Tim Hudson pitched six innings of shutout ball in San Francisco Sunday, and his Giants teammates broke recent precedent by scoring some runs, so he notched victory number 222 of his career, soon to be ending.
It might have been Hudson's last start in the SF ballpark (though he's scheduled for one more), and the run that almost stood up for the game winner was Alejandro De Aza's first RBI as a Giant. A few batters later, Buster Posey busted a three run homer for the victory.
Speaking of homer, Homer was one of the topics discussed by the Giants' announcing team Sunday, an erudite bunch that Saturday discoursed about regression to the mean. Sunday it was Homer, Socrates, and the Pittsburgh Pirates--actually much more about the Pirates, who were in the process of applying their formula of pitching and power to the Dodgers, to take two out of three in L.A. As they praised the Bucs, they gently mocked the Pirates announcers. So I'm not alone.
Brandon Crawford was back for the Giants--no rust in the field, dazzling there as ever, but plenty of rust at the plate. Now Brandon Belt is out, with concussion symptoms. Perez may have hurt himself in this game. It became official a few days ago that Joe Panik won't be back until next year. On the brighter side, Brown, the catcher recently brought up who has been behind the plate these two games, looks like a backup option. He's a converted infielder but catches well, and has some speed on the basepaths. Hasn't gotten his first hit yet, though. New outfielder Parker did get a hit and an RBI.
Nothing new in the standings really. The Giants need to gain a few more games on the Dodgers to make their series consequential. The Pirates are at least winning in September after a mini-slump, although their remaining schedule is pretty tough, while the Cards have only their head to head with the Bucs to worry about. The Pirates have shown they can handle the Dodgers in L.A., but I'm sure Pittsburgh fans are worried about how well the Cubs handled the Bucs in Pittsburgh. Right now that looks to be the teams and the place for the sudden death wild card game.
But before that the Bucs go to Chi-town. That Central Division is the most exaggerated in the majors. The Cards with the best record, the Bucs with the second best, and the Cubs two games behind them, 6 behind the Cards. And the last two teams are each 30 games out of first.
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