The common phrase used to describe the Giants particular style of play this year has been ‘torture’. After tonight’s 3-2 win, the phrase is entirely appropriate.
- Jonathan Sanchez pitched maybe the game of his life — 7.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO. The slider was filthy and the fastball was difficult to catch up to. When Sanchez pitches well, people get visions of some weird Sandy Koufax / Randy Johnson hybrid. When he’s walking everyone and done by the 4th inning, he looks like Oliver Perez. Tonight Sanchez pitched like the bizzaro Koufax-Johnson hybrid.
- Brooks Conrad probably shouldn’t be playing 2B. Conrad committed 3 errors in the game — 2 of which directly led to the Giant scoring — and his error in the top of the 9th that gave the Giants the lead was crushing. Posey hit a sharp ground ball — totally field-able — to 2B and it shot right between Conrad’s legs into the outfield. You’ve got to feel bad for Conrad who was in all the wrong places tonight. Before the NLDS started, we made note of the defensive differences between the Braves and the Giants. Tonight, for the Braves, their defense cost them a win.
- The Giants’ offense is still going to range between putrid and awful. The team left 11 men on base tonight. Eleven. Yick.
- After Pablo’s atrocious Game 2 he was nowhere to be seen tonight. I thought he might get a PH appearance at some point, but Bochy chose Ishikawa over Sandoval in the 9th. To Ishikawa’s credit, he worked a beautiful walk against the hard-throwing Craig Kimbrel. It will be interesting to see if Sandoval starts any more games in the NLDS.
- Aubrey Huff has had a tough NLDS, but his at-bat in the 9th against Mike Dunn was huge. Huff took a slider into RF that fell just in front of Jason Heyward to knot the score at 2-2. Huge at-bat.
Tonight’s game was a huge, extraordinary, must-get win for the team. With the Giants up 2-1, it allows Bruce Bochy to pitch Madison Bumgarner and save Tim Lincecum for Game 5 in SF if needed. I’m not sure my heart can take much more of this “playoff baseball”.