SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants have their script memorized when it comes to Brian Wilson.
They’re happy he’s pitching again. They’re grateful for his contributions. This game is a business. Players move around. He’s an opponent now. It’s not weird to face him.
Unemotional. And unbelievable.
You knew you’d get anything but pablum, though, when Wilson appeared before the paying public at AT&T Park. And when he took the mound for the first time as a visitor on Tuesday, a blue rubber band at the end of his beard, the reaction was resolute: a deep draught of boos, drowning out the many fans who stood to applaud.
Wilson needed just 10 pitches to carve through three batters in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ 2-1 victory. It was one of the lowest stress innings he’s ever pitched at Third and King.
He struck out Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez, and in between, got Angel Pagan to fly out on the first pitch. He’s faced his former team three times now and hasn’t allowed a hit in 2 2/3 innings.
About the only dramatic moment came when Gregor Blanco stared back at the mound after taking a high and tight pitch.
“We’re here to compete,” Blanco said. “That’s the battle we have to have. … He was trying to get me off the plate but I was letting him know, `Hey, I’m staying in there.’”
Blanco struck out looking.
Matt Cain, who took a hard-luck loss in addition to a pair of bat flips following home runs by Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, acknowledged it was different to see Wilson enter from the other bullpen, and wearing a Dodgers jersey with 00 on the back.
“It’s part of the game and guys move around a little bit,” Cain said. “We’re happy he’s healthy because he’s meant a lot to us and what we did (in 2010), he had a hand in that.”
If the Giants took a road any higher, they’d be passing sherpas.
Mostly, though, they’re tired of talking about Wilson.
“Good inning,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “I don’t know what else to tell you. He hit his spots and had an easy inning against us.”
An easy inning for Wilson. A different kind of torture, you could call it.