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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Giants Back Within Striking Distance

The Giants' seasaw battle back into the division race will not stop. As I am writing this, the Padres have a 3-1 lead on the Dodgers in the 3rd inning at Petco Park. If the Dodgers lose tonights ballgame, it would put the Giants only 4 games back of them. The Dodgers have finally hit a little bump in the road in San Diego and the Giants have taken advantage. Look no further than the arms of Noah Lowry and Matt Cain and you'll see why the Giants are not only still breathing the the NL West, but are now well within striking distance. Matt Cain turned in another solid outing Tuesday night going 7 innings giving up only 1 run. Unfortunetly he fell victim to Armondo Benitez's latest blunder and it cost him from getting his 10th win of the year. Cain is starting to gain more consistancy as the season goes on and it won't surprise me the least to see him lead the team in wins and strikeouts at the end of the season. Noah Lowry's outing on Monday was his best of the season (and he's had a lot of them), as he completed 9 innings for the second time in 4 starts, this time getting credit for the complete game and the win while only allowing 2 hits. Over those last 4 games, Lowry has a 2.18 era and has allowed only 16 hits in 31 innings pitched. Even though Lowrey missed the first month of the year, he has still pitched well enough in his 129 innings to be about 10-4 rather than 6-7. In his 21 starts, he has had only 3 where he really didn't give the team much of a chance to win and thats all you can ask for from a young pitcher. If Lowry and Cain haven't been doing what they have, I'm sure the Giants would not be in the position they are in now. The Giants rotation could be in very good shape if Matt Morris can get his head on straight for the final month, but that hasn't happened all year, why now?

Barry Bonds has brought up a reason why he has not played up to expectations this season. He said earlier in the week that he hasn't been able to have a normal off-season workout regimen in 2 years. He thinks next year will be a lot different with him being able to resume normal workouts this winter. Bonds has been swinging the bat pretty good lately. He hit the Giants' first splash hit of the '06 season Monday night with a blast off of Livan Hernandez. Bonds went 5-9 against the Diamondbacks and hopefully for the Giants he only continues to heat up. The Giants start a big 4 games series Thursday night vs. the Cincinatti Reds. The Reds are leading the pack in the wild card race, but the Giants are only 4 games back from that as well. The teams ahead of the Giants in the wild card race are hardly impressive. The only team I could see beating out the Giants would be the Padres. I highly doubt the Reds will continue to hang around with their pitching staff. Aaron Harrang and Bronoson Arroyo are awesome, but the rest of the staff has question marks. The Philladelphia Phillies, another team ahead of the Giants in the race, also have major pitching quesitons. The NL Wild Card is still very much up for grabs and I think the winner will come from the NL West.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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