San Francisco, CA – The bats came alive tonight. The Giants kicked off their nine-game homestand against the Padres. It’s been a tough road for the World Champions, plagued with injuries with just three weeks left in the season. Manager Bruce Bochy addressed the media with the latest news on his injured players. He maybe without three of his starters for the remainder of the season.
A huge blow to the team as they fight for a final Wild Card spot and are now down eight games behind the Chicago Cubs. Nori Aoki and Gregor Blanco are dealing with lingering effects of a concussion while Hunter Pence is still unavailable with an oblique injury. The desire of having a full squad is far from reality. Many players have been called up from Triple-A to help out with the depleted roster.
“It’s possible they may be done,” said Bochy before tonight’s game. “We’d like a full squad out there before the season is over. It hurts us with match-ups off the bench. We’re short on players, it’s really remarkable, amazing with the number of injuries we have. I never imagined we would have this many, particularly at this point in time.”
But tonight, their was an offensive explosion as San Francisco beat San Diego 9-1. Brett Bochy, son of the Skipper didn’t disappoint his dad or the fans. The first two batters he faced flew out in the ninth. Matt Kemp singled and Bochy hit Justin Upton with a pitch. That brought dad to the mound for a quick conference. Bochy then struck out Jedd Gyorko to end the game.
“That was pretty emotional for me,” Bochy said about leaving his son in the game. “I was kind of caught there and the crowd kind of influenced me. I needed to get a platoon in that bullpen. I told Brett that I need to get Petit some work and I need you to get this hitter. I was glad to see him keep his poise out there.”
Justin Upton took Jake Peavy deep on a 3-2 pitch to left field in the second giving the Padres a 1-0 lead. That was the only hit they were allowed off a dominant Giants defense. Angel Pagan tied the game 1-1 with a bloop single scoring in Kelby Tomlinson. By the third Andrew Cashner surrendered three back-to- singles and San Francisco extended their lead 3-1 driving in two more runs.
Marlon Byrd led with three singles, Tomlinson scored a career-high three runs and Pagan made the most spectacular catch, robbing Kemp of a home run in the seventh. In one of his best plays of the season, Pagan leaped the center field wall reaching up backwards to deny Kemp’s 22nd home run of the season. No question the recent day off squashed all concerns about his injured knee.
“Once I got to the warning track and I saw the ball still high in the air and still going back, I had to get the timing to climb the wall” said Pagan. “There are so many things you have to do to react on that play and it just happened very perfectly. I don’t even believe I did it.”
Peavy retired 16 consecutive batters before Kemp threatened to end the streak. The righty also earned his first career victory against San Diego and now has defeated each National League club in his career. The Giants kept adding on runs, in the fifth both Ehire Adrianza and Peavy hit RBI singles. And by the seventh they never looked back. Jarrett Parker’s ground rule double followed by Duffy’s single secured their win.
“I’m the same guy down the stretch for this team,” Peavy said. “We know the task ahead. We’d like to find a way to get that number down. If we do that, we can make things interesting.”
It’s been awhile since we picked up a game in the division,” Bochy said. “But you never know. One thing we can control is going out there and win ballgames.”
Starter Matt Cain rejoined the team today. He had been on a rehabilitation assignment after having irritation in his elbow. Cain was informed that he will not be starting but instead added to the bullpen. Knowing the chances are slim in making the playoffs Cain kept a humble attitude about his return to the mound. He missed three months of the season with a forearm injury, made 10 starts before returning to the DL with nerve irritation in his elbow.
Cain believes the flaws in his mechanics led to his immense struggles. “I got into a bad habit of dropping my elbow and pushing the ball to the plate instead of getting on top of it and using some leverage to get down in the strike zone,” he explained. “I’m in the pen for now and I’m fine with that.”