What a game!!!!!! The psychobilly Cadillac chugs on using spare parts…
Let’s just say Roy wasn’t exactly at his best. He had a terrible time putting hitters away after getting 2 strikes. He went to too many 3-2 counts. He gave up 10 hits, a HBP, 3 walks and struck out only 4. He managed to strand 10 of em, don’t ask me how. It’s a guy getting through 7 innings without good stuff.
Lincecum, on the other hand, was incredible. He walked Blum in the second and I said – well, there goes the perfect game – I was sure he’d get a GOOD 12 strikeouts, minimum, seeing as how most guys on this team swing away and strike out a lot (except for Miggy.) Guys were hitting puny grounders, and the ones that got hit, Randy Winn made great plays on.
Ausmus led off with a walk to start the third, Roy struck out looking on a wicked curve – couldn’t get the bunt down and didn’t offer at more than one pitch (yeah, Lincecum really is that good), then Wiggy got unlucky when Fred Lewis made a great catch on his fly ball, then Erstad hit one of those weird bloopers just inside the foul line in shallow left where neither the 3B nor the LF get to it – and it had odd topspin on it – enough to roll in odd directions before and after it hit the wall, enough for Ausmus to get all the way around from first and score. He’s not Bengie Molina, but he’s not Pence neither.
Sigh of relief – at least we won’t get no-hit. Or shut out. Then Miggy hits a popup that should be a can of corn for the second baseman, but he’s over nonchalant and it hits off his glove, Miggy reaches first and Erstad races around to score the go ahead run.
Lincecum is having bad luck – good grief – one walk, one of those stupid poorly hit bloops that juuuuuust missed going foul, an error, and he’s losing the game. But he grits his teeth and strikes out Lance again to strand Miggy. He gets back at Roy in the top of the 4th – with 2 out, he hits a single up the middle and comes around to score on Winn’s double to the gap in left center. The boy can RUN – didn’t even look tired after crossing the plate. He comes back and strikes out the side.
Roy coughs up the lead in the 5th – gives up consecutive singles to Fred Lewis and Bengie Molina and gets Aaron Rowand to ground out, advancing the runners. Then there is conference on the mound. John Bowker, lefty hitter – .260/.309/.430/.739 vs rightys is up. Should they walk him and pitch to Aurilia who is 6/17 (.353) with 2 doubles vs Roy and has GIDP 8 times in 325 PA? They decide to walk the lefty to load the bases, and it backfires as Aurilia immediately hits a sac-fly to give the Giants the go-ahead run.
Ausmus leads off the 5th and hits a line drive up the middle that hits Lincecum on his knee – he was limping badly and couldn’t continue – was taken to the hospital for X-rays, not sure how he is. Anyway, Yabu, RHP 3.60 ERA, comes in a gets Roy and Loretta out too. Roy gets a 1,2,3 6th (his ONLY 1,2,3 inning) and then Yabu comes back and gets Erstad out, then Miggy reaches on error when the SS bobbled, then dropped the ball – it was later ruled a hit, but it was a clear cut obvious error. These scorers shouldn’t be allowed to talk to the players who call and complain about their batting averages going down.
Where was I?
Oh yeah. Bochy decides to go with the lefty righty thingy and pulls Yabu to have a lefty, Hinshaw, face Berkman and Blum. He’s pretty wild, but he gets Lance out, hits Blum, then after a conference on the mound Bochy decides to leave him in to face Wiggy, who Ks.
Roy, up to 96 pitches, comes back out to pitch the 7th. He strikes out Lewis, but then gives up 2 consecutive singles. Coop comes out, Roy tells him he wants to finish the inning, Coop says OK and Roy gets Bowker to K (see, he should have pitched to him in the 5th) and Aurilia to groundout.
Hinshaw goes back out for the 7th – he gets Bourn to bunt groundout, then he walks Ausmus.
Then Bochy makes a fatal error. He decides to do the righty-righty thingy instead of leaving Hinshaw, who has been effectively wild, in and sends for Tyler Walker, RHP, to face pinch hitter Pence. He pulls Bowler out, sends Aurilia to first and inserts Jose Castillo (ex-Pirate) at third. Pence hits the first pitch juuuust past a diving Castillo into left. He then walks Loretta.
Goodbye Tyler, hello lefty Jack Taschner (pre-game ERA 3.23) to face Erstad, who takes 2 balls, a strike, then fouls off 2 balls, the last of which the 3 fielders chasing decide to let drop because if they caught it at the edge of the stands with their back away from home, it would just go for a sac-fly. Smart thinking. Unfortunately, Erstad sends the next pitch to left, Ausmus runs home with Pence about 6″ behind him and it’s 4-3. Taschner stays in to pitch to Miggy, who hits around .200 with MOB, and Miggy beats the odds and sends a solid single to right to load the bases. Then he stays in to face Lance, hitting righty because we all know Lance can’t hit righty, right? (Ignore 2004 HR derby, managers.) And Lance sends a 3-1 meatball 390′ far above the Crawford Boxes, almost next to the ‘98 flag for his 5th career granny.
Astros 8, Giants 3
Good thing Lincecum is safely in some hospital getting his knee checked out. Poor boy be cracking open his head pounding it against the wall – and by the way, the fact that he has 12 wins with that mostly AAA team speaks volumes about his excellence.
Because then Blum, who can’t hit righty neither, hits a double off the scoreboard – hits juuuust under the yellow line.
Bochy finally trudges to the mound and calls for another lefty, Espinelli. Who promptly gives up a homer to Ty Wigginton, juuuuust out of range of a leaping Randy Winn.
Astros 10 Giants 3
He gets Bourn and Ausmus out to end BP. Sampson comes in for the 8th and gets 3 outs with 10 pitches. Espinelli goes back out and promptly gives up ANOTHER homer – this time to Pence. Loretta singles up the middle. Erstad hits a ball to the LF bullpen wall and Winn makes yet ANOTHER spectacular catch to rob him of a double or triple. Winn is good – betcha HE misses Barry Lamar… Miggy doubles Loretta home. Bochy trudges out to the mound. Tells Espinelli – I ain’t pullin ya. If you want your ERA to stay below infinity, I suggest you figure your own way out. Pinch hitter Reggie Abercrombie, hitting for Lance, hits a single, then Blum GIDP.
Astros 12 Giants 3
Coop thinks Sampson was probably exhausted by his 10 pitch ordeal in the 8th, so he naturally sends in ANOTHER reliever, Byrdak, who gives up a homer to Rowand, but gets the other 3 outs without trouble.
Poor Bochy. Some nights, the dragon eats you.
But I’m really happy for Roy – I remember all the nights he gave up 0,1,2 runs over 7 or 8 IP and came away with a ND or loss, and I’m glad that this time, the hitters came through for him.
And, by the way, no, I’m not being a hypocrite. I have said more than a few times that Wins and Losses are a lousy way to evaluate the worth of any modern starting pitcher, but unfortunately, until they eliminate it as a meaningful stat, I’ll keep being glad that our pitchers get as many W as possible. Even if they are like Randy Johnson in 05, pitch terribly, have a 5.2 ERA and win 17 games…