By the numbers: A look back at Giants' marathon 17-inning win over Reds

By the numbers: A look back at Giants' marathon 17-inning win over Reds

SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey’s bat and face said it all. The bat was dramatically held out, and then dropped to the ground. The face was that of a man who was tired of all this, and just wanted to go home. 

Posey’s solo shot in the bottom of the 17th last night gave the Giants a 3-2 win, but also kept them from what could have been a back-breaker. Yes, they’re still an extreme long shot to make any noise later this season, but the clubhouse hasn’t given up, and as the night wore on at AT&T Park that one felt like a win the Giants absolutely had to have.

“It wouldn’t have been fun to lose this one,” Posey said during a postgame interview with Amy Gutierrez. “We were out of pitching. Fortunately we got it done there.”

We’ll see if the Giants can keep momentum going. So far this year, they haven’t. They had the Michael Morse homer on the last homestand and Christian Arroyo’s sparkling debut week and the win over Clayton Kershaw. None of those games led to anything bigger. 

Will this be the one that finally turns it around? We’ll know by the end of the homestand. For now, here’s a look back at one of the wildest home games in years, by the numbers …

0: The hits for Billy Hamilton. If you’d like to understand how the Giants broke through against the Reds after four losses, start here. 

1: The number of flying Jeff Samardzija elbows that Christian Arroyo took to the face. Welcome to the big leagues, kid — watch out in those piles! 

“Oh dude! That hurt, like a lot,” Arroyo said. “I was so happy and all I can remember is an arm drilling me in the mouth.”

Arroyo is fine, although his lip was a little nicked up. Samardzija had no idea what he had done until a reporter showed him the video this morning. He enjoyed it. 

2. Consecutive bunt hits earlier in the game, from Eduardo Nuñez and Justin Ruggiano. Bruce Bochy said the staff actually had talked to players and encouraged them to bunt more since the team isn’t really hitting otherwise. 

3: Career walk-off homers for Posey. The previous one was Aug. 27, 2014 against the Rockies.

4: The number of times home plate umpire Tony Randazzo got drilled, including one off the chin. Randazzo left the game in extras and he’ll be off the rest of the series for medical reasons. 

5: Pitches seen by Hunter Pence, who usually would be exactly the type of player you would want on a long night. Pence has a tight left hamstring and he’s out of the starting lineup again Saturday. Bochy said they’re hopeful Pence can play Sunday. 

5:28: Time of game. I sure know how to pick the right days off. 

8: Pitchers used by Bochy. Matt Cain was the next man up, not Brandon Belt. Cain had his spikes on and said he was a batter away from entering for Cory Gearrin. 

9: Shutout innings by the bullpen. They kept the night going so Posey could end it. Newcomer Bryan Morris was especially impressive with his resiliency.  “It’s got to be just a confidence-booster for our bullpen,” Posey said. “They did a great job with a really potent offense. Johnny pitched great. For them to put up zeros as much as they did, hopefully will be big going forward.” 

Morris is off today after throwing 43 pitches, but he definitely impressed his manager last night. 

“It’s getting better and better with him,” Bochy said. “I thought we rushed him (up from a rehab assignment) a little bit, but we needed the help. It’ll get better.”

18: The longest game at AT&T Park, played May 29, 2001 against the Diamondbacks. The Giants lost 1-0 that night. Friday night’s win went down as the second longest game at AT&T Park, edging a 16-inning loss to the Mets in 2013 (shoutout to Dave Flemming for sending a bag of sliders down to a hungry young beat writer that night). 

41: Pitches seen by Zack Cozart. I’ve always thought he was the most underrated defensive shortstop in the league, and the bat now plays. Cozart gave Cueto hell, and after Johnny’s day was done, he turned back toward the field and nodded at his former teammate. 

74: The points Denard Span has picked up on his batting average in two games back. Span has seven hits since returning, boosting an average that sat at .200 when he was on the DL. Perhaps this is all as simple as a 33-year-old feeling refreshed after a couple of weeks off. If so, Bochy needs to find a way to keep Span’s legs under him all summer. This version is a game-changer. 

162: Approximate the number of seagulls surrounding Span in the late innings. Remember, long before he signed here, Span was public about his dislike of birds. 

269: Pitches caught by Posey. He’s off today, of course. “I feel good,” he said. “I feel like I caught 17 innings 10 hours ago. It’s not necessarily enjoyable to play 17 innings. That’s just a fact.”

431: The distance on Posey’s sixth homer of the year, and fourth of the week. The leg kick is all but gone, which shows the kind of power he feels right now to poke one out like that after 17 innings.

