...Came hours after the Low.
I was out doing errands when I heard the bad news: SF Giants closer Brian Wilson has "Structural issues" with his throwing elbow and tendons.
We all saw it Thursday at Denver. Wilson appeared to hurt himself in the 9th when on 32 pitches he loaded the bases, allowing three hits and a walk before recording the 4-2 save. Wilson told Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Giants head trainer Dave Groeschner that he was OK, though he lost some velocity on his fastball. At the time the story was he rolled his ankle.
A Friday night MRI showed the "structural issues" and 2nd and 3rd opinions will be sought. Worse case scenario is "Tommy John" surgery on the elbow and the loss of the season to recover and rehab. Wilson had the same procedure in college.
Wilson is the Spiritual Leader not only of the Bullpen, but the clubhouse and whole team as well...he sets the mood, motivates the team when they're down, the whole shebang when it comes to team morale.
So the storm clouds were hovering over the Giants Saturday evening when Barry Zito got the start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Zito has been another emotional storm cloud for Giants fans. Deemed under-performing and overpaid by Giants Fans, management even sat him during the 2010 playoffs and World Series . Zito spent most of 2011 on the Disabled List rehabbing and remaking himself in Triple-A Fresno. Barry now 33, totally rebuilt his pitching motion, remaking himself in the process.
In what surely is a baseball miracle, Zito had his second quality start of the season. (Zito's first start stopped a four game slide by the Giants and began what is now 4 wins in 5 games.) Zito pitched 7 strong innings and left the game tied 3-3 for the Giants bullpen.
The Giants loaded the bases in the 9th and won on a Melky Cabrera grounder to 3rd and a throwing error to home that allowed the winning run to score.
The Giants extended their record of 4+ runs/game to 8 games. Last year the Giants lost so many games by one run, and were the least productive offense in the Majors. The Giants are hitting this season! Saturday they survived three Giants errors and won it in the 9th.
The Giants are back, now playing .500 ball. Bochy will play the closer question "by committee" for the time being...same as last season when Wilson's troubles began. Wilson goes on the DL and Ryan Vogelsong comes up from his rehab and starts today's final Pirates game. Vogy's return gives the Giants a five man rotation, with a strong bullpen. Santiago Casilla is the new sheriff in town so to speak. He tallied six saves in 2011.
So, the dark clouds morphed into the warm and fuzzies again...whew...
The Chinese Grand Prix was a keeper too! Great racing all through the field, no rain, no Safety Car. No Spoilers here either! The race replays at 12:30PM PDT on SpeedTV
Giants vs Pirates at AT&T Park today at 1:05PM, and IndyCar takes to the streets of Long Beach at 12:30PM PDT on NBC Sports Net.
Sunny day ahead! Fingers crossed!