It was a family affair for Giants fans on Sunday, and with a crowd full of mothers roaring in the bottom of the ninth and the bases loaded, Matt Duffy lined a single into left field to seal a 3-2 walkoff win for the Giants over the Miami Marlins.
Ryan Vogelsong‘s solid seven innings were a highlight of the afternoon, but the Giants offense stole the show in the bottom of the ninth.
San Francisco’s offense remained dormant for most of the contest before springing to life in the final frame. Down 2-1 with one out, Andrew Susac reached base with a single and started a rally that loaded the bases in a blink of an eye on a Gregor Blanco double and an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Buster Posey.
Duffy told SFBay he was not caught off guard when the game came down to the swing of his bat:
“I did the math on the lineup with where I was coming up, and I knew if I did come up, it would be bases loaded, two outs, tie game.”
Duffy added that outside of winning the World Series last fall, that hitting his first walkoff on Mother’s Day is one of his favorite career moments:
“I think you do it for mom, so that’s pretty cool. … I didn’t get the ball, but I got the bat … I’ll probably retire it and give it to her.”
While fans spent the afternoon ferociously booing long-time Giants villain Mat Latos, Voglesong gave the home crowd plenty to cheer for.
Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay
Vogelsong’s up-and-down season took an upward turn on Sunday, keeping the Marlins scoreless through three before former Giant Michael Morse blasted a ground-rule double into the deepest part of right-center to score Christian Yelich for a 1-0 Miami lead.
Morse’s fourth-inning RBI was Vogelsong’s only blemish on an impressive day where he allowed four hits, struck out five and walked none.
Voglesong told SFBay he made adjustments to his pitches before going into the game, and added that he sees more room for improvement despite his solid outing:
“I’m not pushing it like I was early (this season). I still threw some bad ones that worked out, so it’s still a work in progress. … I thought I had a pretty good game plan against (Morse), but he just beat me on that one pitch.”
Latos kept the world champs scoreless through five innings, as Giants hitters struggled at home plate without Posey or Angel Pagan in the lineup. It took until the sixth inning for the Giants to get a runner in scoring position, when Aoki stole second with no outs on the board.
Aoki, known for his dangerous baserunning, oddly froze up at the chance to score the equalizing run on a Joe Panik grounder, stranding himself on third with two outs in the sixth inning. What could have been a blown opportunity turned into success one batter later when Brandon Belt singled home Aoki to tie the game at 1-1.
Giants reliever Sergio Romo found himself fighting off Ichiro Suzuki with two runners in scoring position. Romo eventually walked Ichiro, but not before throwing a wild pitch that scored Donovan Solano from third to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead.
Down 2-1 heading into the ninth, the Giants put in pitcher Santiago Casilla (W, 4-0, 1.88 ERA) to relieve Jeremy Affeldt, and got the Giants out of the inning unscathed.
With multiple key players sitting out, Bochy said he was happy to see players like Duffy come up big in a larger role:
“It was, I thought a huge win for us. You could look at our homestand say it was so-so, but I thought that was a good one for them. … You saw what (Duffy) did last year coming off the bench, and you could really use him in a critical situation because he’s such a tough-nosed ball player, and he wants to be up there with the game on the line.”