It was great to watch the game in person last night at beautiful Citi Field. Don’t get me wrong, this stadium doesn’t hold a candle to AT&T Park, but it’s much a better experience than Yankee Stadium, a $2.3B, contemporary stadium with no vintage feel, that fails to celebrate and highlight its storied history.
It felt like mid-August, with the game time temperature at 91° with high humidity. The forecast called for the temps to drop to the high 70’s by 10pm, but that didn’t happen.
Giants’ starter Tim Lincecum started off strong, retiring 10 of the first 11 batters he faced. He actually didn’t allow a hit until two were out in the fourth inning. But by then, you could see that Timmy was laboring, with the high heat, humidity and pitch count all factoring in.
With two outs in the fifth, Timmy gave up a double to Michael Cuddyer which plated Curtis Granderson to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. At 102 pitchess (58 strikes), Lincecum’s night was over.
Brandon Crawford hit his ninth home run of the season in the sixth to reclaim the lead for the G-men 4-3. Crawford is tied with Buster Posey for the team lead in homers and leads the team with 40 RBIs.
Buster Posey got the scoring started in the first inning when he singled in Nori Aoki who led off the game with a single. Joe Panik had followed Aoki with a single of his own and then Angel Pagan walked to load the bases for Posey. After the first four Giants batters reached safely to start the game, Justin Maxwell grounded into a double play, scoring Panik for a 2-0 lead.
Hunter Strickland entered the game to start the seventh, looking to preserve the Giants’ 4-3 lead. Strickland has been extremely effective this season, since he was called up last month. However, the Mets jumped all over him and he failed to get an out in the inning. Strickland faced three batters and gave up a double, two singles and the tying run. Manager Bruce Bochy summoned Javier Lopez to get Lucas Duda to ground out into a double play and then George Kontos entered and ended the threat when Michael Cuddyer flied out to right.
Sergio Romo took the mound in the bottom of the ninth, looking to preserve the 4-4 tie. Two costly mistakes would lead to Cuddyer’s walk off single. After striking out John Mayberry Jr. who looked totally overmatched, Romo hit Granderson putting him on first base. Then Andrew Susac allowed a passed ball, with Granderson moving into scoring position. Romo got Juan Lagares to ground out to Panik for the second out, with Granderson moving to third. Bochy decided to intentionally walk Lucas Duda to set up the force, and many people in the stadium, including this writer expected Boch to intentionally walk Cuddyer as well, to set up the force at any base, which would have allowed Romo to face Wilmer Flores, a career .243 hitter. However, the decision was made to pitch to Cuddyer and he wasted no time, driving the first pitch he saw into right field, just beyond the glove of the diving Joe Panik, delivering the winning run.
A tough loss for the G-men men indeed, but also a successful 4-2 road trip, winning both series.
After a late night cross country trip home, the Giants are back at it tonight at AT&T Park. Ace Madison Bumgarner (7-2, 3.38) will be on the mound opposing Arizona starter Chase Anderson (1-1, 3.12). MadBum is 7-4 with a 2.76 ERA against the D-Backs in his career, while Andersson will be making his first start ever against the G-men and 33rd overall.
- The Dodgers were idle last night, so the Giants dropped a half game in the standings and now trail L.A. by 1 1/2 games
- The Giants are expected to make a decision today on whether or not to place Hunter Pence back in the disabled list. Pence is still experiencing pain in his left wrist