Coming in to tonight's game, the Giants were 2-9 against the Padres with 7 (5 of them losses) of those games being determined by 1 run. Tonight, you wouldn't even know it.
This time, it was the Giants' who produced a spectacular pitching performance and played flawless defense. This time, it was the Giants who produced enough offense to win and did the little things right. This time, it was the Giants who won.
The scoring barrage started off Jon Garland in the first inning when Andres Torres lead off the game with a triple to right-center field. The next batter, Freddy Sanchez (3 for 5), singled him home on a ground ball up the middle. The Giants would score again in the third inning on an Aubrey Huff home run into the beach in deep right-center field after Freddy Sanchez singled and stole second, making the score 3-1 at the time. They would tack on another run the very next inning on a long opposite field home run by Juan Uribe into the beach in right-center field. In the fifth inning with 2 out, after Huff doubled, Buster Posey drilled the Giants' third home run into the second deck in left field, giving the Giants a comfortable 6-1 lead at Petco Park. The Giants would score one more time in the 6th on a long home run by Pat Burrell, his 15th as a Giant, that hit the W on the top of the Western Metal Supply Company building located down the left field line. ESPN.com had that home run estimated at 379 ft., so it was no where near the longest home run at Petco Park, but it sure looked like it. The longest homerun in the San Diego ballpark was actually hit by Adrian Gonzales on April 26, 2009, who hit one 458 ft.
On the pitching front, Matt Cain was terrific. He threw 8+ innings, gave up 5 hits, allowed 3 runs, walked 1, and struck out 8. He only made two mistakes. One was the second inning solo home run to right field from Will Venable and second was Ryan Ludwick's 2-run shot to center in the ninth, which made the score 7-3 (and proved to be the final score). On the flipside, Jon Garland was not as great with his line being 5 innings, 8 hits, 6 earned runs, 3 walks, and 2 strikeouts. Garland was the losing pitcher falling to 13-11. Cain got the win and improved to 11-10.
I saw something from Cain tonight that I have not seen in awhile. His velocity was up to 95 mph in the sixth inning, and he showed it in that strikeout to Adrian Gonzales. He was just overmatched by Cain and the Giants tonight, going 0 for 4. If you can contain him, you got a good chance to win, as that's exactly what happened. To illustrate how good Cain was, he even struck out David Eckstein on a 95 mph fastball outside, something almost impossible to do.
The announced crowd at Petco Park was 28,456 tonight, and it seemed like most of them were Giants fans. According to F.P. Santangelo, it was estimated that about 10,000 of those fans were Giants fans. You can clearly hear on the radio and on TV the roar of the crowd on the Buster Posey homerun, not to mention the fans standing up in the background as soon as he hit that ball. Furthermore, when the Padres were down to their last strike, the crowd could be audibly heard just like at AT&T Park when the crowd is anticipating the last out. Man, if you are the home team, that must be a deflating feeling when the opposing team takes over your park. I don't know if it had any effect on the players, but it sure seemed like it did.
It was painful to watch Pablo Sandoval at the plate tonight. He had 4 ABs and grounded out all 4 times, including 2 double play balls. Teams are just throwing sinkers and offspeed pitches down to him, and he is just swinging aggressively at those pitches, grounding them into double plays. My Pablo bashing stops here because of the horrible incident in San Bruno. His mom lives there, the scene of the horrible gas explosion that burned down 52 homes so far. His mom is fine and is in San Jose, but no word yet on the status of the house. I truly hope everybody is ok there and would like to send out my prayers to the residents of San Bruno who were affected by the explosion.
The Giants improved to 3-9 against the Padres this year. They also hit 4 homeruns at Petco for the first time in franchise history. The four homeruns by the Giants also tied a season high. The umpire who blew the call at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning in the final game of the Mets vs. Giants series, Phil Cuzzi, will be behind the plate on Sunday for the final game of this series. Tomorrow, Jonathon Sanchez (10-8, 3.38 ERA) will face Clayton Richard (12-6, 3.43 ERA). With tonight's win, the Giants are just 1 game back of the Padres in the National League West and are also 1 game back of the Braves for the Wild Card Lead.
This will be my last post until Sunday night (I will try to post quick game summaries/thoughts on Friday and Saturday if i get access to a computer, but it is doubtful). I will be in San Diego Fri-Sun watching the game live (don't want to lug my laptop around on my trip), but I will have audio of my announcing live from Petco. All my audio should be posted on Sunday or Monday once I figure out how to (if anyone knows how to do it here, please comment or send me a message on how to do it). Till then, enjoy the series. Who knows where the Giants will be next time we talk on Sunday!