You can’t blame Denard Span for being jubilant following his tenth inning solo shot. Not only did the Giants grab the lead, but they were able to put themselves in a position to win a ball game and then actually came through.
Already, the Phillies had tied the game at 2-2, giving themselves a shot at sweeping the Giants out of Philadelphia. Freddy Galvis managed a ground out with the bases loaded in the sixth and all the Bruce Bochy challenges in the world couldn’t get the run off the board. But Span changed things for San Francisco on Friday, improving them to 5-13 since the All-Star break and preventing a sweep at the hands of a beatable Phillies squad. Congratulations, Giants.
Vince Velasquez was big and mean for five innings, allowing only three hits, two earned runs, and three walks, which was just enough to give the Phillies offense a challenge. VV also struck out six, only one less than Giants starter Matt Moore, who lasted six innings, also allowed three hits and two earned runs, but who walked an unfathomable six Phillies batters. Logging only four hits - including one each for Jimmy Paredes and Tyler Goeddel, so you know things were really rolling - the Phillies didn’t need to do a whole lot to get on base. Hunter Strickland allowed a free pass in relief as well, giving them all kinds of chances to score using charitable base runners all afternoon. But no! The offense decided to leave eight runners on base, go 1-for-8 with RISP, and strand four RISP with two outs.
Despite the Giants begging them to score, the Phillies wound up with only a single run before Galvis’ RBI ground-out. They and the Giants had each scored a run in the first; the Giants on a Brandon Crawford single and the Phillies on an Aaron Altherr double. It was Altherr batting in the bottom of the ninth, too, after Cesar Hernandez had run out another grounder to get on first with two outs. All Hernandez had to do was wait for Altherr, a born hero, to do his thing, but Cesar felt like stealing second would be a good idea - which, hey, probably a little aggressive, but arguably a good idea to get in scoring position for the Phillies most potent offensive weapon of late - and he even got in there safely, only to slide Cesar Hernandez-edly passed the base and be tagged out. Just like the infinite number of times this exact thing has happened before.
Have I mentioned lately how flummoxed I am by Cesar Hernandez? I have, haven't I? https://t.co/40QX0PjNpv— John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles) August 4, 2016
Cesar Hernandez has been caught stealing 7 times, picked off 2 times, and run into 4 outs on the bases— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) August 4, 2016
UPDATE: Hernandez never showed up, accidentally walked ten feet past locker room and sat in a broom closet— Justin Klugh (@justin_klugh) August 4, 2016
With no Cesar Hernandez on his team to log a free out, Denard Span’s extra inning jam gave the Giants a permanent 3-2 lead. To be fair, the bullpen put up another series of zeroes, just as they have throughout this series, with Elvis Araujo, Michael Mariot, and Brett Oberholtzer all keeping the Giants down and Severino Gonzalez surrendering the long overdue go-ahead run.
The Phillies sent their best chances out there in the bottom of the tenth, but after a long series, not even Altherr, Maikel Franco, or Tommy Joseph could make things interesting.