Quest for Three: Giants Rally in the Eighteenth

Pablo Sandoval came through in the ninth inning by hitting an RBI single into left field. Photo under  Creative Commons by Rajiv Patel
Pablo Sandoval came through in the ninth inning by hitting an RBI single into left field.
Photo under Creative Commons by Rajiv Patel

Tim Hudson faced Nationals’ ace Jordan Zimmermann in game two of the NLDS (National League Division Series) and it was downright nerve-wracking. A week ago, Zimmermann pitched his first career no-hitter and coming from a high like that, who knew how he would pitch. The Giants and Nationals played the longest game in postseason history with18 innings, playing for an epic total of six hours and twenty-four minutes. The Giants won 2-1 in the eighteenth inning.

Hudson had an up and down season this year due to a hip and shoulder injury. It appears he has gotten better though, since Giants manager Bruce Bochy sent him to the mound.

In the bottom of the third, Hudson gave up a run after Anthony Rendon singled, allowing Asdrubal Cabrera to score. From there on out, it was a pitching dual between Hudson and Zimmermann. In the ninth, Joe Panik was walked by Zimmermann.

Buster Posey hit a bloop into center field, moving Panik to second and Posey on first.  Pablo Sandoval was up, with two on and two out. Sandoval came through in the ninth by hitting an RBI single into left field, and Panik scored, tying the game. Tim Flannery, the Giants’ third base coach, sent Posey home trying to make the Giants lead by one run.

After being called out at home, Bochy questioned the call. It was a long three minutes while everyone waited for the outcome, but the play stood, and Posey was out at third, with the game tied in the ninth.

The bottom on the tenth rolled around and things took an ugly turn for the Nationals’ when Cabrera and Matt Williams, the Nationals manager, were ejected after arguing a called strike.

Belt came through in the eighteenth, hitting a home run off Roark, putting the Giants ahead 2-1. Hunter Strickland was called in to finish the Nationals. With one on, Strickland struck Jason Werth out and got the save for the Giants.

Hudson pitched seven and one-third innings, giving up one run, no balls, and eight strikeouts. After allowing a hit to Rendon in the eighth, Hudson’s night was over, and Jean Machi made his post season appearance for the Giants. After Rendon stole second, Machi exited the game and Javier Lopez entered, trying to keep the Nationals’ from doing any more damage. In the bottom of the ninth, Sergio Romo kept the game tied.

Yusmeiro Petit came in during the bottom of the twelfth and pitched spectacularly until the seventeenth inning. Petit pitched six innings with one hit, three balls, seven strikeouts, and no runs.

The Giants were not their usual selves yesterday. Pablo Sandoval went 1-7 extending his hitting streak to thirteen and Hunter Pence was 2-7. Buster Posey, who got the first hit for the Giants, and then another in the ninth, went 3-6.

The Giants will have Sunday off and fly back to San Francisco where game three will take place at AT&T Park.  Madison Bumgarner will be back out of the mound to try to get a win and have the Giants win the NLDS at home.