Naturally, Keiichi Yabu came in and allowed Misch's second run to score. Yabu gave up 2 singles and a walk in the inning but managed to not allow any of HIS runs to score. Yabu was saved on one of the strangest plays I have seen. He threw what should have been a wild pitch on ball 4 with men on 1B & 3B and still only the one out that Misch had gotten. As Eliezer Alfonzo turned around to chase the ball to the screen and Yabu ran to cover home, the ball took a VERY unusual and fortunate bounce right to Yabu. All Yabu had to do is reach down and tag the runner coming in from 3rd to tally the first out of his appearance. I am not sure I have ever seen this before. I have seen the ball bounce back to the catcher many times, but to the pitcher rushing to cover home? Very lucky guy that Yabu. Score that play a walk……with a put out at home on a caught stealing, 1 unassisted. Yabu did give up a run of his own in his second inning of work. His line for the day; 1.2 innings, 36 pitches (20 strikes), 3 singles, a walk, a hit batsman and very lucky play.
The game really got out of hand when Victor Santos came in to pitch the 6th. Santos was only able to record 2 outs as he gave up a double, 2 singles, 2 walks, a balk and a wild pitch. It took Victor 36 pitches (20 strikes) to record only 2 outs. Osiris Matos came in and should have ended the inning with the first batter he faced, but Eugenio Velez let an easy groundball go under his glove for an error that allowed the 5th run of the inning to score. Matos took matters into his own hands when he struck out the next batter to finally end the inning.
Brian Wilson pitched the 7th and had another nice outing. He gave up a harmless 2 out single and recorded 2 more strikeouts, giving him 7 for the spring in only 4.2 innings. The lone disappointment among pitchers who might be on the opening day roster was Steve Kline. Steve threw the 8th inning and gave up 2 runs (1 earned) on an error by Emmanuel Burris at SS, a double and a single, while striking out 1. I have always liked Steve Kline, but he is looking more and more like a candidate for outright release. Erick Threets finished the game off with a fabulous 9th inning, recording 3 outs on 3 strikeouts.
Offensively, the Giants didn't have much going for them. Kevin Frandsen had a 1 out triple in the first and, after Randy Winn grounded out to the pitcher, was only able to score because Aaron Rowand grounded a ball right at the thirdbaseman who booted it. The official scorekeeper ruled it a single and an RBI for Rowand. I scored it an error all the way. Rajai Davis led the 3rd inning off with a double. He was immediately advanced to 3B on a textbook groundball to the right side by Kevin Frandsen. The rest of the team couldn't follow through on the "small ball" situation, however, as Winn grounded out (again), Rowand was hit by a pitch and Ray Durham popped up to 2B on the first pitch he saw. The Giants scored their second run on a solo HR by Clay Timpner who had come into the game to replace Rowand in CF.
The Giants only had 5 hits on the game…..only 4 legitimate hits when you take into account Rowand's RBI single in the first that should have been scored an error. All and all a very forgettable offensive showing.
The pitchers that mattered; Misch, Wilson and Threets looked good with Threets continuing to make his case to be the lefty specialist in the pen. The non-roster invitees showed why they are non-roster invitees and Steve Kline continued to make a case for release.
Tomorrow we head to Surprise to face the Royals. Barry Zito is scheduled to start his 3rd game. Which Zito will show up? The one who stunk in his first outing or the one who looked really good in his second outing? To find out the answer to this question, tune in tomorrow. Same bat-time, same bat-station.