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After beating the Marlins 4-1 Sunday the Giants flew directly to Denver and checked into their hotels so as to enjoy as much of their day off yesterday as possible. Ryan Vogelsong’s strong outing made the home stand a winning one and kept the Giants three ahead of Colorado in the NL West standings. The rest was much needed.
The Giants are ready to get back to baseball tonight against the red hot Rockies who boast three of the top five best hitters for average in Justin Morneau, Charlie Blackmon and Troy Tulowitski. Tulo leads the league in average (.393) and Home Runs (13) and is third in RBIs.
Tulowitski’s line is staggering: .494 OBS/.764 SLG/1.259 OPS and he leads in every category by a wide margin including Wins Against Replacement. His 4.5 (WAR) is way beyond. The Denver Post has a nice article about Tulo today.
The Rockies have tasted first place in the NL West already this year and could tie for the lead with a sweep. They’ve been blasting the ball and have hit 62 homers as a team. They beat the Giants in Colorado on April 22 of this year on the strength of five homers and they smashed five in Cincy on the 10th to beat the Reds.
The Rockies clubhouse was struck by a viral infection which sent Catcher Wilin Rosario to the DL, but he has been reactivated from the injury list.
Madison Bumgarner pitches for the Giants tonight, followed by Matt Cain tomorrow night. Tim Hudson will likely be returning to the starting lineup for Thursday’s day game. Hudson missed his last start and was sent to the DL to rest a sore right hip, but has been throwing on flat ground since Saturday and will throw bullpen today.
Angel Pagan is listed day-to-day for the series because of his left shoulder, which he sprained diving for a ball in the last Marlins game.
Pablo Sandoval has begun hitting, stepping up in the absence of Brandon Belt. His solo homer yesterday was nice to see. His nine game hitting streak could include more long balls in the altitude of Coors Field. Let’s hope so.
Game 1: Giants 8, Nationals 0
Ryan Vogelsong came out of his slump and got the win, but then had his hand broken when hit by a pitch and will be out 6 – 8 weeks. But it was a good outing til then.
Game 2: Giants 4, Nationals 2
Pablo Sandoval’s walkoff two-run homer in the 10th ended this one. Affeldt got the win.
Game 3:Giants 1, Nationals 2
Affeldt took the loss in the 10th. Bumgarner had a great outing but the Giants couldn’t score enough.
Great game. Bumgarner made it a taut chess match til the late innings, and Pablo Sandoval took advantage of J.J. Putz.
Here’s the game winning, two-run homer by Clutch-Fu Panda
An excellent game in which everything came together to end in a walkoff double by Angel Pagan and the Giants win 3-2. Buster Posey had a deep double, which hopefully will help him up out of his slump.
Bochy pulled Bumgarner in the 6th, middle and late relief did their job, and Santiago Casilla got the win.
Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford, sadly, had their 11-game hit streaks ended, but this one was Giants Baseball all the way.
Way to go Giants!
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It took a perfect outing from one of the best lefties in baseball – including the first home run he ever hit in his life – to mar what was otherwise an excellent opening series for the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants looked crisp off the mound and decent at the plate, hitting in rotation situationally and even manufacturing runs. The biggest issue at the plate is we are once again on pace to lead the league in hitting into double plays! But it’s early and that stuff will hopefully start to winnow out. Pitching – particularly Cain, Bumgarner and Romo – was stellar.
The Giants won the series 2-1 over their NL West division rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers to take an early season lead in what will likely be a fight for first place in the division with Arizona. The Diamondbacks made a statement in last night’s game – a scrappy, hard-fought, come-from-behind, 16-inning win over the St. Louis Cardinals to start their season 2-1 as well.
Starting pitchers did not allow a single earned run.
Cain was, typically, Big Horse consistent and stable. Bumgarner was intensely precise and Lincecum used balls and walks liberally, but stayed on top of his game.
Madison Bumgarner’s performance was platinum. He had tight, controlled movement and dominated the Dodger lineup. It was great to see from the young, powerful Big Country Mad Bum.
Bruce Bochy showed smart sensitivity pulling Cain in the first game. Cain and Lincecum are the eldest on our very young staff, and both got pulled before the 7th. This is how to develop middle and late relief and to protect starters’ arms over the long season.
Over the course of the last two years Bochy has slowly shown an increasing willingness to use the bullpen rather than risk fatigue – either of arms in the long term or of minds on the mound in the short term – with our starting pitching. This has culminated in the masterful use of a committee of late relief and closers last year down the stretch.
