Once again Santiago Casilla reminds Giants fans that he is no Brian Wilson. To be honest though, he’s no Romo, Affeldt, Lopez or even a Brad Penny either. With a chance to save the game Casilla gives up two runs in the bottom of the 9th as the Giants get swept for just the second time this season.
The Giants, who wore New York throwback unis, looked at ease and in control through 6 1/2 innings before momentum swayed and they began to fall apart.
After Ian Desmond grounded into an RBI double play in the bottom of the 2nd, the Giants scored 5 unanswered runs over the next five innings which began in the top half of the third. Justin Christian, who started in place of Gregor Blanco for just his seventh appearance of the season, lined a ball down the left field line for a lead-off double. Christian would later score on a Melky Cabrera ground-out to shortstop. After a Posey walk and Sandoval single, Angel Pagan found a gap in left field to bring in Posey.
The Giants then scored in the 4th off a Melky Cabrera RBI double and again in the 6th when Cabrera brought in Christian on a sac fly to right. Pagan then tripled in the 7th to score a very visibly fatigued Sandoval from first. Then in the bottom half of the inning it all came crumbling down, and the 5-1 lead slowly disappeared over the next few innings. Cain surrendered back-to-back homers to Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa with one out. After getting Jesus Flores to fly out to center, Jeremy Affeldt came into relieve Cain but couldn’t stop the onslaught and gave up an RBI double to the young Bryce Harper, making it 5-4 Giants, before Romo got the G-men out of the inning.
After a quiet eighth, a cloud of doubt began to form as Casilla warmed up in the bullpen. Casilla, who has suffered tremendously as of late and whose confidence has to be a little shaken, gave up a double to deep left center from Tyler Moore to start the bottom half of the 9th, then mishandled a sacrifice bunt from Steve Lombardozzi to leave runners on the corners with no outs. Manager Bruce Bochy came out to calm him down, and the Giants bullpen immediately got to work. The meeting at the mound didn’t help. Bryce Harper lined a single to right and tied up the game. Casilla walked Ryan Zimmerman to load the bases. After getting the force at home on a ground ball from Michael Morse, the Giants needed a double-play to stay alive. After Adam LaRoche hit a ground ball to Theriot at second, it looked like the Giants might force extra innings, but a ball in the dirt from Brandon Crawford was too much for Brandon Belt who couldn’t hold on to the ball at first. Harper scored from third and just like that the Giants were left dumbfounded after a third straight loss to the Nationals.
Once more, Casilla proved he isn’t the reliable closer Bochy hoped he would be. This was his fourth blown save of the season as well as his fourth loss. It’s time to give Romo a second look.
About the Author
Written by Connor Callaghan
A San Francisco native, I've been following Bay Area sports for as long as my memory's served me. A graduate of the University of Oregon, I majored in English and Writing. I've shifted my focus on writing to what I really love, sports.