Marco Scutaro stayed steady behind second base, absorbing Matt Holliday’s hard takeout slide and tossing the ball to 1st for a likely double play.
As Scutaro squirmed in the infield, twisting suffering discomfort, fans at ATT Park showered Holliday with boos. Giants players observed and worried, fearing the worst for a fallen teammate. Manager Bruce Bochy and Coach Dave Groeschner ran out of the dugout to attend to Scutaro, who finally dusted off the mud and stood up strongly.
And just like that, so did San Francisco’s offense.
Scutaro singled in 2 runs in a 4-run fourth inning before leaving with a hip injury, sparking San Francisco’s 1st home win this postseason, 7-1 over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night to tie the National League championship series at one game piece.
”We felt for him,” center fielder Angel Pagan said. ”We felt a little bit of anger.”
All those feelings came crashing down on the St. Louis Cardinals in a hurry.
Scutaro left after the 5th due to a left hip he hurt on a play Giants manager Bruce Bochy felt was against the law. X-rays were negative, and Scutaro likely will get an MRI examination. There was no word on his standing, but closer Sergio Romo said when Scutaro left, the 2nd baseman ”had a little grin on his face that he’d be back. Absolutely not really worried right now.”
”In my opinion,” right fielder Hunter Pence said, ”it pumped us up a little bit.”
The series now shifts to St. Louis for 3 games, beginning Wednesday when Giants ace Matt Cain takes on Kyle Lohse of the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Giants are rallying behind the slide against Scutaro. NFL odds
Things got testy when Holliday barreled into Scutaro at 2nd base to break up the potential double play in the 1st inning. The play riled up fans that had seen 3 straight losses by the Giants so far this postseason and still hold fresh – and sensitive – memories of the home-plate collision that sidelined All-Star catcher Buster Posey almost all of last season.
”In hindsight, I wish I would have started the slide a small earlier, but it happened so fast,” Holliday claimed. ”I hope he’s OK, he is a good guy. I was more interested on breaking up the double play.”
There was plenty to cheer all night for San Francisco Giants supporters.
Ryan Vogelsong pitched 7 strong innings; Pagan hit a leadoff homer to give San Francisco its 1st home lead this postseason and Scutaro stayed in until breaking the game open with his single off Chris Carpenter.
”That shows you how tough he is,” Bochy related. ”I actually think they got away with an illegal slide there. That rule was changed a little while ago. And he really didn’t hit dust until he was past the bag. Marco was behind the bag and got smoked. It is a shame somebody got hurt because of this. That’s more of a roadblock.”
Making Scutaro’s hit even sweeter for the San Francisco Giants was the fact that Holliday misplayed the ball in left field, allowing a 3rd run to score on the blunder and Scutaro to advance to second.