SAN FRANCISCO Giants closer Santiago Casilla, who isputting up All-Star caliber numbers as the replacement for Brian Wilson, leftFriday nights game in the ninth inning after injuring his right knee.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he did not know the severityof Casillas injury, which occurred as he planted while trying to make a playon an infield single in the Giants eventual 4-3 victory.
RECAP: Baggs' Instant Replay -- Giants 4, Cubs 3
But left-hander Madison Bumgarner spoke with Casilla and didnot get an indication that the injury was significant.
I think hes OK, Bumgarner said. Hopefully hell be fine.He thinks so.
Other relievers told me that they thought Casilla justcramped up. Hell be reevaluated and Bochy said he would have more informationprior to Saturdays game.
The ninth inning was painful enough for the Giants, who nearlyblew a 4-0 lead. Bochy was booed loudly upon removing Bumgarner followingback-to-back hits to start the ninth inning, even though the left-hander hadthrown just 102 pitches (and struck out a season-high 11 batters).
Casilla was wild before giving up a three-run homer toAlfonso Soriano. He allowed two of the next three batters to reach, too. BryanLaHair hit a one-out double and Darwin Barney hit a dribbler that Casilla triedto field on the third-base side of the mound.
Javier Lopez saved everyones day by retiring two hitters ona ground out and fly out.
CSNChicago.com: Cubs' comeback bid falls short against Giants
Why did Bochy not stick with Bumgarner, who appeared to haveplenty of pitches remaining to go for the first complete game of his career?
"Once the first two got on, I wasnt going to let him grindthrough that, said Bochy, who had Casilla warming up from the beginning of theninth. We had our closer ready. Madison gave up a couple hits and they hadsome right-handed hitters coming up. He did his job. Once you get your closerup, you use him."
Left unsaid: Bochy let Bumgarner try to work out of a late-inning jam at Milwaukee on the last road trip, and Ryan Braun took him deep.
(Bumgarner) was going to have to work hard to get out ofit," Bochy said. I was looking to protect him there.
Bumgarner tried to talk his way into staying, catcher BusterPosey said.
Its not just me, Bumgarner said. Everybody here wants tostay out there and throw 200 pitches, if theyd let us.
Bumgarner has struck out 28 batters over his last threestarts and said he isnt trying to pile up the K cards against the bricks. Butwith two strikes, he admitted hell get into ticket-punching mode.
I just try to keep making pitches and it happens that way,he said.
Posey said Bumgarner established his fastball and cutterearly, then flipped in curveballs when he needed to. He stopped a streak ofthree consecutive losing decisions.
It was the first time in his career that Bumgarner (6-4) struckout double-digits without issuing a walk.