Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Lincecumback Win: Angels 4, Giants 3
The Giants drew first blood in the third; Matt Palmer, for all that the Halos Heaven crowd wants Palmer to be the hero of today's game, really was only a good story fifth pitcher in the rotation. It's not that he's bad, but he's also light years away from Tim Lincecum. Fittingly, the Angels rally that ultimately beat the Giants' starter came after Palmer left in the seventh.
That rally was sparked by Vlad Guerrero, who came in to lead off the eighth as a pinch hitter; it's hard to think of him in that role, but he's not the same guy we knew so many years ago — or even last year. He singled, and all else followed; the good news is that, if Vlad isn't what he was, neither is Bengie Molina, whose passed ball allowed Chone Figgins to reach third and eventually score.
Update 6/18: Something I should have added: the Giants didn't help themselves in that big eighth, because there were two plays that, had they been made properly, would have snuffed the rally. First, 2B Matt Downs was unable to get a Chone Figgins single that glanced off his glove. That's not such a big deal; near-misses happen all the time. But the other was far more consequential, and that was Pablo Sandoval, with the infield drawn in, electing to go to first for the out on Juan Rivera's tapper right to him.
Brian Fuentes nearly walked the first batter — and then struck him out. It was that kind of a game.