PITTSBURGH - Ken Giles wanted to go after the batter. Friday night, the pitcher said, was the best he had felt in a while. The call from the dugout was to intentionally walk Pedro Alvarez in the eighth inning of an eventual 1-0 loss to the Pirates. Giles became incensed.
"I'm just out there competing. I don't like to give freebies," Giles said before Saturday's game. "I understand the situation of the game. I just don't like giving freebies. That's about it. I want someone to beat me. My emotions just got the best of me."
Catcher Cameron Rupp walked to the mound to calm Giles down. Pitching coach Bob McClure had already made two visits, and he could not come again without making a change. (McClure's first trip counted as a trainer's visit when Giles was hit in the foot with a line drive.) Rupp wrapped his arm around Giles, and the pitcher continued to bark.
"Things get heated. It happens," Rupp said. "Emotions start to get riled up, and it's sort of just the heat of the moment. You have to make sure that you're there to be kind of like a coach. He let his emotions get to him, but he got the job done."
Giles walked Alvarez intentionally and then walked Francisco Cervelli to load the bases with two outs. He fired three straight balls to Jordy Mercer before firing three straight strikes to end the inning. Giles walked off the mound and made a gesture with his right hand.
"I didn't want anyone to beat me with my best stuff that I had that night," Giles said. "I was just a little too fired up, and it got the best of me."
Manager Ryne Sandberg, bench coach Larry Bowa, and pitching coach Bob McClure each yelled at Giles once he was seated on the bench. Giles hollered back at McClure. The Phillies television broadcasters said Giles and McClure were separated by Cole Hamels.
Sandberg said after the game that it was frustration with the game strategy. Giles said he talked to everyone after the game. There is nothing to worry about, he said.
"We settled our differences," Giles said. "Everything is behind us, buried, and never going to happen again."
The Pirates scored the lone run of Friday's game in the 13th inning on a single up the middle off relief pitcher Dustin McGowan.
Kevin Correia earned a no decision in his first start since signing with the Phillies on Monday. The righthander allowed no runs in 51/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.
It was Correia's first start since May 29, when he pitched seven shutout innings for San Francisco's triple-A affiliate.
Blanco solid in field
Andres Blanco is averaging roughly two starts per month this season. The infielder has to make his time on the field count, and that's what he did on Friday night when he filled in for Chase Utley at second base.
Blanco snagged a pop-up in the fifth inning that ricocheted off of Correia's foot. The infielder was not sure whether the ball had touched the ground, so he fired a throw to first. The umpire ruled a fly out.
Blanco then recorded the second out of the eighth inning on a diving stab and throw to get out Neil Walker. Blanco ran to his left, slid on the grass, knocked the ball into the air with his glove, and grabbed it with his right hand. He jumped to his feet and made the throw.
"If I put the effort to get to the ball, I make sure to get the out," Blanco said. "I don't like to get there and waste my time. I get so mad. I had the opportunity to recover and get the ball. It's baseball."