We needed this win. I don’t enjoy losing, and I especially don’t enjoy losing to the Yankees. So when I saw us dominate yesterday, not only in terms of pitching but also in terms of hitting, I was very pleased indeed. There’s nothing like an invigorating stint with a National League team to get your victory going.
Lester faced the minimum through three and gave up his first hit, a single, in the fourth. He had a couple of baserunners in the fifth but held firm.
Salty led off the second with a single, Nava walked, and Drew singled to load the bases. Just like that. And of all of the reactions that Middlebrooks could have had to that situation at the plate, he hit a sac fly. It scored one run, but come on. When the bases are loaded with nobody out, there are so many other cooler, better, and more productive things to do than hit a sac fly. It was better than nothing. So was the balk that Lester ended up working, scoring yet another run. That was pretty awesome. And then Victorino singled in the inning’s third run before Pedroia flied out to end it. So it wasn’t exactly a bases-clearing triple, and it wasn’t exactly flashy or what you’d expect with the bases loaded. But by the end of the inning, we had the bases cleared.
We added insurance in the fifth; with two out, Nava singled and scored on a double by Drew. Ellsbury singled to lead off the sixth, moved to second when Victorino got hit and third when Pedroia grounded into a double play, and scored on a wild pitch. Even down to the wire, we hadn’t finished scoring; Pedroia tripled in the ninth and scored on a double by Salty.
In the end, Lester was just two outs shy of going the distance. He dealt with two on in the sixth, one on in the seventh, and one on in the eighth. After he induced a flyout to lead off the ninth, he gave up two consecutive singles and was replaced by Workman, who ended the game with two K’s. But what a start! He was rewarded for his incredible effort with a well-deserved win; he pitched eight and one-third innings of shutout ball, giving up six hits and two walks while striking out three. Meanwhile, our hit total was double that. Against Lester the Giants’ batters never even had a chance. Winning seven-zip was easy all the way through, and Lester looked like his old self again.