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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Offense Explodes in Opener

It almost looked as if Tuesday's opener was going to get rained out and Tim Lincecum and co. would have to wait until Wednesday to open up the 2009 season. The weather prevailed and so did the Giants bats, as they opened the season with a 10-6 beating of the Milwaukee Brewers in their first opening day win since 2005. I mentioned in my game preview post that the Giants had to take advantage of the Lincecum/Suppan match-up and they did so, even without getting a great effort out of their ace.

2008 NL Cy Young Award winner, Tim Lincecum, struggled through his first opening day assignment as the 24 year-old lasted just 3 innings, allowing 3 runs on 3 walks and 4 hits while striking out 5. Lincecum threw 74 pitches through 3, and Bochy felt like it was a little too much too soon and didn't want to overwork the youngster on the very first day of a 6-month marathon. The one at bat that I look back at that really ended up hurting Lincecum was the at-bat in which he threw a 1-2 change-up to Jeff Suppan and Suppan roped it for an RBI double before scoring on a Rickie Weeks single. His change-up was working well for him, but why him and Bengie Molina decided not to blow a 96 mph heater past the slow bat of the opposing pitcher baffled me for a second there, but hey, at least it didn't cost them the game. Those in relief of Timmy defenitely did there job though Rookie Joe Martinez was a little shaky at first, giving up a few solidly hit singles and allowing a couple of runs, but Bochy ended up getting 2 innings out of him and he ended up getting credited with the victory. Then the Giants used a combination of Brandon Medders, Jeremy Affeldt, Bob Howry, Alex Hinshaw and finally Brian Wilson to close the door on the Brewers.

Tim Lincecum had the spotlight on him in the early part of the afternoon, but it was the Giants' offense that stole the the show on Opening day. 4 Giants had multi-hit games including Bengie Molina who went 2-5 with a big fly and Aaron Rowand who went 2-3 with a home run and 3 RBI. The Giants young first-basemen who they are hoping can entrench himself into the role, got them started as Travis Ishikawa put the Giants on the board with a base-clearing 3-run triple in the bottom of the first. Pablo Sandoval aka Big Panda, the teams new young third basemen, got into the mix as well with a two-hit day, including a double and 2 runs scored. The only Giants' starter who didn't get a hit was second baseman Emmanuel Burris, but even he got involved, getting on base and both scoring and driving in a run. The unit that was supposed to be the huge question mark coming into the year, had all the answers on day one. Now, in no way am I declaring the Giants offense a powerhouse, much less a strength, but if Rowand consistently hit like he's capable of, Winn and Molina stay steady, and the youngsters continue doing what they started at the end of last season and have carried through spring training and opening day, then the Giants will be a good ball club. Not too mention, the way the team responded after they lost a lead and Lincecum got knocked out of the game was outstanding. This win has to give them the confidence that they can handle good teams, even if they don't have their ace on the mound or at full strength. Huge confidence builder and all-around great opening day for the Giants. See those of you who will be there, at the ballpark tomorrow night.
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5 Comments:

  • At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree big time about the winning without getting the great outing from Lincecum. The Giants out-slugged a pretty good hitting team today and that has to give them some confidence. Gallardo is going to be a lot tougher of an assignment tomorrow night however.

    Can't wait to see big unit dawn the Giants jersey and take the mound for the good guys though!!!!

    Did anyone else see that play where Renteria got tripped trying to turn the double play in the first inning?? Shouldn't that have been runners interference?

     
  • At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Giants Fan In 805 said…

    Tim Lincecum was soo wild today, it was a little alarming. He was inaccurate at the end of spring training too. I hope there's no sophmore slump for timmy after winning the Cy.

     
  • At 12:34 PM, Blogger OneSeason.com said…

    That was an awesome Opening Day. Great to finally get a W after 3 years of losses on Opening Day.

    Tim Lincecum
    wasn't sharp, and was missing high with everything. Probably just jitters to start the season, he'll be fine.

    Great offensive output from all guys. Everyone except Burris recorded at least one hit! That's what I call an all-around contribution!

    Going to the game tonight to see the Unit pitch! Should be fun

     
  • At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Walter Guest said…

    I just noticed this newsflash:

    "Boston signed right-handed relief pitcher Justin Hedrick, 26, after he was released from the Giants. Don't know if it was a numbers thing, but Hedrick pitched for Connecticut in the Eastern League the past two season, posting ERA's of 2.14 and 1.37."

    Hedrick was lights out for 5 years in the Giants minor league system. In most systems he'd be a major league veteran by now. A Giant scout said he didn't throw hard enough. Well boo hoo.

    Now the Red Sox have him for free. I wonder if Bill James knows something the Giants don't.

    Naah. No way.

     
  • At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Desiree said…

    Check out this cool Tim Lincecum "The Freak" T-shirt!

    http://www.zazzle.com/tim_lincecum_the_freak_tshirt-235882186330220087

     

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