Giants 12, Colorado 10 at Coors Field
The wind and altitude collaborated to help the ball out of the yard at Coors Field, but most of the nine homers in this one were towers of power that traveled 420+ feet. Troy Tulowitzki started it with a two-run blast in the first. Michael Morse answered with a 455′ solo shot in the top of the second.
The day turned into a Home Run Derby between the Rockies and Giants. In total nine balls left the yard. In a burst of offense that’s been missing for days, the G-men hit six of them.
Giants LF Michael Morse smashed two, for his 7th multi-home-run game. Later, Hector Sanchez would join that club for the first time in his career in dramatic fashion. Sanchez went yard twice late in the game, both times to give the Giants the lead, the second time, a grand slam in the 11th to put the Giants ahead for good. It was a clutch performance by Hector who has been ridden by fans, broadcasters and some press recently; made the whipping boy and scapegoat for losses. Redemption.
This was a wild one.
The Giants fell behind early to the long ball, 5-1, and then fought back with homers of their own. Brandon Hicks’ solo big fly in the top of the 3rd made it 5-2 Rockies. Then Pence and Cain both singled and Morse’s second homer in as many at-bats, a deep shot 450′ to center, brought them home to tie it 5-5. ESPN and Alex Pavlovic have it that Morse is “just the third player since 2006 to hit multiple 450-foot homers in one game.”
The Giants were looking for more when Manager Bruce Bochy was ejected from the game in the top of the 4th for arguing a called third strike that resulted in a strike ’em out, throw ’em out inning-ending double play. With one out and Brandon Crawford on, Brandon Hicks had a full count and Rockies SP Tyler Chatwood looked shaky.
The call was very questionable. From Crawford’s view, running, having taken off from first, Chatwood’s 3-2 pitch to Hicks was so clearly a ball that he slowed up on the base path thinking Hicks had drawn the walk. By the time he realized it was a called strike, catcher Wilin Rosario was up making the throw. Crawford was easily out at second. Hicks confronted the ump angrily. Bochy raced out to argue to prevent the enraged Brandon Hicks from being ejected, and was ejected himself.
Blackmon homered in the bottom of the 4th and the Giants fell behind 6-5, but Matt Cain found a groove. Throwing 93mph darts, Cain held serve in the 5th and 6th. He looked in control.
With Hunter Pence on in the top of the seventh by virtue of a walk, Brandon Belt launched his league-leading 7th home run into the Colorado evening and gave Cain and the San Francisco Giants the lead 7-6.
Acting Manager Ron Wotus then did his best Bruce Bochy imitation and loyally left Cain in for the bottom of the 7th. The bullpen was fully rested having not worked at all the night before (Bumgarner CG), yet Wotus left Cain in. While it was true, Cain had looked strong in the previous two innings, they had been long innings and his pitch count was high. Leaving Cain in destroyed poor Matt’s chance to leave the game leading, in line to get his first win of the season.
In the bottom of the 7th with the one run lead, Cain gave up a walk, a steal, a liner that tied the game 7-7, and another walk, before being pulled for Jeremy Affeldt; another no decision for Matt Cain, but this time with seven runs on the board. It just slipped away.
It must be said, Affeldt was very good again. Affeldt’s first start Sunday against the Padres was excellent – three up, three down – and today in Colorado his command was evident. Jeremy looks better than he has in a long time. Stable, secure, strong.
The Giants once again grabbed the lead with the long ball, going up 8-7 on Hector Sanchez’s first homer, a solo shot in the 8th, only to see the Rockies tie it up 8-8 because of a balk.
Balkin’ Bob Davidson was the ump at 3rd in the 8th. He called Santiago Casilla for a balk when, twice in a row, Casilla made the same small move with LeMahieu on 2nd. The balk sent DJ LeMahieu to third with one out from where he scored on a Charlie Blackmon ground out against Casilla. It was an acceptable balk call. Casilla was doing some kind of shoulder shimmy thing. But it cost us the lead.
The contest was slow, long and nerve-wracking as neither team could put the other away. But the Giants ‘pen handled the extra frames well. Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez and Jean Machi kept the Rockies off the board in the 7th, 9th and 10th.
Even after Sanchez’s grand slam, which made it 12 – 8, victory was unsure. Sergio Romo gave up a single to Tulowitzki and a two-run homer to Justin Morneau in the bottom half of the 11th frame and subsequently let Drew Stubbs single making it 12 – 10 with the tying run at the plate. Romo managed to force a ground out and a game-ending double play to get the Giants out of Colorado with at least one win.
Hunter Pence was 3 for 4 and crossed the plate three times. Matt Cain singled twice and scored a run, helping his own cause, but he wouldn’t get the win. That would land in the hands of the Giants’ fourth reliever, Jean Machi, who is now 4-0 and leads the majors in victories.