Giants Walk Off, End 2013 On a Positive Note


The phrase “you can’t write this stuff up” is tossed around a lot. But on Sunday afternoon, it became worthy of some more tossing around.

Hunter Pence, whose five-year, $90 million extension became official on Sunday, came through with a walk-off single. That put a disappointing 2013 campaign in the books for the Giants, but Sunday wasn’t a reflection of the various negative happenings.

Barry Zito got his standing ovation. Facing former teammate Mark Kotsay with two outs in the eighth, Zito struck him out, and awaiting him was a standing ovation. His teammates wouldn’t let him back into the dugout without letting him soak the applause up. As the fans continued to say a final farewell to Zito, the lefty waved and thanked them.

Sep 29, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants celebrate after the walk off win against the San Diego Padres at AT

Zito wraps up seven years with the Giants sporting a 4.62 ERA, but his efforts during the 2012 playoffs turned many fans back on his side. Sunday is a good indicative of that.

Lost in Pence’s walk-off was Francisco Peguero’s game-tying home run off Huston Street. In the top half of the ninth inning, Gregor Blanco injured his ankle trying to complete a tough catch. He limped off the field with the help of the trainers, which opened up the door for Peguero to shine, and he did, hitting his first major league home run on the final day of the regular season.

Before the Giants mustered their comeback, Guillermo Moscoso yielded five runs in 4.2 innings of work. The punch in the face to his stat line was Jedd Gyorko’s grand slam. Except, Jake Dunning served it up while Moscoso sat in the dugout, licking his wounds.

Moscoso served up a solo homer to Nick Hundley in the third and an RBI double to Tommy Medica.

The Giants chipped away at San Diego’s lead, starting in the fifth. After taking a walk and stealing second base, Blanco scored on Brandon Belt’s double. That made it 6-3.

In the seventh, the $90 million man plated two runs, lining a single into left field following the Padres’ pitching change. Pence again came through in the ninth, but fell just short of the 100 RBI marker. Following Peguero’s solo homer were two walks and a single. Street opted to intentionally walk Buster Posey after a passed ball opened up first base.

But that made no difference. Despite putting five fielders in the infield, Pence split the gaps, collecting his first walk-off hit as a Giant in the process.