Sanchez Bounced to Bullpen
Filling in for Sanchez on Sunday was 26 year-old Ryan Sadowski, and he was brilliant in his big league debut. Sadowski shut down one of the best hitting teams in the NL, in one of the toughest parks to pitch in. The right-hander gave the Giants 6 solid innings, in which he allowed just 4 hits, while striking out 2 batters and keeping the Brewers off the board. The quality start was good enough to give Sadowski, who's been in the minors since being drafted by the Marlins in 2003, his first big league victory, and also saved the Giants from being swept by the Brew Crew. Not only was Sadowski impressive, but the guy who's spot he took, Jonathan Sanchez, was pretty darn good out of the pen in his own right. Sanchez pitched the 9th inning for the Giants, and went 1-2-3, striking out the side on just 15 pitches. I don't know that moving Sanchez to the pen will last all year, but after the way they both threw yesterday, I think it would be wise to give Sadowski the ball as a starter, and Sanchez as a reliever until they both prove otherwise.
Providing the offense for the Giants on Sunday, and really all of June, was Nate Schierholtz. Nate just keeps getting better and better with the more playing time he's receiving and at this point, as he's pretty much taken over for the struggling Fred Lewis in the outfield. Schierholtz went 4 for 5 with a homer, an RBI and two runs scored while hitting out of the clean-up hole. The performance raised the Giants' right-fielder's average to .316. His 12 RBI's are already more than Lewis has provided on the year, and Lewis has had double the at-bats of Schierholtz. In-fact, Schierholtz has been on such a tear, that he and Pablo Sandoval are 1-2 as far as National League batting leaders for June go. These two have really stepped it up and have been the main cogs in the middle of the order in June, picking up for some other Giants who haven't been swinging as well. Bengie Molina and Randy Winn, who have really been steady offensive contributors for the Giants during their tenure's here, have been struggling lately. Winn has 4 hits over his last 2 games, so hopefully he's working out of it, but Molina's average continues to spiral down. The Giants catcher is hitting just .219 since May 1st, and has just 2 long-balls since May 12.
On-Tap: The get another tough road test, as they take on the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis for four, starting Monday night. The Cards' just added Mark DeRosa to an offense that was already one of the better ones in the league, so the Giants' pitching will be in for a good battle. Tim Lincecum takes the mound Monday night, opposed by Brad Thompson in a pitching match-up that heavily favors the Giants. It's crucial that they take advantage tonight and get Timmy his 8th win of the season...