AT&T PARK — The San Francisco Giants’ defeat of the Colorado Rockies Wednesday night was more than just a win.
A game of milestones and triumphs, it all sunk in the second that Buster Posey smashed his walk-off two-run shot into left field to seal the Giants’ 4-2 victory.
Starting pitcher Tim Hudson notched his 2,000th strikeout, and Manager Bruce Bochy snatched his 1600th managerial win to surpass Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda for 19th on the all-time list.
Said Bochy of his personal achievement:
“You’re lucky to be doing what I’m doing. … That’s a number, I don’t know what it means, I guess I can get Tommy and ride him a little bit.”
Bochy and former Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Lasorda have similar profiles: Two World Series rings, and multiple NL pennants and Manager of the Year awards under their vastly different belts.
Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay
Lasorda retired after 21 years. Bochy is in his 20th and is still going strong, it seems.
And the Giants? They’re still in second place, five games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and tangled in a Wild Card race with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves.
Wednesday’s win showed Giants fans the team still has the goods to make a run for the playoffs.
The Giants took a positive step forward after a stunning performance by Madison Bumgarner Tuesday, though a sloppy loss Wednesday would have erased any momentum.
Tim Hudson pitched a four-hit gem, falling short of Bumgarner’s sheer dominance even though Hudson gave up no hits until Cory Dickerson’s fifth-inning splash hit tied the game 1-1.
Hudson stuck around until the eighth inning, and struck out out eight, all swinging, with his commanding cutter and splitter. His 2,000th strikeout was against Rockies starter Franklin Morales.
After Hudson hit his milestone, Bochy congratulated him — a gesture misinterpreted by Hudson:
“He shook my hand like he usually does when he takes me out and I was like dang gonnit he’s taking me out? … Then I realized what everyone was talking about…”
Hudson said he wasn’t aware of the milestone. Admittedly not a strikeout guy, Hudson instead admired Bochy’s milestone:
“That’s a little more impressive than 2,000 strikeouts, honestly. He’s done a great job over the course of his career and I’ve managed to get a few swings and misses along the way.”
The Giants’ struggling offense once again left runners in scoring position four times, but they got the job done.
A squeeze bunt by Gregor Blanco in the fourth put the Giants on the board, scoring Matt Duffy, who had doubled off Morales.
After a game-tying solo shot from Dickerson, Posey sent an RBI single into left field in the seventh to give San Francisco a 2-1 lead.
Santiago Casilla came in ready to close down the game in the ninth, but instead extended it by first hitting Drew Stubbs in the back with a pitch and then allowing Justin Morneau to double into left-center to tie the game at 2-2.
Casilla bandaged up the wound quickly by forcing a groundout and double-play ball to end the inning. Said Posey of the ninth-inning double play:
“It was really important. That’s not easy to do, its like Bumgarner giving up the double last night then striking out the side, for him to do that and give us a chance in the bottom of the inning to win it was really important.”
In the fateful bottom of the ninth, with Angel Pagan on first, Posey hit a walk-off home run off Juan Nicasio (L, 5-6, 5.86 ERA), a feat last accomplished against the Cleveland Indians on April 27 by Brandon Hicks (remember him?).
What a perfect way for Bochy’s 1600th win to go down, as it so captured the roller coaster of big defeats and championship seasons the Giants have been on since his arrival seven years ago.
San Francisco will wrap up this series with the Rockies on Thursday at 12:45 p.m. before the first-place Milwaukee Brewers come to town.