Tonight Ryan Vogelsong got touched for two home runs that put the Giants behind twice and twice the Giants responded with just enough runs. The second time, the Giants tied the game on a two-run homer by Posey in the 8th. Then, they won it in the bottom of the 9th on a Brandon Belt walk-off base hit.
Victory felt inevitable. It was almost as though the game was following the Giants’ plan and the Diamondbacks only thought they were in the drivers seat. It’s a direct response by the team in the other dugout to react to the Giants pitching-powered, defensively-oriented play.
Often teams play – or at least try to play – to the Giants level of defense for five or six innings. Notice how many pitchers have their best games against the Giants? This results in copycat innings and tight ballgames and last night was a great example.
But it’s chess – the opening and the midgame may have very little to do with the endgame. The Giants are playing white and starting first, their opponents are playing black and playing keep-up.
They try to play our game as long as they can while we plow forward playing our game for 27 outs: just enough hits, just enough runs; keeping the score low on defense and looking for the chink in their armor – usually it’s the pen.
This requires us to stick to the game plan and execute while looking for the mistake we’ll take advantage of. Tonight, it came together ideally.
This morning Brandon Belt woke up having received tremendous criticism for his lack of hitting, and found himself benched, replaced once again at first base by Joaquin Arias. Before the game Belt was asked to take special batting practice, attended by Bruce Bochy, who actively engaged in coaching him. This made press.
Down 4 – 2 in the 8th and with Scutaro on first, Buster Posey blasted a home run to dead center, the deepest part of the park, to tie it up.
The newest member of the Giants’ bullpen Jean Machi started the 9th, then passed it off to Jose Mijares who handed it to Sergio Romo for the last out to prevent the Snakes from scoring again.
Then, as though Bochy had drawn it up, Andres Torres lead off the 9th with a first pitch single, Brandon Crawford advanced him on a perfect bunt, and Bochy put Belt in with a double switch – which put him in the batter’s box with a chance to win the game.
Belt’s one-out, game-winning, walk-off base hit was an epic smile-bringer.
Sergio Romo pitched one ball in the ninth and got the last D’back out. With that one pitch, thanks to Brandon Belt, he also got the win, his first of the season.
A great game for the Giants and a special night for Buster Posey and Brandon Belt.