Belt, Pagan bear witness to two fateful moments amid perfection


Belt, Pagan bear witness to two fateful moments amid perfection

SAN FRANCISCO Gregor Blanco provided the impossible catch.In a recipe for a perfect game, thats the leavening agent.

But Matt Cains perfect night included two other dashes offate Wednesday night.

There was Chris Snyders deep drive that looked gone,sounded gone and felt gone but got pushed back into the field of play, whereMelky Cabrera caught it with a leap near the wall.

And there was Jordan Schafers foul down the first base linein the fourth inning, which missed being a double by the width of a protractor.

Schafers ball was one of five two-strike fouls in a10-pitch at-bat that ended in a strikeout. Umpire Mike Muchlinski did nothesitate to make his call. Replays were inconclusive, as the ball appeared tohook directly over the bag.

The view from first baseman Brandon Belt: It was veryclose. It hit before the bag, Maybe a millimeter of the ball might have hit thechalk. But the way it was hooking, it was definitely foul.

Houston manager Brad Mills came out to argue briefly. If theball was indeed fair, it wasnt an egregious mistake like the one in JohanSantanas no-hitter on June 1.

There was something more than human error, or lack thereof,at work in the sixth. Snyder boomed his drive and it had the unmistakable soundof a perfecto wrecker.


Ohh yeah, Cain said. I mean, I thought it was a homerun. I think we all did. I know he barreled it up. I dont know if he got justa little under it or something happened, or wind came off the glove and pushedit back. I have no idea how that ball stayed in the park.

The view from center fielder Angel Pagan: The ball wasntgoing out. It was out. Then it cut back. It was 10 rows back but then it bananacut. Ive never seen anything like it.When

Pagan went to the plate the next inning, he askedSnyder about it.

He said, Yeah buddy, I got the whole thing, Pagan said.

It was not like the wind knocked down everything hit hard.The Giants hit three home runs for the first time in a home game this season.(They entered this series with six in 32 home games; theyve got five in twonights against the Astros staff.) Even Blanco appeared to hit a pop-up thatsomehow carried into the right field arcade.

So what interceded on Snyders ball? Something divine?

Angels in the outfield? Pagan said. Not just an Angel.Its angels.

Unhappy Buster Posey bashes Phillies closer after hit-by-pitch

Unhappy Buster Posey bashes Phillies closer after hit-by-pitch

In what was set up to be a pivotal matchup of the game turned into a heated exchange.

Buster Posey stepped into the batter's box in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday against Phillies closer Hector Neris.

But Posey never got to swing the bat. On the first pitch, Neris drilled the Giants catcher in the ribs with a 95 MPH fastball.

Posey whinced in pain and as he walked to first base, he appeared to ask Neris if the pitch was on purpose.

After the game, Posey was asked about the kerfuffle.

"I'm pretty certain he hit me on purpose. And it's just a shame because I wanted to compete that at-bat and he's got good stuff. But I guess he didn't feel like he couldn't get me out," Posey told reporters after the game.

Posey was asked if he could think of any incidents in previous games against the Phillies that could have led to the hit-by-pitch. He said no and asked the reporters if they could think of anything.

Posey's comments were brought to Neris after the game.

"It's stupid because nobody who watched that said, 'Oh he hit him on purpose in that situation,'" Neris told reporters, according to the Philly Inquirer.

Posey and Neris have faced each other just one time in the past. In the ninth inning of the June 3 matchup in Philadelphia, Posey flew out to left field.

Strickland hammered by Phils, Giants officially eliminated from NL West contention

Strickland hammered by Phils, Giants officially eliminated from NL West contention


SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner pitched six innings in one of his best starts this season, took a line drive off his left shin and hit an RBI single that temporarily gave the Giants an early lead.

The reward? A heaping of praise from manager Bruce Bochy, handshakes from his teammates and another no-decision - Bumgarner's third in eight starts since coming off the disabled list.

Philadelphia rookie Rhys Hoskins homered again, Pedro Florimon contributed with his bat and arm, and the Phillies scored three runs in the eighth to beat the Giants 5-2 on Sunday.

In what has been a theme for San Francisco much of the season, Bumgarner's efforts were overshadowed by another meltdown from the Giants' bullpen.

"I thought it was a good day for Madison," Bochy said. "We had it lined up like we wanted as far as the bullpen. (Hunter Strickland) just had an off day making some mistakes."

Bumgarner allowed one run and four hits. He stayed in despite taking a sharp line drive off his left shin in the second inning by Nick Williams - earlier this month, Williams hit Mets ace Jacob deGrom in the triceps with a line drive, forcing him from the game.

"I tried to do a kick save but I wasn't very good at soccer," Bumgarner said. "It almost worked out."

Hoskins connected for a solo drive in the ninth inning, making him the first Phillies player in at least 100 years to hit five home runs in his first 11 major league games.

"I got to better counts, I think this week, and the results show," Hoskins said.

Florimon hit a two-run single off Strickland (2-3) to cap a three-run eighth inning that made it 4-2. Florimon also had an RBI double off Bumgarner in the second, then made a sparkling defensive play in left field to throw out Buster Posey at the plate in the bottom of the inning.

It was Florimon's first major league game in left field.

"I just try to catch the ball and throw the ball to home plate and see what happens," Florimon said. "I made a good throw."

Adam Morgan (2-1) retired three batters for the win, a day after throwing just one pitch and getting the victory.

Hector Neris pitched 1 1/3 innings for his 15th save. He struck out Pablo Sandoval with the bases loaded to end the eighth after hitting Posey in the back with a pitch, then fanned Denard Span with two on in the ninth to end it.

The Phillies won the season series against the Giants for the first time since 2011.

Philadelphia trailed 2-1 going into the eighth. Hoskins and Maikel Franco hit consecutive one-out singles before Jorge Alfaro tied it with an RBI single. After Williams singled to load the bases, Florimon slapped a 1-2 pitch into right field.

Posey had two hits and an RBI, extending his hitting streak against the Phillies to 22 games. Kelby Tomlinson scored a run and Ryder Jones doubled and scored for San Francisco.

Posey had a rough afternoon physically. In addition to taking a 95 mph fastball in the back, Posey also appeared to get hurt while tagging out a sliding Cameron Perkins at the plate in the second.

Afterward, the Giants' All-Star catcher voiced his displeasure about Neris.

"I'm certain that he hit me on purpose," Posey said. "It's just a shame because I wanted to compete that at-bat and he's got good stuff. But I guess he didn't feel like he could get me out."

Giants 2B Joe Panik (concussion symptoms) continues to make steady progress and could come off the disabled list in time to join San Francisco on its upcoming road trip that begins Friday in Arizona.

Phillies: The team gets an off day before hosting Miami in a doubleheader Tuesday. RHP Dan Straily (7-8, 3.80 ERA) pitches in the first game and RHP Jose Urena (11-5, 3.61 ERA) goes in the nightcap.

Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (1-2, 4.91) faces Milwaukee on Monday.