Giants-Astros: San Francisco Finds a New, Unexpected Hero

Joey D'AndreContributor IAugust 5, 2009

SEATTLE  - MAY 24:  Catcher Eli Whiteside #22 of the San Francisco Giants flies out against the Seattle Mariners on May 24, 2009 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners defeated the Giants 5-4. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Early this afternoon, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Houston Astrots 10-6 behind the arm of Joe Martinez, who made his first start since April. It was then, when he was hit by a liner off the bat of Mike Cameron and placed on the injured list. 

With the victory, the Giants clinched their first road series win since early June.

As their surprising campaign for the NL Wild Card continues, it seems a different player is stepping up for the Giants night in and out.

Today, they broke a 3-3 tie with a grand slam by Eli Whiteside. He blasted the first home run of his career into the Crawford boxes on the first pitch he saw securing the win for Martinez. In addition to Eli, Sandoval and Sanchez added three hits, and Garko had two.

With today's start, the Giants may have another fire-baller to add to their staff if Martinez can keep it up. Continuing to pitch like this could make him one of the best comeback stories of the year after his near fatal, early season injury.

With a myriad of trades and a renewed offense to go with their stellar pitching, the Giants look like they won't be going away in the NL Wild Card race - to the dismay of many teams out there.