Friday, April 9, 2010

SF Giants Opening Day in San Francisco!

It's been the sickest - discreet cough! - and one of the happiest days in San Francisco. 'High fives' were finally raised in jubilation as the Giants won their opening home game against the Atlanta Braves after an epic 13 innings in a record-breaking near four-and-a-quarter hours.

It was a tier-hanger of a game in front of a sell-out 42,940 crowd, with the winning score achieved by Aaron Rowand's batting and a sprawling dive-for-life onto first base, and a home-run by Juan Uribe. It gave the Giants a 5-4 victory, played out in glorious sunshine and temperatures in the 70s.

The ceremonial opening pitch, a well-kept secret, was thrown by 49er and Hall of Famer Jerry Rice to his former team mate and fellow Hall of Famer, Steve Young.

But the game hung perilously in the balance several times over. With the clock ticking to 4.45 pm, the Braves had the bases loaded. On their feet, Giants fans noisily willed on their pitchers, first Brian Wilson - 'shut this guy down Wilson!' - and then Sergio Romo. The danger passed with John Bowker catching out a Braves player.

Then it was the Giants' turn to be so near yet so far! Pablo Sandoval made it to third base but not beyond.

At 5.25 pm the Braves manager Bobby Cox, came out onto the pitch to argue with an umpire. 'Get him out!' booed the fans as the manager was ejected. Again the Braves made it to to third base, but pitcher Jeremy Affeldt saved the day.

Good pitching from Affeldt?

'Of course! No runs, it's beautiful!' said fan, Troy.

By mid-afternoon the Giants had been trailing 4-0. At around 3.30 pm, Jason - pic left - commented of their play, 'I'm a little disappointed for the home team but there's still plenty of time for us to win. Hope springs eternal on Opening Day!'

His words couldn't have been truer. Minutes later Rowand and Edgar Renteria made the first home runs of the 2010 season at the AT & T ballpark.

In the ninth inning, Renteria made a home-run and Velez also scored which caused the stadium to erupt and opened up opportunity with extra innings. The time was 4.20 pm.

For David - on right -  Man of the Match was 'the whole team of the Giants,' while Troy singled out Rowand.

Sitting next to me was Sharon - she didn't want her pic taken - whose favourite player is Rowand. He hadn't let her down, catching a player out  as well as his home-run.

'He was great!' she said. Sitting high up in the Arcade with our backs to McCovey Cove, we had bought the very last two tickets for the entire stadium late yesterday afternoon - not counting ticket 'scalpers'.

She works in LA - 'I've a co-worker who's a huge Braves fan!' - and was in town visiting family. Once a year she sees the the Giants, and this is her first opening game. She'd picked the ideal game.

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