For once, on this Monday night, it was the Giants getting the big hit. It was the Giants’s opponent that could not get that shutdown inning. Evan Longoria hit a laser razor beam three-run double down the left field line with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th inning just after Buster Posey struck out. It was one of the biggest hits of the season and the type of at-bat I grew accustomed to seeing from Evan Longoria when I was watching him in previous years as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.
When the Giants traded for the former Rays third baseman I was pretty happy. I figured the slight downward trend in his hitting numbers was nothing to get too concerned about. I was wrong and the rest of MLB (whose experts largely condemned the trade) were right. That’s not to say that Mr. Longo is done. In fact, his glove has been quite good this year. It’s just that he has been infected with the same canthititus virus that Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey and other Giants veterans have been afflicted with so far in this young season.
The irony of the game is that Pablo Sandoval was starting in place of the veteran Longo, who was basically benched. Longoria would end up pinch-hitting for the Panda because of Sandoval’s knee acting up on him. The result was a win with Will Smith nailing the save in the ninth.
Jeff Samardzija deserves a mention here thanks to his five shutout innings in which he allowed only two hits and one walk. After a few hard hit balls in the top of the fifth and 80 pitches thrown, he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in what was a very un-Bruce Bochy-like move. No word yet if it was a strategic choice or if the Giants manager was being cautious with Smarge after his recent shoulder troubles.
To say this was a must win for our boys is probably not too much of an exaggeration. The Giants headed into this game with their asses handed to them by the Yankees backups over the weekend. A loss here likely would mean another nail into the proverbial coffin of the young season.
This victory gives fans and the team something to feel good about, for a day at least, and that’s nothing to sneeze at…