The Giants got on the board early in the first inning and did not look back from there—Andres Torres led off the game with a triple, and Freddy Sanchez knocked him in with an RBI single.
The Giants then proceeded to hit four home runs—Huff hit a two-run home run in the third inning, Uribe hit a solo shot in the fourth, Posey crushed a two-run homer to left field in the fifth, and Pat Burrell led off with a home run in the sixth. By the seventh inning, the Giants were winning 7-1 and held on to win the game 7-3.
Matt Cain was stellar—8.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 8 K. He allowed only one earned run through the first eight innings but came out to pitch the ninth and gave up a two-run shot to Ludwick. This really was the most important game of the year, and he pitched very well.
The Giant are in very good shape right now. If they win two of their next three, they'll be tied for first place in the NL West with three games left against the Padres this year...at home.
- Five Giants had multi-hit games on Thursday—Huff, Sanchez, Burrell, Uribe and Posey combined to go 12 for 18 with four home runs and seven RBIs.
- Matt Cain has been a horse for the Giants—he's gone at least six innings in 25 of his 29 starts.
- Pablo Sandoval was 0 for 4 with two double plays and leads the National League with 26 GIDP (grounded into double plays) this season. I looked it up, and Sandoval could easily tie or set a record for most GIDP in a season by a switch hitter. It is currently held by Ted Simmons and Dave Philley, who each had 29. The record for most in a season by any hitter is 32, held by Miguel Tejada, who set it in 2008 with the Astros.
- Watch out for the Rockies: they're currently riding a seven-game winning streak and stand just 2.5 games behind the Giants.
- The Giants continued their great pitching on Thursday—nine of their last 11 starts have been quality starts. And they've prospered behind their great pitching, going 7-2 in September thus far.
- The Giants have been scoring by virtue of the long ball on this road trip (even at Petco Park on Thursday). According to Comcast Sportsnet, they have scored 73.1% of their runs on this road trip (19 of 26) from home runs.
Jonathan Sanchez will face Clayton Richard. Sanchez has given up just one earned run in his last 15 innings and has great numbers against the Padres. The current Padres team bats a collective .170 against him (25 career hits in 147 at bats).
Richard, however, has done well against the Giants. He has a 2.05 ERA against them in four starts this year. Overall, this will probably be a low-scoring game, as the rest of the games probably will be. The Giants need to execute well—make productive outs, hit sacrifice flies, get bunts down, steal bases, and get hits with runners in scoring position.