It’s important because our most significant problem (as pointed out most clearly by Bay City Ball) is depth at Starting Pitching. If one of our big 5 goes down, we’d have to adapt fast.
That said, poor George Kontos …
shake it off homes. freak swing by the opposing pitcher.
Before that Kontos had an excellent 7th inning and looked ready to work the middle and pass the ball over to one of our capable lefties before Romo. It was a shame it shook out like that. We believe in you George, it was a solid outing before the guy decided he wanted to make history in LA.
In a way George, we needed you to take that hit because a LOT of us really don’t want Matt Cain getting any more losses in tight games than he has to. The poor guy has suffered his entire career with win-loss records beleaguered by our inability to produce runs. You took those runs that night so Matty wouldn’t get them and the loss and we appreciate it.
Casilla’s wild pitch, Lincecum’s, others’ can be chalked up to the season being very young and we should be honest and expect more sloppy working it out in the first month or so.
In Casilla’s case especially, the guy is coming off winning the World Baseball Championship – The Dominicans ran the table! and he was overwrought and excellent in relief. (Haft has details on Casilla’s effort).
The guy has played more ball under pressure than most this year – Casilla gets a one month pass.
(DR vs. Japan would’ve been interesting)
Casilla’sWP:coming off winning the WBC,beating PR to do it,more ball under pressure than most this year – Casilla gets a one month pass.
Sergio Romo was SOLID GOLD. and he tweeted throughout including one which read that his “goal” was 50 saves! That was exciting to read.
I hope you make it my man … That’s What’s Up!
Shutdown performance by Kershaw was followed by a solid job of hitting by the Giants in game 2, specifically by Joaquin Arias, but as YahooSports pointed out “The Giants scored their first run on three consecutive one-out hits, including Arias’ RBI single.”
Situational hitting and manufacturing runs was the story of the offense and this continued to game three when Crawford and Pagan joined in on the action. But the team added homers by Pablo and Pence! Thrilling stuff to see the offense coming together – power, contact, base-running (I’m excluding el caballero loco on that last one). Pagan leading off, Scutaro, Pablo and Posey behind him is going to work well.
The problem remains that too often the Giants destroyed opportunities by hitting into double plays. It is the beginning of the season and on any other team I wouldn’t bat an eye, but we have a historic problem that reaches back several years in this regard. Maybe bunt practice in order to take advantage of squeeze chances would help in other situations as well. If we aren’t going get a lot of hits, or score a lot of runs we have to at least keep runners on the paths and continue to manufacture runs as we have been doing the last year and change.
With Brandon Belt falling sick, Bochy had a chance to do more moving of the chess pieces. Arias on first and Sanchez behind the plate yielded and didn’t, had succeses and problems, but more I was happy to see this kind of constant moving about of players. I am of the mind we need a flexible team offensive scheme.
(Hec or Bus)ter at plate
Belt, Posey, Arias or Panda at first
Arias, Panda or Scutaro at third
Blanco or Torres in LF.
It’s flex-offense. I love Bochy for this team approach and have no problem with half a season going by with pieces moving in concert or individually to suit opponent, weather, interleague and etc. I have come around on this. Used to chew my nails to shreds over Bochy’s calls, now I see a logic in it. We can recreate units to suit. Cool.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Brandon Crawford also known as @bcraw35 continues to rock short. Golden Glove campaign [BCrawGG13] required.
Hunter Pence still looks like a crazy-eyed wild man going after balls. I trust him … and yet … it makes me nuts to see Pence and Pagan still doing the chipmunk act from the old Looney Tunes cartoons .. “After you.” “No, After You. “No I insist.” (ball drops to the field). I know Pence has only been out there a few months for us, but he and Pagan have to work that out because problems we saw last year continue. Pagan manhandled CF again. LF hardly saw any action at all so the platoon was untested.
All told an excellent series for the Giants and a great way to launch Giants Baseball Corner. I will be posting Series Wrap-ups like this whether I post full series game for game or not. Feel free to comment, feedback etc. best is on TWITTER, in my opinion.
Sorry to everybody but particularly to Julian for over tweeting while getting GBC set up.
All are welcome here where we are focused on the relentless flow of the positive river.
The San Francisco Giants OWNed major league baseball’s All-Star Game.
Our pitcher started, was best and got the win (Matt Cain),
our big bat (Pablo Sandoval) got the only triple with bases loaded ever scored in the history of the All Star Game, scoring three,
the first of whom was our best hitter for average (Melky Cabrera) who won the MVP going 2 for 3, with 2 runs and 2 RBI, had the game’s only HR, and was the first and last man across home plate.
Together We’re Giant