In the top of the eighth inning with Buster Posey on third and one out, Gregor Blanco looked down at third-base coach Tim Flannery.
After watching Flannery’s gyrations, Blanco must have thought: “Either Flan wants me to put down a suicide squeeze or he has an itch on his face.”
Given manager Bruce Bochy’s disdain for putting on the suicide squeeze play this season, it’s no wonder that Blanco decided on the latter.
It wasn’t until Buster Posey came charging down the line that Blanco was corrected.
Blanco didn’t bunt and Posey was hung out to dry.
Bochy said: “We weren’t trying a kamikaze play with Buster.”
Posey explained it this way: “A sense of dismay is a good way to put it, I guess. I know Blanco feels worse about it than anybody and I’m sure it won’t happen again.”
It won’t, because Bochy won’t put the suicide squeeze on again.
Luckily for Blanco and the Giants, the Phillies weren’t able to score and the game went into the 10th tied at 5-5.
And Blanco found himself again at the plate with the go-ahead run (this time in the person of Melky Cabrera) at third base and one out.
Bochy did not put on the suicide squeeze this time. But Blanco had the good sense to take matters into his own hands.
“I said to myself, ‘I’m going to have another opportunity to win this game,’ ” Blanco said. “When the count got to 3-1, I thought that was the right moment to bunt it. I did, and it worked.”
It did indeed, and the Giants find themselves with another series win on the road.
The Giants are assured of — at worst — a 4-2 road trip, with a chance to make it 5-1 when Barry Zito takes the mound Sunday against Joe Blanton.
Like Thursday’s game in Atlanta, a win Sunday would be gravy as the Giants return home Monday for a 10-game homestead against the Padres, Dodgers and Mets.
They did it with the longball early Saturday with homers by Matt Cain (yes! Matt Cain), Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera. And small ball late.
Even if it did take two tries.