“That’s dad-strength,” Posey said Saturday, smiling. 

Starting to rev things up, Hunter Pence has big night at plate and in left

Starting to rev things up, Hunter Pence has big night at plate and in left

PEORIA — Jeff Samardzija spent a couple minutes after Thursday’s start talking to reporters about how deep he thinks the Giants lineup can be. It’ll be a hell of a lot deeper if Hunter Pence keeps hitting like this. 

After a slow start to the spring, Pence is charging. He had three hits against the Padres: a triple that bounced off the top of the wall in right-center, a hard single up the middle, and a double to center. The more encouraging plays for the Giants happened in left field. Pence chased down a drive to the line in the third inning, leaving the bases loaded. He opened the fourth by going the other direction and gloving a fly ball to left-center. 

"A good game for Hunter, both ways," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's getting more comfortable out there. You can see it with the jumps he's getting right now. It takes a little while when you change positions, but I think he's going to be fine out there."

The Giants appear set to have Austin Jackson and Pence atop the lineup against left-handed starters, and that duo could see plenty of time early. Seven of the first nine games are against the Dodgers, who have four lefty starters. 

--- Evan Longoria had a double off the right-center wall on Wednesday after missing a week with a sore ankle. He had a single the same way in his second at-bat Thursday. More than the at-bats, Longoria has impressed with his soft hands and steady arm at third. The ankle looks fine, too. 

“My ankle feels pretty good,” Longoria said. “I don’t think it’s going to be an issue going forward.”

--- It’s been a quiet spring for Andrew McCutchen, but we saw the wheels tonight. McCutchen easily stole second after a two-run single in the fifth. When Evan Longoria bounced one to the left side, shortstop Freddy Galvis tried to go to third for the lead out, but McCutchen beat that throw, too. He got up and put his hands on his hips, as if to say, "Why'd you even try that?"

--- Samardzija allowed three homers in a six-batter span in the third. He allowed three homers in an inning in his previous start, too, but he said he’s not concerned. Samardzija deemed it a sequencing issue. He’s working in a new changeup and threw it in situations he normally wouldn’t; Eric Hosmer took advantage of a floating one, crushing it to deep, deep right for the third homer. 

--- With a runner on, Brandon Belt put down a perfect bunt to foil the shift. Belt does that every spring, particularly against NL West teams, but rarely during the regular season. Maybe this will be the year?

Belt later crushed a homer to deep right. That had to feel good for a number of reasons. Belt is fighting a cold and he learned earlier in the day that his college coach, Augie Garrido, had passed away.

Josh Osich goes back to his roots looking to unleash all the potential


Josh Osich goes back to his roots looking to unleash all the potential

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For most pitchers, spring training is a time to experiment and add a pitch or two. Josh Osich is using this month to go the other direction. 

Osich spent the offseason watching film of his 2015 season, when he looked like he might one day be the closer in San Francisco, and decided that he needed to get back to his roots. That means the curveball, which he tried so hard to mix in last year, is now far back in the cupboard. The four-seam and two-seam fastballs are once again the focus, with an emphasis on changing eye levels more than he did a year ago. The changeup and cutter will round out his arsenal for the most part. 

Osich’s raw stuff is still as good as just about any lefty reliever in the league, and he hopes to take advantage of that while putting a rough 2017 season in his rearview mirror. He had a 6.23 ERA last season and 1.73 WHIP.

“It’s just one of those learning years,” Osich said. “I tried to live at the bottom of the zone and I was, but I was actually below the zone. So then I would fall behind and need to throw a strike and that’s when guys would hit me.”

Osich, 29, had a 2.20 ERA and 1.12 WHIP during that 2015 season that he keeps going back to. He walked eight batters in 28 2/3 innings, a far cry from the 27 he walked in 43 1/3 last year. While watching the 2015 version of himself, Osich saw that his hands were higher, and that’s something he’s working to replicate. He’s also trying to slow his pace to the plate. So far, the results are nothing but encouraging. Osich allowed one hit and struck out one in a 2 1/3 inning appearance on Wednesday night. Manager Bruce Bochy let him extend himself to keep the good vibes going. 

In six appearances this spring, Osich has allowed just four hits over seven scoreless innings. He has seven strikeouts and one walk. 

“O, it just seems like he’s got confidence,” Bochy said. “He’s kept it simple, he’s not tinkering with different pitches. He’s throwing more strikes, and more than anything he’s just trying to pound the strike zone now with quality strikes. That’s all he has to do. You look at him and he’s hitting 95 with a couple of good off-speed pitches. That works here.”