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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Giants Beat LA, Again

The Giants have come a long way since their first road-trip of the season, in which they were swept by these Dodgers in LA. With Tim Lincecum on the mound, the Giants completed their second straight series victory over the Dodgers, and indeed, have shown that they are a much different team than the one that started the season.

It's no secret that the Giants struggle to score consistently. They're ranked last in the NL in runs scored, despite the fact that they're 2 games above .500. The reason why they are where they are is simple; they can flat out pitch, as evident by another series win, despite scoring just 6 runs in 3 games. Tim Lincecum didn't have his best stuff Sunday, but his 6 innings pitched, 8 k's and 3 earned runs on 6 hits marked his fifth straight quality start and certainly good enough to win. Lincecum left the game with the Giants down a run in the seventh, and the pressure was on the Giants' bats in order for him to avoid an L and the bats answered the bell. It took a couple extra innings to do it, but the Giants defeated the Dodgers on a 13th inning, 2-run single by Randy Winn. The Giants' right-fielder was really the offensive standout as he went 4-6 with 2 RBI and 4 runs scored. However, it was the bullpen that held on strong and gave the Giants the chance to win it after Lincecum departed. Brandon Medders, Jeremy Affeldt, Merkin Valdez, Bob Howry and Brian Wilson combined for seven innings of five-hit, one-run ball. It got a little scary at times, as both Medders and Wilson pitched through some trouble, but the Giants bullpen ultimately got the job done. Something that has been happening with a lot of consistency this year.

After taking two of three in LA and splitting two in Chicago, the Giants have to feel pretty good about their road trip. The bright spot from the trip was the team's young second basemen, Emmanuel Burris. Manny had a tremendous road trip, going 12-24 with 3 steals and 3 runs scored and saw his average rise from .211 to .286. The 23 year-old speedster also leads the team with 9 stolen bases in 12 attempts. Needless to say, Burriss has righted himself this May, and has silenced all the "bring up Frandsen" talk that was starting to surface at the end of April. Unfortunately the same didn't happen for Travis Ishikawa. The 25 year-old first-basemen had 10 official at-bats on the road trip and didn't have anything to show for them. Ishikawa has been struggling mightily since the season began and it's really weighing down the offense. Bochy had a short leash with him in Sunday's game, removing him in favor of Rich Aurilia in a spot where he felt the Giants needed a boost offensively. The Giants have also made it clear that they are looking for more out of that spot in the order and they may entertain moving Pablo Sandoval to first base full time and letting Juan Uribe man third for a while. I personally would like to see Jesus Guzman (.316 with 6 home runs and 23 RBI and only one fielding error in 30 games). He's been playing a lot of first base and has handled it well, but a potential corner infield of Sandoval and Guzman wouldn't be the strongest defensive bunch in the league. It's obvious that his bat is major league ready, or at least ready to be major league tested. The former A's (Oakland A's Schedule) and Rangers (Texas Rangers Schedule) farmhand has been in pro ball for a while, but the 24 year-old is still looking for his first big league at-bat. If he keeps hitting the ball the way he has, it should come sooner than later.

Down On The Farm
: Tim Alderson, the supplemental pick in the 2007 draft for the Giants, officially arrived in AA on Sunday. The organization's second-best pitching prospect threw a gem on Sunday in his AA debut, only allowing a walk and a runner to reach base via error in 7+ dominant innings. It was nice to see too because Alderson wasn't dominating this year at San Jose the way he did in '08 and seeing him throw his best game of the year in his first outing at the AA level was definitely reassuring... The Giants' top pitching prospect, Madison Bumgarner, gets his first taste of AA on Monday night.... Up next for the big league unit should be a team they can handle as the Washington Nationals (Washington Nationals Schedule) travel to San Francisco to start up a three game set on Monday.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 8:08 PM, Anonymous eff the dodgers said…

    I hate the frickin dodgers. Did you hear about Casey Blake pulling that A-hole move on Brian Wilson... Something tells me there could be some fireworks next time these two teams meet.

