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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Giants, Rockies Set for Showdown

The Giants just missed sweeping the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, as their offense was unable to support another Matt Cain solid start. They did however take 2 of 3 from the Reds, a team they had to take advantage of after losing 2 of 3 at home to them a couple of weeks back. Now, it's on to Colorado, where the Giants hope to gain ground, and possibly re-take the top spot in the National League Wild Card race.

The starting pitching was once again rock solid in the Reds series but unfortunately, none of the starters got credit for a win. Surprisingly, the Reds got to Tim Lincecum on Tuesday night and handed him his worst start since May 15th by getting to him for 5 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings of work. It wasn't a horrible outing by the reigning NL Cy Young winner, but certainly not Lincecum-esque. The Giants offense luckily came through for Timmy though, and allowed him to exit without a decision, furthering his impressive streak of just 2 losses since April 12. Barry Zito and Matt Cain also helped ease the load on the bullpen in the final two games of the series. Zito put forth his 7th straight start in which he had to feel pretty good about. We've been talking a lot about Zito since the start of the second half here, and I know it's hard to believe, but he's been the teams top pitcher, leading in both era and wins, since the start of the second half. Matt Cain followed Zito's 6 scoreless innings with an 8 inning, 1 run performance in Thursday's loss to the Reds. That's the game that was really frustrating to watch as the offense left 10 runners on base and a bunch in scoring position, much like they did for most of Cain's stars in '07-'08.

So, even though the offense is still not hitting on all cylinders, the Giants are still playing relatively good baseball, and they have one of their most important series' of the year approaching. I know it's only August 20th, and there are still 40+ games left, but this up-coming four-game set with the Rockies should be a big one. The Giants will enter it either 1.5 or 2 games back of the Rockies (depending on what they do in their game with Washington tonight) in the wild card race. Depending on how things go over the weekend, they could find themselves 4 or 5 games back after this series, or they could leave Colorado in sole possession of first place in the wild card standing. The first two games of the series are going to be especially important, as the pitching match-ups are kind of in favor of Colorado, but the key to the series will be what kind of offense the Giants will be able to put up in the high altitude of Coors Field. One of their new adds, Ryan Garko, had himself his best series as a Giants in Cincinatti, going 4-12 with 4 RBI in the 3 game set. Garko is definitely someone the Giants need to get going for this stretch drive, and it looks like he's heating up just in time. Hopefully he starts showing some pop (he's yet to homer in 62 at-bats as a Giant), and this weekend would be as good a time as any to really explode offensively.
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2 Comments:

  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger Brad said…

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Pandavalthicket

     
  • At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Go Giants, can't wait until the playoffs, cause we're going to be there!!!

     

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