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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Giants Return Favor To Padres

After getting swept by the Padres on their visit just last week, the Giants got a chance to redeem themselves vs. their foes from Southern California, and they did just that.

The Giants swept the Padres in their short two-game set in San Francisco and once again, got lights-out performances out of their starting pitchers, but their offense actually showed up on Tuesday night as well. Well, not the whole offense, but one guy in particular who had looked sluggish in the early going and is already drawing criticism. That guy is Edgar Renteria. The shortstop officially arrived for the Giants in Tuesday nights game, providing his first multi-hit game in a Giants uni, along with his first home run. Renteria went 3 for 4 with a grand-slam and 5 RBI, leading the Giants to a 8-3 victory over the Padres. It's no secret that the majority of the baseball scouting world didn't agree with the contract Brian Sabean gave Renteria over the winter, and early on there, it was looking like they were right. Now, I'm not saying Renteria is back. He followed up Tuesday's solid performance with an 0-3 day Wednesday, but he did reach base for the 6th straight game and provided pretty solid defense up the middle in support of Barry Zito's strong start.

Speaking of Zito, he really did throw better than his line showed in his first two starts, and finally got some defensive support in his start on Wednesday. Zito came into the game with an era right at 10.00, but if you've watched him pitch this year, your aware of the defensive misplays that ended up really costing him. Wednesday, however, was a completely different story. The 126-million dollar man actually pitched up to his salary level vs. the Padres. The Giants' lefty went 7 shutout innings, allowing 6 hits while striking out 5 batters. The big stat for Zito though was that he walked nobody, which happened for the first time since June 25th of last year. Unfortunately the offense couldn't get going against Chris Young and Zito didn't get a decision in the game, but it ended with another Giants victory. After Wednesday's solid outing by Zito, the Giants now have all five of their starters on track and thrwoing the ball the way they're supposed to. Matt Cain preceded Zito's gem with a quality start of his own, going 6 strong, allowing 2 earned runs and striking out 5 batters while improving his record to a team-best 2-0. As a matter of fact, the Giants starting pitchers sported an era of 0.58 (2 earned runs allowed in 34.2 innings) on the home-stand while striking out 35 batters. Cain, especially, has been a bright spot because he's actually getting some run support and it looks like this could be the year he breaks out and wins 15+ ballgames.

Now comes the big test for the Giants as they go back out onto the road. They got well at home and improved got their record back up to 6-8 after returning to AT&T at 2-7 on Friday night. They travel to Arizona tonight and start up a 3-game set with the D-Backs on Friday, the only series on the short road-trip. The Giants once again have a leg up on the pitching match-ups vs. the Arizon as the series is lined up to have Tim Lincecum vs. Doug Davis on Friday, Randy Johnson vs. Max Scherzer on Saturday and Matt Cain vs. Jon Garland wrapping things up on Sunday. Saturday's game should be an interesting one to watch as Randy Johnson pitches in Arizona for the first time in a uniform other than the Diamonbacks. Johnson is also sitting at 296 wins for his career, so a lot of the spotlight will be on him as he inches closer to that elusive 300th victory.

Extras: I recently did a short interview with the Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove League blog regarding some of the Giants as far as the fantasy baseball world is concerned. Check it out here!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 9:10 PM, Anonymous J-Bill said…

    I was at the game today and Zito pitched great. It was also good to see the fans show him some love when he walked off the field today... Maybe Zito's going to turn it around after all!!

  • At 1:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wishful thinking on zito turning it around. Every time he has a good start we all say the same thing but then he give up several homers and walks the very next start. I'll just be happy with any improvement whatsoever from him. He'll always be the most overpaid player ever nothing can ever save us from that but if he can keep his record near .500 and his era in low 4's he'll be a fine 4th or 5th starter for the next 5 years ugh :( .

  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Zito's never going to live up to his contract, but I do think he can still salvage his career and become a serviceable pitcher again...
    He was in a grove last start that I hadn't seen him get into in a while, and his first 2 starts were better than the outcomes showed. Not in any way trying to defend Zito, just stating the facts of his season so far.. To be fair, he really hasn't been a dominant, #1 starter since 2003 and started showing signs of slowing down even before the Giants signed him. He's never going to be the pre-'04 version of himself, so let's stop using that as a basis of comparison. He was basically a .500 pitcher with a 4.00 in his last 2 years w/ Oakland and I think that's what should be expected in San Francisco.

  • At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank the baseball gods for Bengie Molina!!!!!! Dont get me wrong I cant wait for posey to be ready to comeup but i think that bengie would b a grat mentor for him. I also belive its only a matter of time and were going to get hot again. The Giants are a young team learning how to win on the road. By the all star break i belive well be the ones shutting the dodgers up.

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