Leftovers from Sunday (Giants 4, Reds 2)
Sunday, June 12
SAN FRANCISCO — Defense proved essential in the Giants’ 4-2 victory Sunday night over the Cincinnati Reds. Without San Francisco’s excellence afield, the game might have unfolded much more differently.
Jonathan Sanchez walked the leadoff batter in each of the first two innings. But his teammates made those lapses irrelevant. With one out and Drew Stubbs on first base in the first inning, second baseman Manny Burriss deftly gloved Joey Votto’s smash and relayed the ball to second base, where shortstop Brandon Crawford made a blurry yet accurate throw to first to complete an inning-ending double play.
For this long-time Giants follower, the slickness Burriss and Crawford displayed conjured memories of Tito Fuentes and Chris Speier, arguably the best double-play combination in the franchise’s San Francisco history (granted, the argument includes Robby Thompson and Jose Uribe). Since Speier was in the Reds’ dugout as Dusty Baker’s bench coach and Fuentes was in the broadcast level of the press box on Spanish-language radio, I wished I could have temporarily halted the game to seek their opinion of the Burriss-Crawford collaboration.
Back to the present: After Sanchez walked Jay Bruce to open the second inning, Stewart threw out the Reds right fielder on an attempted theft of second base. I didn’t have a stopwatch on me, but Stewart appeared to release his peg extremely quickly.
With one out and nobody on base In the ninth, Burriss again made his presence felt by ranging behind second base to snare Edgar Renteria’s grounder and deny last year’s World Series hero a single.Had Renteria reached base safely, Ramon Hernandez’s subsequent single might have created trouble for Wilson. Instead, Wilson completed his 18th save by retiring Chris Heisey on a grounder to third base.<p/>
This was funny, though Bruce Bochy and Baker might not have been amused.
San Francisco’s Jonathan Sanchez and Cincinnati’s Edinson Volquez, who entered the game ranked 1-2 in the National League in walks distributed, posted almost identical pitching lines — complete with hefty walk totals.
5 hits allowed
5 hits allowed
Sanchez also hit a batter, nicking Joey Votto to open the fourth inning. Votto and Bruce, who drew a subsequent walk, both scored. So it was mildly surprising that none of the other four Reds who drew walks came around to score. Credit Sanchez for wiggling out of trouble, though one still wonders how successful he could be if he ever harnessed genuine consistency.
– Chris Haft