Casali's walk-off in Giants win makes up for bad night

Casali celebrating

Curt Casali was having a night to forget in the batter's box Saturday night at Oracle Park.

In his first four trips to the plate against Athletics pitchers, Casali struck out each time.

But no one will remember those four strikeouts after Casali delivered the Giants' first walk-off win of the 2021 season and gave his team their 50th win.

Casali's double down the left field line allowed Steve Duggar to score all the way from first base to give the Giants a thrilling 6-5 win over the A's in 10 innings.

Considering he was having trouble making contact all night, Casali's approach in the 10th inning was as simple as it gets.

"Hit the ball," Casali told reporters after the game. "Wasn't a great game offensively for me until the last at-bat. I knew Buster [Posey] wasn't coming in, so I knew I was getting another chance and just tried to shorten up, get my top hand involved a little bit more. Honestly, as soon as [Duggar] got the hit up the middle [to tie the game], all the pressure was off, so I kind of enjoyed it."

Casali was in the lineup for a second straight night because Posey's back stiffened up before Friday's opener of the Bay Bridge Series. The ailment didn't improve Saturday, so Casali got the call again.

The Giants' back-up catcher almost didn't get a chance to play the role of hero Saturday night because the first pitch he saw in the 10th inning from A's reliever Burch Smith -- a wayward curveball -- almost hit Casali.


"I was kind of laughing," Casali said. "That first ball, the curveball, almost hit me, and in the back of mind, I was like 'Man, I should have let that hit me after that day.' But fortunately, it didn't and we won."

The Giants now are 50-26 this season and 26-10 at Oracle Park. But even they were surprised they had yet to walk off on an opponent this season. Luckily for Casali, that burden is off their backs.

"They don't have happen very often and when they do, it's exciting for everybody," Casali said of walk-off wins. "It could have been anybody up there to do it and I would have been equally as excited. We were talking in the dugout that we haven't had a walk-off at home and tonight was a good night to do it."

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It's unclear if Posey will be able to play Sunday in the Bay Bridge Series finale. If he can't go, Casali will start three straight days for the first time this season.

Who knows? Casali might have to play the role of hero again.

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