Back to back bases loaded innings for the Giants with only one run to show for it. And somehow that’s enough for the defending champs.
The San Francisco Giants raised the 2012 World Series Champions flag and then proceeded with their home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals, the team the Giants beat in 7 games to win the NL Pennant. The Giants would go onto to win this game as well 1-0 thanks to a run being walked in by Jake Westbrook in the bottom of the 4th. Angel Pagan took four straight balls in the bases loaded situation to get the walk and score in Gregor Blanco from third.
It was Westbrook’s only run allowed in 6 2/3 innings of work in which he also gave up 6 hits, 6 walks, and struck out one.
Following the walk, Marco Scutaro then struck out swinging followed by Pablo Sandoval grounding out to shortstop Pete Kozma to end the inning and the threat.
The Giants did waste a bases loaded situation the 3rd inning as well. Hunter Pence would be the third out hitting a grounder to 1st.
All in all, San Francisco left 11 runners on base and batted 0-5 with runners in scoring position. St. Louis left only 4 on base.
The game was highlighted between a pitcher’s duel between Barry Zito and Jake Westbrook each making their first starts of the young season. Zito did not make as many mistakes as Westbrook did as he pitched 7 shutout innings striking out 4 and allowing 3 hits and 3 walks.
Zito also gets credited with the win, his first of the year. The Giants haven’t lost a game Barry Zito has started since August 2nd. Something to think about as this is the last season of Barry Zito’s 7 year $126 million contract.
Zito also help set up the bases loaded walk in the 4th as he bunted during his at bat before Pagan to move the runners over only to have Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina mishandle the ball allowing for everyone to be safe. It was the only error committed by either side during the game.
After Zito departed, Jeremy Affeldt came in the 8th and got a 1-2-3 inning along with a strikeout. Sergio Romo then came in for his 3rd save of the year with a 1-2-3 inning of his own ending the home opener with Cardinals 1st baseman Allen Craig looking at strike three. Romo was also the closer that got the final out against the Cardinals to send the Giants to the World Series.
The festivities continue tomorrow as Buster Posey will have a pregame ceremony honoring his NL MVP award of 2012. The Giants will have Ryan Vogelsong (14-9 with a 3.37 ERA in 2012) go against the Cardinals starter Shelby Miller.
The 22 year old Miller made his major league just last September when the rosters expanded and made one regular season start against the Cincinnati Reds throwing 6 shutout innings. He also made a couple of bullpen appearances against the Giants in the NLCS allowing 2 runs in 3 1/3 innings out of the pen.
Meanwhile, Vogelsong started twice against the Cardinals in the NLCS in which he produced a pair of 7 inning 1-run gems. His two NLCS wins were crucial for the Giants making the World Series as the 2nd one helped tie the series at 3-3 forcing that decisive game 7 San Francisco would win.
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Written by Daniel Trucios