Yes, it was better than a loss, but it was ugly. Bruce Bochy’s statement after the game was an exercise in understatement.
“We left some men on base, but after a tough trip to Atlanta, it’s nice to get a win to start this home stand, We grinded hard to win that game”
The San Francisco Giants are a gritty, gutsy team, which just might be enough, but they were extremely fortunate last night against the Chicago Cubs.
Carlos Zambrano made his first start since he underwent anger management. The way he pitched, he probably created a few more anger management candidates.
The Giants received seven walks over Zambrano’s five innings of work. They touched the temperamental right-hander for four hits and were quite fortunate to have scored as many as two runs.
The second inning graphically illustrates the Giants’ problems.
Trailing 2-0, Pat Burrell, who has hit .361 with seven doubles over his last 13 games (what a pick up), led off with a walk.
Pablo Sandoval reached on a single to put Giants at first and second. The usually reliable Juan Uribe hit into a double play.
With Burrell on third, Zambrano walked Travis Ishikawa. It was the third walk of the game from Zambrano, but the Giants would frustrate themselves, Bochy, and the fans much more.
Carlos Zambrano walked pitcher Madison Bumgarner on four pitchers to load the bases.
Imagine how Lou Piniella must have felt. It was enough to make Yul Brynner or Vic Mackey want to grow hair so they could pull it out.
Andres Torres struck out on three pitches.
Andres Torres led off the fifth inning by drawing a four-pitch walk and moved to second on an Edgar Renteria single to left field.
After Aubrey Huff lined out to second, likely National League rookie of the year Buster Posey scored Torres by blasting a ground rule double to left center field. Renteria was held up at third.
Zambrano, true to form, uncorked a wild pitch. The game was tied, 2-2, with Posey representing the potential lead run at third with only one out. He never scored.
Just when the fans felt a little better and somewhat optimistic, Carlos Zambrano hit a two-out ground ball to the mound that Bumgarner deflected. Zambrano beat it out, Blake DeWitt, who was at second, moved to third, and Tyler Colvin promptly singled to put the Giants behind again.
Remember that these are the Cubs.
Justin Berg replaced Zambrano and the Giants tied the game on a two-out Torres single that scored Ishikawa.
Neither team could score in regulation, and the score was still 3-3 when Edgar Renteria led off the eleventh with a single to left off Marcus Mateo, who was making his major league debut.
Mateo has worked all of 12 and two-thirds innings in AAA ball during his career.
Aubrey Huff lined a single to right, moving Renteria to third. Buster Posey was walked intentionally, bringing up Pat Burrell with the bases loaded and no outs.
Pat went after the first pitch and lifted a fly ball to center field. Marlon Byrd made the catch, Renteria tagged up and scored, and the Giants escaped.
Bruce Bochy was right.
The Giants received 11 walks, wasted numerous opportunities to win the game, and made two errors. It wasn’t good, and if it continues, it will be costly, but last night, against the Chicago Cubs, it didn’t matter.
The Giants grinded hard to win, and it certainly felt good when the game was over.
All that mattered was that the Giants won.
Recap: San Francisco vs. Chicago Cubs
By Sports Network