For the tenth consecutive game, the Giants scored first last night. For the Colorado Rockies, this was not good news, as the G-men are 8-2 when scoring first during this streak.
The Giants would go on to build that lead to 7-0 by the middle of the seventh, however they knew better than to get too comfortable playing in the rarified Denver air. The Rockies came back to make it a 7-4 game, and then after the Giants went ahead 11-4 in the ninth (an inning that was interrupted by a one-hour, 44-minute rain delay), Colorado scored four more times, eventually bringing the tying run to the plate. “That was a typical Coors Field ballgame,” Giants skipper Bruce Bochy said. “I’ve been in a few of them.”
Jeremy Affeldt entered the game to start the bottom of the ninth and had a rough night. Affeldt gave up singles to all five batters he faced, eventually being charged with four runs. For his efforts, he saw his ERA increase exponentially, to 6.00 for the season. Fortunately, Santiago Casilla was able to strike out Nick Hundley to end the game.
Despite the odds last night, pitching in this crazy hitters-friendly park called Coors Field, Ryan Vogelsong continued to pitch extremely well for the G-men, providing another quality start. Vogey threw six shutout innings, allowing just two hits, with three walks and five strikeouts. Vogelsong is now 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA in his last four starts. This was an extremely satisfying start for Vogey, who had lost all three of his previous starts here, recording a 13.50 ERA during that stretch. “The thing I was happy with tonight was being able to command the fastball,” Vogey said. “Early in the season I was having trouble with that.”
Offensively, the Giants continue to hit the ball hard, and effectively with runners in scoring position. Last night they went 7 for 12 with runners in scoring position, leaving just seven runners on base.
Brandon Belt continued his torrid hitting, going 3 for 5, with a mammoth home run (his fourth in six games). The ball reached the upper deck in right field and was estimated at 475 feet, the longest home run at Coors Field since 2004. Belt also doubled, scored twice and knocked in two runs. He’s now hitting .317 on the year and is gaining momentum as a bonafide All-Star candidate.
Matt Duffy also continued his quest to become the regular starting third baseman, going 3 for 5 with a homer (his second), 2 RBIs, and two runs scored, raising his average to .301 on the season with 18 RBIs. Buster Posey remains hot as well, going 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, three RBIs, and a run scored. Posey is now at .311 on the year. In fact, this Giants’ starting lineup currently features four players hitting above .300, with Brandon Crawford (299), Nori Aoki (.289), Joe Panik (.291), and Hunter Pence at .292. It’s no wonder the Giants’ team batting average is third in all of MLB baseball at .271.
The G-men improved to 24-18 with the victory, and still trail the first place Dodgers by 1 ½ games. The Giants will look to extend their win streak to nine games today, as they play a rare doubleheader due to the postponed game in Colorado back on April 26th.
The first game will feature Chris Heston (3-3, 3.72) against Jordan Lyles (2-4, 4.53). This will be Heston’s third start against the Rockies in this young season, and he’s had mixed results, going 0-2. He allowed just one earned run over seven innings at AT&T Park on April 13th, but gave up six runs in 5 ⅓ innings in his Coors Field debut on April 24th.
In the second game of the double header, relief pitcher Yusmeiro Petit (1-0, 3.27) will get a rare start and face David Hale, who’ll be featured in his 2015 Major League debut.
- The Giants announced yesterday that they have called up relief pitcher Hunter Strickland for the day, taking advantage of MLB’s 26th man rule for a doubleheader. Strickland is enjoying a dominating season thus far at Triple-A Sacramento, going 1-1 with five saves and a 1.66 ERA. It will be a great opportunity for Strickland to get his feet wet again in a big league stadium, after being plagued by the long ball in last year’s post-season.
- Casey McGehee struck out in a pinch hit appearance, lowering his batting average on the season to .189. Look for McGehee to get the start at third today in the first game of the doubleheader.