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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Giants Take 2 of 3 From Florida

Even though they failed to pull off the sweep on Wednesday, the Giants beat the Marlins two out of three times this week en route to pulling off yet another series victory.

The big bright spot in the series for the Giants was Barry Zito's magnificent start on Tuesday night. The Giants 18 million dollar fifth starter put forth one of his best efforts since dawning a Giants uniform in 2007, going 8 1/3 scoreless in his victory over Florida. This start was a huge one for a few different reasons. With Randy Johnson recently hitting the disabled list, the Giants are going to be without their #2 starter for the next couple of weeks, and while The Unit is out, the Giants need their starters to step it up a bit. The two guys in particular who will have the spotlight on them are Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez, who's taking Johnson's spot just about 10 days after he lost his own spot in the starting rotation. Although he won three games in the month, Barry Zito did not have a particularly strong June, as he 5.81 era and a 1.52 WHIP in the month. The Giants are going to need him to be more like the Zito from May, in which he sported a 3.53 era spanned out over 40 innings of work. Sanchez has really struggled in the rotation all season long, but he had a few nice outings out of the bullpen, and maybe this time off will get him focused again. If the Zito and Sanchez do not pull their weight, the Giants rotation isn't going to be the strength that they have been throughout the season.

While they did do just enough to give the Giants the series victory, the team's offense didn't necessarily have their best offensive series vs. the Marlins. They mustered only 8 runs, as they were shutout in the final game on Wednesday, and part of the reason for that was due to Aaron Rowand's struggles at the plate recently. The Giants leadoff hitter could do no wrong for the first few weeks he was moved to the top spot in the batting order, but over the last four games, Rowand has sort of disappeared offensively. He went 0-11 with 3 k's and just one walk in the three-game set with Florida, and because of it, his batting average has dipped below .290 for the first time since late-May. Not that I'm panicking whatsoever about Rowand's mini-slump, just pointing out why the offense has been somewhat stagnant over the last couple of days.

Vote For Panda: Also, remember tonight is the last night to vote for Pablo Sandoval to get the final National League All-Star team roster spot. It's basically coming down to Pablo Sandoval or Shane Victorino from Philadelphia, and I believe Sandoval still has the slight edge in total votes right now, but a lot can change over the next 12-24 hours. Sandoval's numbers trump Victorino's in every single category besides stolen bases and runs scored, not too mention Sandoval has the versatility to play three positions and play them all pretty well. If Sandy doesn't get the nod, I would rather it go to Matt Kemp or Mark Reynolds, as those two have been much more deserving than Victorino in my opinion... Anyway, get to the online polls and vote for Pablo Sandoval; he definitely deserves it!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Sj-hypocycloid said…

    Way to go, Giants! You stay classy, San Fran! Get on up and challenge those overblown Dodgers! Despite your convincing argument for Sandoval, I will still pull for Victorino.

    And who knows, someday you might see Zito crack 12 wins! Shutting down a streaking team like the Marlins is pretty good work. Of course, beating up on the Nats and Buccos should be taken with a grain of salt, but give the Marlins credit for re-entering the NL East race.

  • At 1:18 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Although, the Marlins did not have Hanley Ramirez for any of the games. HanRam is really starting to become a tremendous offensive force. He very well could have a 30-30 season, with a .330+ average while driving in and scoring 100+ runs. To me, that's the ultimate value right there. Not doing a little of everything, but a lot of everything. He's got some defensive stuff to work on, and he may end up moving to the outfield eventually, but if there's a better combo of speed, power, and average, someone tell me, cause I think this kid's the one.

    BTW Sj, can you give me a reason or 2 why your choosing Victorino over Sandoval... or even Matt Kemp for that matter. Unless your a Philly fan.. Even then, how do you figure Victorino is having a better year than Pablo? Any fan that takes the game seriously has to go with the deserving player, and of this bunch, it's Pablo Sandoval. And if it's not him, it's Matt Kemp, who's got Victorino in average, home runs, RBI, and even stolen bases. Not to mention, he's a gold glove caliber defender. Only guy Victorino would deserve it over of the five in my opinion is Christian Guzman. Not that I dislike Victorino, he's an exciting player to watch and plays the game the right way, but the other are having better years and deserve to be all-stars more than he does.

  • At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Sj-hypocycloid said…

    I am a Phillies fan, and this would really be the only reason I'd root for Victorino. I don't care even a bit about the All-Star game, so my thoughts on the subject are less than worthless.

  • At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Dan said…

    Zito looked great! I really hope this guy keeps it up. I loved him back in his Oakland days and yes, he virtually stole $100+ million from the Giants, but he is starting to pay it back now.

  • At 4:56 PM, Anonymous JuTMSY4 said…

    I voted for him because I'm a homer...

  • At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Romiezzo said…

    I have been paying close attention to the Giants (especially Trecole's articles) since the signing of Randy Johnson. The Giants have really been doing well, and the Sabean has made some good executive transactions. Johnson has turned out to be much better than most people expected for someone who's injury prone and on the "wrong side" of 42-43 years old. Barry Zito is finally turning out to do well for the Giants after two crappy years in San Fran. They kept their faith in him (even though they had to with all the money he's getting), and they worked with him... and look how he's turning out: pretty damn good. Lincecum is Lincecum (he had a pretty tough couple of outings in the beginning if I recall), but he's LIGHTS OUT now.

    Now, for the offense. Pablo Sandoval... what to say about this guy. Boy am I glad I have him in the AGM Fantasy league. He's the dangerous batter in the Giants' much improved lineup. In his rookie season, Sandoval has 13 homers, 48 RBI's, and a .328 average. He's on the pace for hitting just shy of 200 hits, as well as hitting around 100 RBI's. Not bad at all. The Giants have really improved, and, no disrespect to the Dodgers or their fans, but I would love to see the Giants do even better than they're doing right now, and take the lead in the "surprisingly" competitive NL West (surprisingly, as in, no one talks about them).

    Shane Victorino is one of the greatest examples of what a hustler is. Victorino has incredible range on the field, beats out bunts for infield singles to get rallies going, and is just a great productive hitter on the field. It would be tough for me to vote between Victorino and Sandoval (and Guzman, as well... he's been very well for the Nats)... if I was voting. However, I promised myself I wouldn't take part in All-Star voting anymore

  • At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't care even a bit about the All-Star game, so my thoughts on the subject are less than worthless.

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