The San Francisco Giants needed someone to spark the offense. After all, right-fielder Carlos Beltran is still day-to-day with an injured wrist. After being shut out by these same Pittsburgh Pirates last night, the Giants got run production from two unlikely heroes. Home runs from Chris Stewart and Aubrey Huff led the way for the Giants as they cruised to a 6-0 victory over the Bucs.
What made tonight so special, aside from “Grateful Dead Night” at AT&T Park, was the fact that catcher, Stewart, hit his first career home run. Stewart has spent over 10 years in the minor leagues before getting his opportunity to play due to the unfortunate injury to Buster Posey.
“It was nice to get Bumgarner some runs,” Stewart said.
Once Stewart rounded second base and he knew his ball had cleared the left field fence, he began his first victorious home run trot as a professional Major League Baseball player. Giants Manager Bruce Bochy also expressed how proud he was of Stewart’s efforts.
“[Stewart] worked his tail off to get a chance like he’s getting right now, and he’s taken advantage of it.”
Another Giant who also needed an offensive boost was the first baseman, Huff. He finished the game with three hits—a double, a home run and a single to center field. Many would agree that tonight, Huff started to show signs of the return of his 2009-2010 power and clutch-hitting.
“Laying off of bad pitches really gave me a chance,” Huff said. “It helped to get an early lead to help our guys relax in the batter’s box.”
Also, Madison Bumgarner showed signs of the return of his 2010 dominance. He pitched seven shutout innings throwing 101 pitches. His dominance showed in the form of striking out 10 batters. Eight of those strikeouts were “swings and misses” from the Pirates.
The Giants definitely needed this win in order to keep the Arizona Diamondbacks in their rear-view mirror. The Giants maintain their half-game lead in the National League West division as the Arizona Diamondbacks also won tonight against the Houston Astros. As the season comes closer to an end, each game becomes more significant as the National League Wild Card race gets extremely crowded.
Are the Giants back on track? Can the Giants other left-handed starter, Jonathan Sanchez, continue this momentum in tomorrow’s game? Has the Giants' offense been reignited?
A major test will certainly be tomorrow’s day game. At any rate, the Giants should certainly be resting much better tonight.