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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bonds/Giants rolling into September

Well it took about 4 1/2 months, but we are starting to see shades of the old Barry Bonds again. Along with that, the Giants are playing their best ball of the season, finally stringing together a couple solid weeks of baseball. Unfortunetly, the Dodgers have found their winning ways again, and the Giants are still 5 games back of first place, but they are only1 1/2 games back in the wild card race with still plenty of baseball to play (30 games left). Besides continuing dominance shown by Noah Lowry and Matt Cain, a couple of big bats are just starting to really get it going. The big fella, Barry Bonds is hitting .407 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI's over his last 10 games (27 at-bats). His most impressive game over that span came Tuesday night in Atlanta when Barry went 3-3 with 2 home runs. His game yesterday reminded me a lot of a series back in May 2001 when the Giants where in Atlanta. Bonds' hit something like 7 home runs in the 3 game series at Turner Field doing it against the Braves' best arms. Barry had that same look Tuesday in Atlanta, he was squaring everything up very well and he has been for the last couple weeks. He has raised his average 20 points in the last 8 days alone and it finally looks like he may get out of the .250's after all. I'm not saying I think it will happen, but it wouldn't surprise me the least if he hit 12 jacks in September and won player of the month. I wouldn't put anything past him, and after watching him last night, I know he's still very capable of putting together some streaks. Last night, he got off-balance, way out in front of a Tim Hudson change-up and still hit it to the deepest part of Turner Field with plenty of room to spare (pitcured above). When a hitter can do that with that little balance he's locked in. Shea Hillenbrand is also continuing to get better with more time in San Francisco. Over his last 5 games he's 12-21 with 3 home runs, 8 RBI's and 6 runs scored. That's more of the type of run production the Giants felt they where getting when they dealt away their top young reliever last month. Hillenbrand has been striving in the number 3 spot in the order right in front of Bonds'. I like that combo but I would rather have Ray Durham hit 5th than Moises Alou right now. Alou has been out for a while and his swing looks slow and not up to speed while Durham has been the offensvie catalyst over the second half of the season. Moises Alou is still very important to get going. It seems like the Giants haven't reaped the benifets of his bat consistantly at all this season. If the line-up can stay healthy together in September, we should see one of the better offenses in the NL.

As I said at the top of the post, you can't say anymore about what Noah Lowry and Matt Cain continue to do. Noah Lowry was rightfully named NL co-player of the week for last week. He went 2-0 allowing only 1 run in 17 innings. If it weren't for the Giants lack of run support, Lowry would easely be in the running for another player of the month of August award. Whatever this guy does at the all-star break works because he's put together some stellar second half's in his young career. Unfortunetely, the bullpen has let him down a lot over the month of august. I am still not quite sure why Jack Taschner is up while Jonathen Sanchez and Brian Wilson are down in AAA. Taschner continues proving he isn't a big league pitcher and the Giants already have 2 good lefties in their bullpen. The rosters do expand on the first, and we will be seeing Sanchez and Wilson among others come up and start contributing so we only need to endure another couple days of Jack Taschner getting mop up time. I am really excited to see if the Giants give Eric Threets a call-up this September. This guy has been in the Giants' system for years, but he's still only 24 and he has been dealing in Fresno. He's always had a devastating fastball that hits the high ninties. He still is walking a few more batters than the Giants' want but he's not easy to hit and he's sporting the best era of any Fresno pitcher. These September call-ups are definitely going to bring up some talent.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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