Now that was a great road trip.
On what was meant to be the Giants longest and most difficult road trip of the season – ten consecutive nights facing the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves, the Pirates in Pittsburgh and four vs. the Dodgers in LA, the Giants emerged with a 7-3 record and showed flexibility, poise and power.
They swept the Braves in Atlanta for the first time since 1988, using power – a parade of home runs – and pitching. They lost two of three in Pittsburgh, but the one game they took was a wild one that went 13 innings and in which 21 runs were scored. Bizarrely, after being unable to score with RISP in Atlanta, the Giants flipped the script and won that one with situational hitting; moving runners over with bunts and sacs, getting timely hits with RISP. It ended with Jean Machi’s bunt RBI and not a single homer.
Despite losing Brandon Belt to a broken thumb and having Sergio Romo blow a save in the ninth in LA, the team managed to chip away and fight for wins to stay on top of the NL West by two games over Colorado and four and a half over LA.
Back at the friendly confines of AT&T this week, it doesn’t get much easier, as the top two teams of the NL East are in town. The Braves are certain to have vengeance on their minds after the Giants swept them last week in their park. Then next up, it’s the Miami Marlins, a surprisingly good team this year, just two back of the Braves out East. After the homestand, it’s back on the road to face the Rockies in Colorado – who will be looking to seize the division lead. It’s going to be a tough stretch the rest of May.
Tim Lincecum is on the mound tonight. He will face the Braves’ Gavin Floyd.