The crowd booed umpire Alfonso Marquez twice in the later innings of San Francisco’s thrilling game against the Colorado Rockies, and it seemed that the baseball gods were going against the Giants all game.
Then, Angel Pagan hit a ball well in the 10th inning. Pandemonium ensued.
Pagan crushed a ball into right-center field in the 10th inning, and he rounded the bases on his clutch knock for a game-winning inside-the-park home run. The hit powered the Giants to a 6-5 win over the Rockies, one that powered the Giants to a much-needed win and a tie for first place in the NL West. Rafael Betancourt threw a hanging breaking ball low in the zone, and Pagan crushed it. The ball bounced towards center field and away from right fielder Michael Cuddyer, and Pagan raced around the bases.
And he made it to home plate before the throw.
The game went into extra innings largely because of two bad calls. Brandon Belt raced home on a Brandon Crawford grounder in the seventh, and he slid in under the tag. However, he was called out on the play, costing the Giants a crucial run. In the eighth inning, Pablo Sandoval hit a flare that dropped, and Marco Scutaro tried to advance to third base on the hit. He appeared to be on the verge of being tagged out, but he slid around Nolan Arenado’s tag.
Marquez didn’t think so. So, he called Scutaro out.
San Francisco almost completed a monumental four-run rally without extra innings, which was ignited by a double by Buster Posey. Posey’s near-home run went off the top of the center field wall, which got the team going. Hunter Pence then took an outside pitch and ripped it into the right-field corner, which plated one run. A flare by Brandon Belt was dropped by Troy Tulowitzki, and after Andres Torres walked, Crawford hit a sacrifice fly.
Scutaro walked in a run, but Pablo Sandoval struck out to end the sixth inning. In the seventh, however, the Giants got a rally going, as Posey fought off a low, outside off-speed slider and got it to land in right-center field for a hit. After Belt walked, Torres stepped up, and the guy with five hits in his last nine at-bats delivered.
Tulowitzki homered in the 10th, but the Giants fought back. Crawford walked, and Pagan took it from there. Pagan boosted his batting average to .262 with his two hits, and Posey boosted his batting average to .312 with his three-hit performance. Posey continued his hitting streak with his great performance, as he extended his streak to nine games.
San Francisco had scored one run in its last 24 innings before the offensive onslaught in the sixth, which helped power the team to victory. The offense was needed, because Barry Zito struggled a bit. He left a breaking ball up in the zone for Carlos Gonzalez in the first, and Gonzalez didn’t miss the pitch at all.
Zito managed to give the Giants six quality innings, and the bullpen surrendered just one run in four innings. Sergio Romo made some mistakes in the 10th, but his offense bailed him out. Romo’s ERA shot up to 3.00, but he won his third game of the year. Betancourt blew the save and lost for the Rockies, as he surrendered two earned runs in 0.1 innings.
Now, the Giants have a chance to take the series with Matt Cain on the bump tomorrow. The pitching staff has done well lately, as Zito, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner have done well for the Giants (even though the results haven’t been perfect). The offense was sparked by Posey in the sixth, and it never died after coming alive. San Francisco scored six runs in its last 4.1 innings, and all but one starter recorded a hit.
And as a result, the Giants are a half-game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place and tied for second with the Rockies.
Despite bad calls, the Giants survived one of the most dramatic games of the year. With the offense going strong and the momentum on the Giants’ side, it would be realistic to predict another offensive onslaught and big game from the Giants tomorrow.
Why? Because when the offense gets going, it’s hard to stop. Today, the Giants’ offense got going.