There’s something so incredibly exciting and rewarding about a come-from-behind extra-innings victory, that shows your team’s heart and willingness to see the game through to the very last pitch.
In a game in which Tim Lincecum was clearly not at his best, the Giants had key performances from several different players, including a 4-hit night from Cody Ross, 3 hits apiece from Freddy Sanchez and Nate Schierholtz, and another 2 hits each for Brandon Crawford and Eli Whiteside.
It’s easy to look at the Cardinals lineup, chock-full of hitting talent, and think that if the Giants had one, just one of those stars, they would be impossible to beat. Still, it’s games like tonight’s that give me hope that the Giants can continue to be a contender this year despite losing Buster Posey, because this team clearly does have offense, though it’s pretty well hidden most of the time.
Cody Ross can be a spark plug and a one-man wrecking crew, a fact we saw last October, when everything comes together for him. Freddy Sanchez’s three consecutive doubles in the World Series played a big role in proving that Cliff Lee was mortal, and that clearly had an effect. Hell, even Pat Burrell or Aubrey Huff could come through with flashes of 2010, and can be above-average producers at the plate. This team has offense, Bochy just needs to figure out the right order, the right incantation, the right mojo to get them rolling on a more regular basis.
Nate the Great Schierholtz is definitely playing his way into some increased playing time. I was big on him this whole year, and it’s paying off. With Andres Torres playing everyday in center, Schierholtz, Ross and Burrell should split the remaining playing time, which should hopefully keep everybody as fresh and uninjured as can be. Still, I don’t know if there’s something about Schierholtz that makes him better in these crunch, late-inning, high-leverage situations, but he’s quickly becoming the man that I’d like to see come up to bat when the Giants are losing in the 9th. According to Baseball-Reference.com, in “Late & Close scenarios,” Schierholtz is rocking a hearty .309 Batting Average with an .849 OPS, about 36% above his career overall stats.
So after that topsy-turvy game, was it worth it to sit through the lighting malfunction to see Brian Wilson throw one pitch and close the game? Oh yeah.
On a non-baseball note, I would just like to say that I am so, so proud of my team for the “It Gets Better” video that they produced, to encourage LGBT youth around the world, part of a national campaign. The video itself is great, and it’s so encouraging to see pro athletes, traditionally the macho men of the world, step up to try to help. Here’s the video.