Just when I was ready to tap out of the San Francisco Giants playoff hopes, the team found that old hitting magic. I went to the game today, a beautiful afternoon in the city, just to see the team one more time before calling it a season. Tickets were low priced and the crowd manageable. I sat out in the sun, a book in my lap to divert my attention from the misery that's been the Giants of late.
The game was rolling along in normal Giants fashion; great pitching and few hits with the score tied at zero against the lowly Chicago Cubs. Then in the bottom of the 4th inning something completely unexpected happened that awakened the team and the fans.
Leading off in the inning, Jeff Keppinger homered to give the run starved Giants a 1-0 lead. Up comes Pablo Sandoval and he smokes an 0-1 fastball into McCovey cove to add another run. As the Splash homerun counter flashed 58 (# of Giants home runs into the cove) the crowd went wild. The Magic of Giants baseball seemed to be brought back to life. Hopes were restored.
Keppinger would go 3 of 4 with two RBI. Pablo, DeRosa and Stewart would all go 2 of 4 behind the pitching of Madison Baumgardner (11 strikeouts) as the Giants shutdown the cubs 4-0. It was a day that everyone will look back on should the Giants bounce back into playoff contention.
Other Giants news of the day is that Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada were let go. Tejada yes, Rowand...........I don't know. Either way the Giants seemed to have rediscovered their chemistry on offense and defense if for only a day. Hopefully they can maintain it because tomorrow division leading Arizona comes to town for a crucial four game series.
It was good to see Pat 'the bat' Burrell come in and get a hit. The Giants appear to be making adjustments in their roster to overcome the losing. With under 30 games to play and 5.5 games back, their in mission critical mode. This weekend can decide whether I'll be locked in to a competitive NL West division race or if I simply turn the channel to football.
I give my 2011 Giants credit though; they've fought every obstacle imaginable to keep their hopes of returning to the Big Shew alive. They never quit fighting as manager Bruce Bochy kept the boat afloat through 21 losses in the past 31 games. Maybe today they found out that it really isn't over until its over.
Meanwhile, the Giants payroll manager Robin O'Connor has been charged with embezzling $1.5 million from the team. Could it be this is what pissed the team off and ignited their bats? Stay Tuned!
note: entertainment came in the forgettable form of the supposedly quickest finger snapper in the world, Bobby Badfingers, snapping to a rock tune between innings. With his microphone not working all you saw on screen was a wayne newton wannabe gyrating to music while snapping soundless fingers together. The fans were on the cusp of booing his poor act. He deserved it.