Another one-run game, another Giants’ victory. The Giants donned their alternate black jerseys Saturday for the first time, then went out and played classic Giants’ baseball – good pitching and just enough, timely hitting. The results were predictable, as the G-men beat Los Angeles 5-4 in another one-run decision, for the second consecutive day.
Giants’ starter Tim Hudson was particularly sharp in this one, going 8+ innings and giving up just two hits and three runs. The two hits were solo home runs by Angels’ power hitters Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. But Huddy was able to frustrate the Angels all day, and the Giants’ offense backed him up with five runs on 11 hits, going 2 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Hudson has pitched well all year, but has lacked run support in his previous starts. With the support he received yesterday, he’s now at 1-2 on the season with a 3.78 ERA.
Once again it was Nori Aoki who got the scoring started, with a two-run single in the bottom of the second that plated Casey McGehee and Brandon Crawford who had both singled. For the day, Aoki went 2 for 5 with the two RBI. He continues to prove why Brian Sabean is the best GM in baseball. Aoki has been a solid lead off hitter for the Giants this year with a slash line of .306/.387/.378 (batting average/on base percentage/slugging percentage). Speaking of offseason acquisitions, Casey McGehee hit well, rewarding manager Bruce Bochy with his patience, despite fan’s calls for Bochy to bench him. McGehee raised his average to the “Mendoza line (.200),” going 3 for 4 with a RBI and run scored. And Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford each hit solo homers, going 2 for 4.
Things got a little scary in the ninth, after Tim Hudson walked the final batter he would face. Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt and finally Santiago Casilla followed, giving up four hits and two runs, but the game ended on a freak play when Matt Joyce hit a hard grounder to second baseman Joe Panik that hit runner Taylor Featherston, an automatic and final out. With that, Santiago had his seventh save, and the torture ended, for the time being.
The Giants go for the sweep this afternoon and continue their quest for a ten game, home stand win streak. Tim Lincecum will oppose Jerred Weaver, two veteran starters trying to regain their once dominant status. Timmy has pitched very well overall this year, with a 3.27 ERA. Weaver has struggled, going 0-3 with a 5.83 ERA to date. At 11-13, the Giants remain 4 ½ games behind the first place Dodgers, in fourth place in the NL West. It feels like the G-men are finally starting to put it together, and things should get even better soon with Hunter Pence getting closer to his return from the DL.