By Jeremy Harness
SAN FRANCISCO – Monday night saw Buster Posey ejected after an egregious strikeout call, which set off all kinds of bad vibes from the Giants, particularly manager Bruce Bochy, following a loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Fast forward two days, and rather than sulking about it, he has let his bat do the talking in a huge way. After slugging a pair of home runs to spark Tuesday night’s win, Posey sent the sellout crowd at AT&T Park home happy again with a walk-off two-run homer that just made it over the left-field wall to give the Giants a dramatic 4-2 win over the Rockies Wednesday night.
Before that, however, closer Santiago Casilla made things quite interesting after inheriting a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning. Starter Tim Hudson fired eight solid innings at the Rockies and was in great shape to go the distance after throwing only 87 pitches, but Casilla rendered all of that meaningless.
He hit Drew Stubbs with the first pitch he threw and then gave up a double to Justin Morneau that scored Stubbs and tie the game at 2-2, which compelled Sergio Romo to get up to the bullpen and start warming up. He intentionally walked Corey Dickerson with one out, but quickly got himself out of the inning by getting Michael McHenry to ground into an inning-ending double play to set the stage for Posey’s heroics.
Hudson (10-9) was forced to endure a tough no-decision after surrendering only one run – a solo home run to Dickerson in the fifth inning – on four hits, walking only one and striking out eight.
“He was locked in tonight,” Bochy said of Hudson, who lowered his ERA to 2.90. “He’s a pleasure to manage.”
The Dodgers also won Wednesday night, but the Giants did get one form of a one-up on their eternal rivals. Their win gave manager Bruce Bochy his 1,600th-career managerial victory, passing up longtime Dodgers skipper Tommy Lasorda for sole possession of 19th place all-time.
“I’m very fortunate,” Bochy said. “I’m lucky to be doing what I’m doing. Sure, it goes on your record, (but) it’s all about the support that I’ve had over the years. I appreciate being able to do what I love to do for this long.”
After having a pair of opportunities go by the wayside early on, the Giants finally hit paydirt in the fourth inning. After they were able to put runners on first and third with one out, Gregor Blanco laid down a perfect bunt down the first-base line, which Morneau could not handle at first base and allowed Matt Duffy to score and give the Giants a 1-0 lead.
The Rockies, however, took advantage of a rare mistake by Hudson to tie the game in the top of the fifth. He left a fastball up in the zone, and Dickerson made him pay for it by sending it directly into McCovey Cove.
In the process, Dickerson became the only player in Rockies history not named Carlos Gonzalez to hit a ball into McCovey Cove on the fly for a home run, otherwise known as a “splash hit.”
The Giants broke through again in the seventh, after Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence each coaxed walks out of reliever Brooks Brown to lead off the inning. With one out, Posey ripped a single into left field to bring in Pagan.
Posey didn’t do all of his damage at the plate, however. In the top of the eighth, he followed up his go-ahead single by cutting down D.J LeMahieu, who had singled and was attempting to steal second with one out, with an outstanding throw that he placed right on the bag.