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.