  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Yeah, I normally don't mind a little showmanship out on the field, but what Blake did was more personal than anything else... It was interesting too cause the Giants players all noticed it and it's a well known issue now. These teams don't meet again until August, but I agree, it should be interesting to see if anything transpires. I can tell you one thing, the Giants aren't happy about it at all.

  • At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    RussL said....

    Wish Wilson would keep his head on baseball rather than caring what someone on the dodgers of all teams may have said about him.

    Love the news about T2's first start at AA . Now pressure on Madbum tomorrow to keep pace with him very interested to see how well he responds to his promotion.

    Jesus has been hot topic here since he tore up the venezuelan league this winter with Pablo. Didnt know he had only one error so far this year cuz the way you here people tell it makes him sound like an awful fielder. Of course people say that alot about Pablo too but I've been impressed with how quickly hes improved and gotten comfortable at the hot corner.

  • At 4:53 AM, Blogger Shawn said…

    They scored 10 runs over the 3 games (3 + 0 + 7). Still not great but much better than the 4 we saw in their series win against arizona.

  • At 10:19 AM, Blogger DProfessor said…

    Keep Sandoval at 3B. Bring up Guzman and release Aurilia, who is now a one-position (1B) only player with dimminished hitting skills, "good at bats" be damned. Give his AB's to a young player. If Ishikawa does not improve, then bring up Bowker to replace him. At least Bowker hits a few HR's.

    If anyone out there still thinks Ishikawa is going to be snatched up in waivers, can you please identify that team(s)?

  • At 11:39 AM, Blogger Jeff said…

    It's amazing to me that the Giants are 2 games over .500 and are arguably underachieving. What a change from last year. I totally agree that Travis needs to sit and either Guzman or Uribe needs to hit. I also think that time has run out of Rowand. Schieholtz should get just as much playing time as the other three until the best three emerge. And Sabean should be looking to make a deal for a bat. I think the Giants are one player away from becoming an elite team. I would give up one strong arm for an everyday power hitter.

    Look how far we have come from last year. It's great!

  • At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Beat LA said…

    Beat LA, Beat LA, Beat LA. I hate the Dodgers and they suck... Did I mention I love beating LA?

    I like how they came home and took care of the Nationals in gm. 1 too. It's great the the way the team's playing right now and the fact that Manny aint around makes it extra sweet. I do think the D-backs are going to make a run though before it's all said and done so I don't think it's just going to be Dodgers and Giants fighting for the NL West throne.

  • At 4:10 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Yeah, this Giants 25-man roster has the most depth and overall talent than any Giants team since 2004. They have a complete starting rotation, but the big difference I'm seeing is in the bullpen. The pen has been rock-solid so far and haven't really coughed up any games, which is a big difference from the last few years. Brian Wilson is becoming one of the better closers in the game, and affeldt, Valdez and Howry are really getting the job done.

    I really think that if they could add one big hitter (Matt Holliday, Hank Blalock, Aubrey Huff etc..) they could really have something. But of course, all of these guys are potential free agents so I certainly wouldn't offer the farm for them... I really like Matt Holliday and I think the A's would be willing to deal him for the right package. Maybe Fred Lewis (A's would love his speed/OBP combo), Jon Sanchez (could go right into the middle of the rotation for them) and and Merkin Valdez (could potentially close for them) would entice the A's enough to part with Holliday. I only give up that package if the Giants were certain they could re-sign Holliday though.

    Matt's struggled a bit early in his crossover to the AL, but if you put him back in the NL West, I think we'd see the .300, 30 hr, 15 SB, 100+ RBI version of him. This lineup could potentially be very good:

    Burriss 2B
    Renteria SS
    Sandoval 1B/3B
    Holliday LF
    Molina C
    Winn RF
    Rowand CF
    Ishikawa/Guzman/Uribe 1B/3B


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