my miscellany

Giants Take Series from Dodgers, 7-4 — 12 May 14

Giants Take Series from Dodgers, 7-4

11 May 14

The shadows had lengthened at Chavez Ravine this afternoon when the Giants clearly outshone the Dodgers in the fourth game of the series. The Giants won the game 7-4 and the series 3-1 to conclude a ten-game road trip they also won by winning 7 and losing but 3.

Through the sunshine and the shadows the Giants’ resilience impressed. The Dodgers drew their first blood by touching Tim Hudson (who has been golden for the Giants) for 2 earned runs in the sixth. The Giants came back with two of their own in the seventh and took the lead, 4-2, with a run in the eighth.

Sergio Romo blew his first save of the season in the ninth, surrendering a double to Dee Gordon, striking out Yasiel Puig, before suffering a laser-like homer to Hanley Ramirez that tied the score at 4. The Giants persevered with 3 in the tenth before Jean Machi saved the game, his first of the season.

At 24-14, the Giants have tied Milwaukee for the best record in baseball. And they have returned to 10 games above .500. On Monday they begin a seven-game homestand with 3 against the Braves and 4 against the Marlins.

Giants Endure to Beat the Pirates, 11-10 — 6 May 14

Giants Endure to Beat the Pirates, 11-10

5 May 14

As sweet as the victory is, so, to the same degree, would have the defeat been bitter. No ordinary game has so many unusual features, so many tip-offs of its special quality and perhaps its significance in the molding and developing of a team. So unusual a game, regardless of its significance, hangs around in the memory of the players and the fans, and that alone can mean that it has more power than accrues to one of one hundred and sixty-two.

When a game goes 13 innings, ends at 12:36 am, and features two starting pitchers as pinch-hitters, a throw hitting an umpire, two replay challenges, a strikeout that requires 14 pitched balls, an 8-2 lead being blown, and a team that went 0-for-Atlanta with RISP connecting for 8 hits in those situations, it has distinguished itself in the present and potentially may motivate the victors and intimidate all opponents. And that’s what happened yesterday. So powerful was the game in the present, that each day’s observance will include looking for its wake, its enduring consequences and effects.

The story of the winning run breathes that power though it is easily told. Jean Machi, asked to bunt for the first time as a professional ballplayer, dropped down a beauty and busted his 255-pound body up the first base line drawing a poor (sleepy?, lackadaisical?) throw that went far enough awry to permit Hunter Pence to scamper around for second base and to put the Giants ahead and finally to win the game. Sergio Romo gathered the save on 8 pitches; 7 were strikes.

Hector Sanchez’ effort and stamina exemplifies those qualities in the entire team. He had a career-high 4 hits (3 in the magic situation, RISP). He endured the usual foul tips off the mask and chest, had a wild pitch bounce off his bared hand, suffered a tight groin, permitted 3 runners to steal a base, caught all 13 innings, and finally gave the postgame TV interview. And all night long he had a sore throat and nasal congestion. His performance pushes the horizon out further for a single game.

A victory like this can turn a corner for a baseball team. A good team can find within itself the wherewithal to be a very good team.

Giants Beat Braves, 2-1 — 3 May 14

Giants Beat Braves, 2-1

2 May 14

Tonight the San Francisco Giants began a ten-game road trip by defeating the Atlanta Braves, 2-1, on the strength of solid pitching, starting and relief, and two homers from Angel Pagan, to lead off the game, and Michael Morse.

The game began auspiciously. On Mike Minor’s second pitch of the season, Angel Pagan lifted the ball over the left field wall. Freddie Freeman’s two-out RBI single in the fifth put the only Atlanta score on the board. Michael Morse hit one over the right field wall, showing power to the opposite field.

Tim Lincecum started for the Giants and pitched creditably and long enough to garner the win. He pitched six complete innings giving up 6 hits, 3 walks, 1 earned run, and notching 4 strike outs. Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla scored a hold, and Sergio Romo a save.

The win put the Giants at 18-11, seven games above .500. The improved Miami Marlins defeated the Dodgers who now are 1.5 games behind the pace-setting Giants.

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