A weekend of meaningless baseball remains. The Giants’ mantra on Saturday afternoon: Why not?
Madison Bumgarner cracked a leadoff bloop single pinch-hitting for Jake Peavy in the fifth. Mike Leake came in as his pinch runner on third.
Kelby Tomlinson’s legs almost turned to putty in the first turning a triple to the alley into an inside the park home run — the first since Angel Pagan’s walk off one in 2013 and the sixth in AT&T Park’s history— to start off a 3-2 Giants win over the Rockies on Saturday.
Said Bruce Bochy of the play:
“That’s one of the most exciting plays in baseball, an inside the parker-er. Especially when it’s that close at the base. … Tommy is about as quick as anyone on the club. That’s how fast he is.”
Off the bat, Tomlinson thought it was just gonna be another long out like one he hit in last night’s game near the alley. He wasn’t thinking homer—he hadn’t hit one of those since he played t-ball on an 800-foot fenced football field:
“Honestly I was just hoping he didn’t catch it. But once I saw Roberto (Kelly) on the third base line I thought maybe there’s a chance.”
Tomlinson lost his specs on the dramatic slide home—he got there about a second in time—and didn’t even notice. Jarrett Parker scurried to the pile of dirt to pick them up and put them on his teammates face.
The inside the park-er put the Giants up early and Marlon Byrd tacked on one more for good measure that inning with a run-of-the-mill slug deep to right center, his sweet spot.
Oh, and Brandon Crawford hit his 21st home run of the season. They have one more game of this emotional 2015 season left.
The day started with a few tears; a look back in celebration of Tim Hudson’s final days in the game.
Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane, Barry Zito, Bobby Cox and his Giants’ teammates paid tribute in a final moment of commemoration. Jake Peavy, with Madison Bumgarner by his side, spoke at the podium about Huddy’s clubhouse presence:
“He’s like a father. A brother. But also a friend.”
Hudson’s final words to the fans:
“I appreciate you all. I love you all. Let’s win a ballgame.”
Saturday’s game started about 30 minutes late and Peavy was due on the mound for the game’s first pitch:
“It took me a minute to really reel it in…Obviously different trying to get in the mindset to compete and having to do that. That being said with the situation the tam was in and what Huddy’s meant to us all, when I was asked to do it there was no way I was not gonna do my best at that.”
Peavy was solid, as he’s been this late season, dishing five innings of one-run ball—he gave up a home run to Ben Paulsen in the fifth. He hasn’t lost a game since August 20 and his holding a 2.05 ERA through September, 1.45 in his last five starts.
It looks like he and Bumgarner will form a solid foundation as the club will no doubt be looking to solidify its messy rotation.
Peavy struggled early this season with a back and hip injury that didn’t completely resolve until around August. He also lost a few pounds to alleviate pressure on a sore ankle before the season and, therefore, his velocity dwindled.
He hasn’t had the benefit of a full offseason since 2012—he won championships with Boston and San Francisco the years following — and he’ll use this long winter to stay right on track:
“I’m healthy, really healthy at this point in time. I’m gonna get some treatment next few days to make sure I got the soreness out, the kinks out, then let my body relax and heal for the next few days.”
“I’m excited to catch my breath here in the next few weeks and have a full winter of preparation and see what we can do in 2016.”
He said he’ll get 200 innings next year. No doubt about it.
In the meantime, he’ll use this Giants-less offseason as means of motivation.
Casilla finished his 55th game Saturday which vested a $6.5 million option. The money’s been on his mind a little, said Casilla:
“Last week I think I was thinking about it a little bit I was like ‘C’mon Casilla.’”
But Bochy said he really had nothing to worry about:
“There was no question he was coming back. So, I know he pitched today and that vested, but I can tell you he was coming back. He’s had a nice year for us.”
Byrd finished today’s game with a total 543 plate appearances, so far, on the season. He needs a total 550 for his option to vest…there’s only one game left and little chance that he’ll get seven plate appearances in that game.
If he doesn’t reach 550, $8 million becomes a team option.