Cory Gearrin stepped into the batter’s box in the 14th inning– Gorkys Hernandez waiting to put the midnight game to rest at second–with a perfect 1.000 average. His confidence was high against a sinkerballer in Chad Qualls (L, 1-1, 5.40 ERA). Gearrin told Buster Posey he was feeling good about his chances at walking this thing off:
“When I got up there, the adrenaline kicked in …That’s why you got the results you got there.”
Span used the rest of his energy to run away from his elated team, hoping to give him a walk-off hug. He stopped finally in left field; if the walk-off had happened five innings earlier, he’d still be running, he said. Gearrin was first in line, and Span kind hoped the roles would be reversed:
“He looked like he knew what he was doing out there the way he was swinging up there…I was hoping he would win it, honestly.”
Yes, the Giants won again. This time with a 4-3 midnight walk-off against the Colorado Rockies, a team that, entering Tuesday, was 45-0 when leading at the eighth inning this season.
Colorado is now 45-1, and the Giants have won two games in a row.
The biggest surprise of the night? The Rockies only scored three runs in 14 innings, all three via one big swing. Mark Reynolds sent a first pitch hanging curveball from Matt Cain up in the night sky and into the left field bleachers for a three-run homer, erasing the Giant’s early 1-0 lead.
Cain dealt six innings, his best start of the month, but the heroes came later, said Bruce Bochy:
“(Cain) held them to three runs and gave us a chance to come back…The only way you win a game like this is effort in the bullpen.”
Steven Okert struck out the side in the seventh. George Kontos kept a scoreless eighth despite a Reynolds double and Mark Melancon pitched a shutdown ninth. Sam Dyson struck out Nolan Arenado in a dominant 1-2/3 innings.
Like in that 17-inning spectacle agains the Reds (where he has his other win), Gearrin took on the late-late-inning workload. Bochy extended his arm through three shutout innings. He allowed just two hits and walked one.
Gearrin’s pristine average and a bench short of an aching Conor Gillaspie let Bochy make the easy decision to hand Gearrin a bat with the winning run lurking:
“He had a good average so the numbers swayed me there.”