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Monday, May 18, 2009

Giants Salvage Finale, Back to the Road

The Giants avoided getting swept by taking Sunday's game vs. the Mets. They finally got a starting pitching performance like they're used to as Matt Cain won his fourth game of year and dropped his era to 2.65.

Cain didn't just get it done on the mound either. He helped his own cause by driving in the Giants second and final run of the game with a single in the fifth. In addition to throwing 6 shutout innings, while allowing only 2 hits (although he did surrender 5 walks), Matty C was on base twice with that RBI single and a walk of his own. Cain's WHIP is still a tad high at 1.38 as he's walked at least 4 batters in 4 of his last 5 starts. Once Cain can get more consistent with his command, he's going to take another stride forward, but he's still showing the ability to get outs and keep runs off the board, amazingly, regardless of the amount of free passes he's allowing. Five walks in 6 innings pitched is a high number, and you need to have pretty darn good stuff to be able to keep a team off the board and that situation, and Cain did. Now, I'm not saying he's ready to be in the class with Lincecum and the rest of the top arms in the NL, but he's certainly moving in that direction. Right now, his 4 wins and 2.65 era (both good for top-8 in the league) jump out at you and make you think he's a potential All-Star, but he's still got some things to figure out with his command. He used to be able to get into the 8th inning routinely and often carried 1-2 hitters late into ballgames, but his high pitch total early on in games is forcing him out around the 6th and 7th innings.

The Giants brought back a familiar face when they re-called Kevin Frandsen late Saturday nigh, in order to take the roster spot of Juan Uribe, who traveled back to the Dominican for a family illness and was placed on the bereavement list. Frandsen was carrying a respectable average in Fresno and was even producing some runs, hitting 2nd in the lineup, but he's going to have to show a heck of a lot in a short amount of time (bereavement absences only last 3-5 days, typically) to prove he can be a more effective option than Rich Aurilia, Juan Uribe or someone else currently sitting on the Giants' bench. He's not going to overtake Emmanuel Burriss, who's hitting .339 in the month while leading the team in steals and is playing very solid defensively at second base.

Another Grizzly who could be on his way up to the bigs for a quick look is Jesus Guzman. I mentioned in this post about a week ago that Guzman should get consideration for the DH gig when the Giants travel to Seattle for inter-league play this week, and apparantely, Bruce Bochy and Co. have had the same idea. Guzman is torching AAA pitching right now, carrying an average in the .350's with 30 RBI and 6 long balls. It's safe to say, his bat is more than ready, so maybe the Giants can start him at DH in Seattle, then maybe ease him into games at first base if his bat proves ready. He's going to have to do some kind of fielding or be a full on pinch hitter if he's going to stick, because the Giants don't have another inter-league match-up in which they'll need a DH until later in June. They play the Rangers and Angels (LA Angels Schedule) at AT&T Park only this year so there only trip to another AL ballpark besides Seattle will be their annual trip across the Bay Bridge to Oakland.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Ken Adams 21 said…

    What about Nate Schieholtz? Hasn't he done enough to get DH consideration?

  • At 4:13 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Schierholtz has been struggling a bit lately. He's only got 1 hit in his last 14 ab's, so he could be playing himself out of consideration. I wouldn't mind seeing what Schierholtz does over the course of a 3-game set at DH though. The consistent at-bats could get him right back on track...

    The reason why Guzman is getting the attention is because he's knocking the cover off of the ball and really has been since 2007 when he hit .301 with 25 hr's and 112 RBI in Seattle's High-A affiliate. His bat is extremely intriguing as he likely has more raw power than any other Giant on their current 25-man roster. Just needs to find a place to play defensively, or the Giants may end up dealing him to an AL team where he can become a full-time DH.

  • At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Fire Sabean!!! said…

    What a horrible controversy going on with Noah Lowry and the Giants.. I really hope he can get his career back together and can be a big league starter again. He was a good one when he was healthy. I can understand both his and his agents frustration with the way it's gone for him, but to blame the Giants? I don't get that one bit.


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