Saturday, April 25, 2015

Extra magic at Coors

Coors Field has usually been a nightmare for the Giants, as Henry Schulman puts it in a fine recap for the SF Chron -- 

 
DENVER — Sunday marks 20 years since the first game at Coors Field. All the biggies from the 1995 team will be here: Larry Walker, Dante Bichette and Ellis Burks, to name a few.
The Giants will show up, too, maybe with a blowtorch, a jackhammer and forged demolition orders.
The Giants have had many miserable memories at this yard. Even their successes, such as Saturday night’s 5-4, 11-inning victory, feel like root canals.
“Anytime you go into extra innings in this park, you’re never comfortable,” Tim Hudson said after Santiago Casilla’s blown save in the ninth cost the starter his first career victory at Coors.
“When you have a one-run lead here, it feels like a tie ballgame. You don’t want to go into extra innings against this club. They’ve got a good lineup, and this is the best hitters’ park in the league. That’s a bad combination. It was good to get the win,” the Giants’ first in five games against the Rockies this year.
Nori Aoki slid home with the winning run on Joe Panik’s one-out safety squeeze in the 11th.
Panik was freelancing. He recalled hitting a groundball the last time he faced pitcher Brooks Brown and did not want to end the inning with a double play. So he pushed a bunt to the right side, a bit too hard, forcing Aoki to beat a quick throw from first baseman Justin Morneau.
“I’ve laid down better, but Nori is a fast runner,” Panik said.
How about Aoki’s night? The leadoff hitter scored the winning run after drawing his career-best fourth walk and advancing on a Matt Duffy sacrifice and Angel Pagan’s fourth hit, a single.

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