San Francisco Giants 9, Oakland A’s 8: With the Giants, it’s never easy
After watching the Giants beat the A’s on Saturday, I was left to wonder one thing: When was the last time Giants fans were treated to a no-stress victory?
So I looked it up. It was May 24. That was the last time the Giants had a stress-free win that didn’t require a save.
OK, OK. There was Matt Cain’s perfect game over Astros. But I don’t count that as exactly stress-free. It was a good stress, but stress all the same.
In fact, the Giants have won 12 games this season in which a reliever was not credited with a save. Here they are:
- April 9 — 7-0 over Rockies: Barry Zito throws a complete-game shutout
- April 13 — 5-0 over Pirates: Matt Cain throws a complete-game shutout
- April 14 — 4-3 over Pirates: Walk-off win in ninth.
- April 18 — 1-0 over Phillies: Walk-off win in 11th.
- April 23 — 6-1 over Mets: Tim Lincecum’s first victory
- April 23 — 7-2 over Mets: Stress-free doubleheader sweep
- May 6 — 4-3 over Brewers: Walk-off win in the 11th
- May 13 — 7-3 win over Diamondbacks
- May 19 — 4-0 over A’s: Vogelsong and two relievers combine on shutout
- May 21 — 4-3 over Brewers: 14th-inning road win
- May 24 — 14-7 over Marlins
- June 13 — 10-0 over Astros: Matt Cain perfect game
It looked like the Giants were headed to no-save-needed win No. 13 Saturday when they led 9-4 after seven innings.
But then the wackiness that has been a staple in this series so far almost bit the Giants.
The game seemed well in hand with two out and a runner on first in the ninth inning.
Then Jonny Gomes walked. Brandon Inge singled home Redick to make it 9-5.
Bruce Bochy then went to get Santiago Casilla for the cheapy save (the potential tying run was still on deck). But then Casilla couldn’t get the save.
Derek Norris hit a bloop into left that Melky Cabrera just missed catching, scoring Gomes. Now it’s 9-6.
Brandon Moss walks. Brandon Hicks hit a ball into the left-field corner that scored two and might have tied the game if it had not bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. Now it’s 9-8 Giants.
Bochy then put Javier Lopez in the game. Lopez battled with Seth Smith before walking to load the bases.
On came Clay Hensley, who worked the count to 2-2 on Jemile Weeks before Weeks hit a bloop that seem destine to drop between a quartet of converging Giants in shallow center.
But then Ryan Theriot was able to reach up and make the game-saving catch. If that ball falls, the A’s win.
All all of Giants Nation breathed a sigh of relief.
It was the topper of another strange game in Oakland.
- Madison Bumgarner, who got a no-decision in Seattle after eight brilliant innings of one-run, three-hit ball last Sunday, earned the win after giving up four runs on 11 hits in six innings. Nine of those hits came before MadBum recorded his first out in the third inning. Like Tim Lincecum the night before, Bumgarner regrouped to retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced.
- The Giants scored four runs in the sixth inning when A’s first baseman committed three errors in the inning, two on one play alone.
- The Giants had more runs (9) than hits (8). That’s because they walked nine times, matching their second-highest total of the season.
The Giants will go for the sweep when they send Matt Cain to the hill for a 1:05 p.m. game Sunday. Cain was supposed to face Brandon McCarthy, who is riding a six-game winning streak during which he’s post a 1.96 ERA. But McCarthy has been battling shoulder problems and cut short a bullpen session Saturday. We were hearing reports that A.J. Griffin will get the call-up from Triple-A Sacramento to pitch for the A’s. He’s 3-1 with 2.81 ERA for the RiverCats with 40 strikeouts and seven walks in 51 innings.