Even though I don’t actually live IN San Francisco, there’s a definite change in the air when the Giants get home from a road trip. This road trip was weird, starting with Ryan Theriot getting the death flu from his kids and ending with a 3-run jack in the eleventh hour to take the series sweep from the Reds.
Tim Lincecum saw some improvement in his stats, even if it wasn’t the prettiest road to get there. Naysayers will be naysayers and argue anyone who says anything positive about his outing in NYC, and yes, it was the Mets, but he kept them from seeing the ball very well and he got 7Ks on the night. Impressive for a guy who is in such a big slump.
Zito continues to dazzle my socks off. I don’t completely take back everything I’ve said about him, but he’s starting to win me over. Damn you, Barry Zito.
The doubleheader killed us. By the time we got to yesterday’s game, I didn’t care if the guys laid down at their positions and took naps. I really didn’t care if we got swept or won or lost or whatever. I wrote the game off. I did. I’m so sorry, fellow Giants fans (and any Giants affiliates who read this), but I kind of wanted the boys to come home so we could have Orange Friday. I’M SORRY.
But don’t worry, Angel Pagan showed me up by hitting a 3-run homer and then Casilla shut down the Reds in 11 pitches and now the boys are back. Tonight is the first official Orange Friday of the season. Our first Giants game of the season is a week from today. Things are looking up.
Oh, and before I forget, Brian Wilson is either enjoying his pain medication or is bored out of his mind, because he shared this with us the night before last:
Never change, Bweez.
I knew tonight’s game against the Phillies would be good. Generally, I both fear and anticipate a series against them because so much could happen. Both teams have a strong pitching staff. The Phillies have more power in their bats. We have more…luck? I don’t really know. But tonight’s game was so good, you guys. So good.
The first time I saw Cliff Lee pitch was during the World Series in 2010 when he played for the Texas Rangers. He’s one of the reasons I became a Rangers fan during the series (but I couldn’t tell anyone this because they were the Rangers and they were the enemy and grrrr). Even though he isn’t with the Rangers anymore, the plus side of seeing the Phillies for me is Cliff Lee. When I saw that he’d be battling Matt Cain, I knew we were in for a good one. I just didn’t know how good.
I am far too tired to look up the line on Cain and Lee but it’s impressive. They were almost neck and neck the entire game, down to the pitch count (Cain was almost always 1 pitch ahead). Cain came out after the 9th inning and Lee stayed in through the 10th. Both were consistent, both were pitching clean and tight with very few mistakes. We managed to get on base a bit more than the Phillies but we couldn’t do anything there. Lee’s pitching was that good.
In the end, we won when Brandon Belt (#FreeBelt) came in one or two outs into the top of the 11th. After Brandon Crawford struck out in the bottom of the 11th, Belt singled to center (I think). With one out and one man on, Angel Pagan singled to…somewhere on the field I don’t even remember (this is the best game recap ever, right? This is why I’m going to learn scoring this season) and then Melky Cabrera stepped up to the plate, and on the second or third pitch, ripped one right and Brandon Belt stretched those giraffey legs of his and hauled his ass to home plate. Giants poured from the dugout. Timmy cleared the railing with a single hop (both legs tucked under him), and Melky was dogpiled along the third base line. It was glorious. GLORIOUS!
ETA: Brian Wilson undergoes his second Tommy John surgery today (April 19). They’re calling it Tommy John but we all know what it is: a procedure for a bionic arm. We (me) wish you a successful surgery and a Posey-esque rehab. See you soon, Willie.