DENVER — Tim Hudson got his first World Series ring a week ago, so what was left for the 39-year-old to accomplish. His wife gave a hint in a tweet sent late Friday night.
“Tough @SFGiants loss tonight, but Tim IS going to get his FIRST win ever at Coors Field tomorrow. Ever. #DontStopBelievin’” Kim Hudson wrote.
For eight innings, it looked like this would be the night, but Santiago Casilla couldn’t hold on in the bottom of the ninth. In the end, the Giants still edged the Rockies, winning 5-4 in 11 innings.
Nori Aoki’s fourth walk got the Giants going in the 11th, and he got to third on a bunt and single. Joe Panik put a squeeze bunt down the right side and Aoki’s slick slide brought the lead run across.
The Giants had handed a 4-3 lead to Casilla, but two singles and a slow grounder to second tied the game. It looked like it would get much worse, but Drew Stubbs, who hit the grounder, tumbled over the bag after stealing second and was tagged out, ending the inning.
Hudson had been 0-2 here with a 7.29 ERA, but he allowed just three earned in seven innings on this night. Coors Field remains one of just two current MLB parks where Hudson is seeking a win, and the other, Target Field in Minnesota, is a place he has pitched just once.
Starting pitching report: Here’s a line you don’t see at Coors Field too often: 7 innings, 8 hits, 3 earned runs, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts. Hudson had a big night and did so efficiently, throwing 95 pitches in his seven innings, 66 of which were strikes. Unfortunately for him, the bullpen couldn’t hold on.
Bullpen report: Bochy opted to play the matchups in the bottom of the ninth, going with lefty Jeremy Affeldt since Carlos Gonzalez was leading off. He got Gonzalez, the dangerous left-handed hitter, to bounce back to the mound. The rest of the inning didn’t go as smoothly.
At the plate: The Giants scattered their offensive production, with Justin Maxwell providing the big shot, a two-run homer in the sixth inning. The right fielder has three homers in his last five games. Bruce Bochy has already said that Maxwell will start here tomorrow, and with two left-handers on tap for the first two games in Los Angeles, it seems a good bet he starts at least the next three games.
In the field: Matt Duffy has been asked to play four different positions this season, and maybe that came into play when he hesitated on the game-tying grounder in the ninth. With runners at the corners, the speedy Drew Stubbs hit a slow roller to second. Duffy thought about going home but Casilla looked to be in the throwing lane, so Duffy turned and tagged the runner headed for second. They probably weren’t turning two on Stubbs anyway, but all hope was gone with the hesitation.
Attendance: The Rockies announced a crowd of 36,474, including my brother, who hopefully hit LoDo before the bottom of the ninth.
Up next: By his own admission, Tim Lincecum’s stuff has been down a tick this season, so he’s in for a good test Sunday. Well, maybe. Rain is in the forecast. The Giants won’t push too hard to stay here if it’s pouring. They’re scheduled to come back here in about a month.