Well, that was annoying.
But sometimes, stuff happens.
That’s about the only way you can sum up the Giants’ 7-6 loss to the Phillies in 11 innings on Wednesday afternoon.
We can go on and on about what the Giants did wrong. But when we look back, if any of several plays Wednesday were altered by inches, the outcome could have much different.
It didn’t look like a game of inches when Tim Lincecum was rolling through eight innings with a 4-1 lead.
Lincecum pitched in the top of the ninth. But after allowing a four-pitch walk to Shane Victorino with one out, manager Bruce Bochy pulled the pitcher after a 106-pitch outing.
No problem, right? Brian Wilson came in. Wilson had not allowed an earned run coming into Wednesday’s game.
Wilson got Placido Polanco to fly out for the second out of the inning. Then things went wrong.
Chase Utley followed with a solid single to right, with Victorino taking third. Wilson was careful with Ryan Howard, and eventually walked the first baseman on a full-count pitch.
That brought Jayson Werth up. Wilson got ahead of Werth, but Werth stayed alive by fouling off pitches and eventually worked the count full.
Then Wilson made a good pitch, down and in. Werth was able to get the bat on the ball and hit a flare down the right-field line. Because the outfield was deep trying to cut off balls into the gap, right fielder Nate Schierholtz was playing far off the line — the way you play right field in AT&T Park. He was unable to get to the ball, which landed right on the chalk line for a bases-clearing double.
The game went into the 10th tied 4-4. Jeremy Affeldt came on to pitch and struggled with control, hitting the first batter he faced. The batter, Brian Schneider, eventually reached third, and came home to score on a wild pitch. The pitch wasn’t down in the dirt. It was a hard slider inside that was actually swung at and missed. But Bengie Molina also missed the pitch as it kicked off the heal of his glove for a wild pitch.
But the Giants rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the 10th.
The Giants almost got out of the top of the 11th without any damage from the Phillies. But Wilson Valdez hit a long drive down the left-field line. Left fielder Eugenio Velez almost made a nice grab at the wall, but it instead glanced off the wall for a double that scored the go-ahead run. Later, Velez just plain dropped a much easier fly ball, allowing the second run to score.
That second run would prove vital.
Thanks to Schierholtz’s lead-off double in the bottom of the 11th — capping a 5-for-5 day for the outfielder — the Giants scored once in the bottom of the 11th. And it looked like they may get one more when they loaded the bases with one out. Velez came up and hit a chopper to a drawn-in Ryan Howard at first. Howard threw home off-line, but catcher Schneider caught the ball, spun around, the lunged toward the plate. Juan Uribe attempted to slide around Scheider’s tag, but has he brought his hand down on the plate, it brushed the back side of Schneider’s glove and Uribe was correctly ruled out.
Andres Torres, who had already driven home three runs, grounded out to end the game.
Oh well. So close. So many times. But in the end, the Giants won 2 of 3 from the Phillies, and have won 4 of 6 on this homestand so far. If they can take 2 of 3 from the Rockies over the weekend, it will be a good homestand.