The Minnesota Twins are tied for second in the AL Central but have a .500 record because it’s a division dominated by the powerful Detroit Tigers. Their power hitter Joe Mauer has been struggling terribly, but still, they have Kurt Suzuki and Eduardo Escobar batting above .300.
Tim Lincecum had a crazy outing on Friday – at one point Andrew Baggarly noted he had 55 balls and 55 strikes, matching his number. He ended up with six walks, five strikeouts and gave up five hits. Bruce Bochy described him as “bobbing and weaving,” but when it was all said and done, despite letting a lot of Twins on and having to pitch out of jams, Lincecum and the Giants won 6-2.
Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Hicks homered again – it’s starting to look like the Panda is back. Andre Reynier asked about Brandon Hicks in the comments and so we reflected on how well the young man has played in place of Marco Scutaro. It’s looking more and more like Scoots may never return – the back may have just given out – so the question of Hicks’ effectiveness season-long becomes important.
Andre feels Hicks might be considered another excellent pick up by Brian Sabean, and at first blush, I agree. He has been technically exacting in the field and powerful at the plate. However, he has also made some “rookie mistakes” – like when he missed the bag legging out a double and was called out, andthere have been a couple of flippant throwing errors here and there.
The question is whether or not he can sustain the play through 162. I have no idea if he can, but even Brandon Crawford has sustained drop off in the second half over a couple of years. We shall just have to wait and see. But right now, it is working and it’s fun to watch the DP’s and homers-a-flying.
Game Two of this series was Epic Ryan Vogelsong. If we are talking about Panda like he’s back, it is starting to feel even more true for Ryan Vogelsong, who is dropping Quality Starts like it’s 2012 again.
Last night Vogey was dominant through seven. he nearly finished the 7th, but was forced from the game by silly throwing error. he would have had the last out, but flipped the ball to first too casually. Bochy, to his credit, evaluated the lapse correctly and immediately pulled Vogey in favor of our bullpen. (Though they gave up a homer before closing it out).
The Giants played their style of ball. Good Starting Pitching, crisp defense, just enough runs and taking advantage of opponents mistakes led to a 2-1 victory for Vogey, that could have been a shutout, save for a homer hit off Machi in the ninth. Machi closed it out and got the save.
Hoping to sweep today! Go Giants!