SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants had their press conference room closely guarded Wednesday, and for good reason. Inside, a replica throne was waiting for Thursday’s “Game of Thrones” night, and it was waiting for a victorious manager.
That set up a potentially awkward situation. Bruce Bochy has done so many morose press conferences this season, but Buster Posey made sure his manager didn’t have to sit on a throne and discuss another loss. Posey’s two-run pinch-hit double with two outs in the eighth gave the Giants a 5-4 win and allowed Bochy to soak in his “Game of Thrones” moment.
“Duane Kuiper is the one who got me watching it,” Bochy said, looking comfortable. “The only thing about sitting in this chair — I’ve got to be honest — I know the kings that sit in this chair get killed off. I am a little nervous right now that Larry (Baer) wanted me to sit in this chair.”
Bochy was never going to be the one to pay for this season’s downfall, but he has had to wear the tough losses. On Wednesday he got to enjoy a come-from-behind win, and it felt a wee bit bigger than that. For three days, the Giants have mostly played their brand of baseball. Only a poor underhanded throw from Matt Moore on Monday night kept them from sweeping the reigning American League champions.
“We have bits and pieces of it here,” Matt Cain said. “The biggest thing is to just not sit here and go down the dark hole of here we go again. Bad things do happen during the game but we’re way more talented than that and we’ve got a tremendous group of guys in here who can play good baseball. If we keep on the right mentality and get a lot of things right, we’ll get this thing rolling the right way.“
Cain gave up three runs in his six innings, but the Giants trailed heading into the eighth. Bochy had gone with his Bomb Squad lineup, and that allowed him to pull a trump card out with two on and two outs. Posey hit for Kelby Tomlinson and he smoked a double that bounced to the wall in left. A few hours after pitching two innings in an extra-innings win, Sam Dyson stranded the tying run on third in a tortuous ninth. The Giants picked up a rare series win.
“These last two games are the kind of magic we’re used to having,” Bochy said from his throne. “It’s good to recreate that.”
SAN FRANCISCO — The flip side of the Bomb Squad starting lineup is that it makes for one hell of a bench. That paid off Wednesday.
Buster Posey came off the bench and hit a go-ahead double with two outs in the eighth as the Giants beat the Indians 5-4. A day after throwing two innings, Sam Dyson closed it out, clinching the first series victory for the Giants since their visit to Pittsburgh to start the month.
Those are all facts. Here are five more …
—- Denard Span put one into the Cove in the fifth inning to get the Giants within one. It was his fourth career Splash Hit, getting him within three of active leader Brandon Belt. Span needs just 31 more to catch Barry Bonds.
—- Matt Cain gave up three earned in six innings, which is not great but not awful. Giants starters combined to throw 20 innings in this series, which is a step forward.
—- Kelby Tomlinson made his third career start in left field and didn’t have any issues on fly balls. The weird part was his biggest mistake had nothing to do with playing out of position. Tomlinson forgot how many outs there were when he caught a ball in the seventh, allowing a runner to take an extra base. It didn’t cost the Giants a run.
—- In his first career start, Miguel Gomez had a single, a grounder to short, and two strikeouts.
—- The Giants announced a crowd of 41,067 human beings. That, my friends is a sellout. Check back tomorrow to see if it’s a sellout “streak.”
SAN DIEGO — Operation Pass The Padres got off to a good start.
The Giants opened their second half with a 5-4 win at Petco Park, snapping a four-game losing streak and getting within four games of the fourth-place Padres in the NL West. Johnny Cueto wasn’t sharp, but the lineup had 14 hits and the bullpen held on.
The Padres loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth but couldn't push the tying run across. Jabari Blash flied out to deep right against Sam Dyson. Perhaps the second half will be better?
Anyway, here are five things to know from Opening Day 2.0:
—- TRADE VALUE UPDATE: Cueto gave up six hits and three earned in four innings and he was pulled after just 82 pitches, which is not totally normal. Cueto’s ERA is at 4.59 with 17 days left until the deadline.
—- Cory Gearrin pitched the sixth and worked around a couple baserunners. He quietly has a 2.08 ERA this season.
—- TRADE VALUE UPDATE: Eduardo Nuñez returned to the lineup and generally looked like his old self. He doubled in the third inning.
—- Buster Posey rocked a baseball into the bushes under the batter’s eye in the seventh inning. It was Posey’s 11th homer of the year. He’s on pace to reach 20 for the third time in his career.
—- Gorkys Hernandez looks like a man who wants to play everyday in the second half. He had a career-high four hits and made a nice running catch in left. Hernandez has just six games with at least three hits in his career, and two of them have come in the last nine days.