
Three impressive home runs, just one run allowed to the home team at Coors, and arguably the best double play of the season — all forgotten. All because the Giants lost two two pitchers of vital importance, Matt Cain and Santiago Casilla, to hamstring injuries.
Cain hurt his on the last pitch of the third inning, a fastball that caught Charlie Blackmon looking. Unless Cain wasn’t properly hydrated, there’s nothing anyone could’ve done to avoid what happened. No one really knows anything until Cain takes the slow ride into the magnetic resonance imaging tube, but his injury didn’t appear dire.
Casilla’s, on the other hand, was the worst possible thing that could’ve happened on that play.
For those who didn’t see what happened, Casilla (who got Michael Cuddyer to ground into a gorgeous 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth inning) got a rare at-bat in the ninth. With no one on and two outs, Casilla took two balls and a strike. Then he fouled two pitches off and took a slider that was up and away. With the count full, he hit a slow grounder up the middle that was fielded by a charging Troy Tulowitzki.
For whatever reason, Casilla sprinted out of the box believing he was Hunter Pence. Maybe he needed to prove that Jean Machi isn’t the team’s fastest reliever. Maybe the idea of collecting his second big league hit and pushing his career batting average to .400 (in five plate appearances) was too powerful to resist. He ran as if Tulowitzki might underestimate him, but instead Casilla was out and he ended up landing flat on his chest with the facial expression of someone who ruptured his achilles.
What the hell was he thinking? Bruce Bochy had no explanation.
“I was shocked he was running like that. (Before the at-bat) I told him, ‘Don’t even swing.’ When he hit the ball I guess he thought he had a hit. I don’t know what got into him. I’ve never seen him run like that. We saw what happened, that’s our second one this year. I guess we’ll have to make it a rule. Jog.”
Here’s how Bochy looked after he said “jog”:
Casilla was “the second one.” The first one Bochy referred to was David Huff, who also injured a hamstring running to first base. Huff hit the disabled list, and Casilla is likely headed there as well. If I know the Giants, they’ll hold off on putting Cain on the DL until they absolutely have to, which means he’ll miss his next start and in about 10 days the Giants will place him on the DL retroactive to May 22.
Yusmeiro Petit, who pitched three scoreless innings, is probably getting at least one start. Tim Hudson, who missed his last start with hip soreness of some kind (a strain?), is pitching tomorrow. The Giants are probably bringing up George Kontos or Jake Dunning. They’ve been carrying 13 pitchers for most of the season, and suddenly it seems like they don’t have enough.
— Brandon Crawford’s second-deck home run was overshadowed by a fantastic flip of his glove on the eighth inning double play. It’s hard to focus on after two injuries like these, but the Giants have a really, really good shortstop.
— Brandon Hicks’ barehand catch of Crawford’s flip, turn and throw wasn’t bad either.
— Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence both hit their fourth home runs of the season. It wouldn’t be all that surprising if either player led the team in home runs from this game forward.
— If you’re a glass-half-full type, you’ll read this tweet and figure, “Hey, maybe Casilla is the Giants’ version of Joe Staley.”
Casilla not available to talk, but teammates said he was in great mood, was making fun of at-bat/sprint and promised to return soon.
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 22, 2014
— I’ve been known to poke a little fun at Casilla’s plate approach, and it was pretty amusing when Casilla ducked away from that 2-2 slider that came nowhere near him.
/car crash sound effect
Yep, the era of looking forward to relief pitcher’s at-bats is officially over. And we all supposedly want to see position players pitch?!?!