Padres Give Giants Trouble at Home
The Giants were hoping to get back at the Padres for taking 2 of 3 from them earlier in April down in San Diego, but instead, the Giants struggles vs. their Southern California foes continued this week at AT&T Park.
The Giants suffered a 3-game sweep at the hands of San Diego, and it was due largely in part to some wild starting pitching and some missed opportunities at the plate. Matt Cain was wild in his start on Wednesday and gave up 5 runs in 6.2 innings, and that game probably was the one that the Giants really didn't deserve to win, but the other two games were there for the taking. Zito walked 7 guys in the series opener on Tuesday night, but did a pretty good job getting himself out of the trouble he got into and allowed just 3 runs. Unfortunately, the Giants offense could only muster up 2 runs in support of him. They didn't even score in game 3 on Thursday though, and only managed 4 runs in the full 3-game set. The discouraging part about that is that they didn't really face elite pitching. They faced some young arms in Wade LeBlanc and Mat Latos who are both good, but are rookie arms who made a veteran lineup look downright bad. Jonathan Sanchez was brilliant on Thursday to no avail. He went a season-high 8 innings, allowing just 3 hits and 1 walk. It was the second time this year that Sanchez was beaten by Latos in a close game like that. More importantly though, the 3-game sweep pushes the Giants back 3.5 games behind the first place Padres in the West.
Hopefully the Giants will be getting an offensive re-enforcement very soon. Freddy Sanchez has had a couple of games down in San Jose with the A San Jose Giants, and he's looked pretty good so far. In his first game, he had 2 doubles and a few RBI's, and if all goes well, he should be back with the Giants within the next week to 10 days. Juan Uribe, Matt Downs and Aaron Rowand have all started struggling in the last week, and the Giants' top of the order could use a shot in the arm. Speaking of struggling Giants, Pablo Sandoval's batting average continues to plummet and is now into the .270's. This is easily the longest stretch of slumping he's had to endure in his young career, so hopefully he's not taking too much of a hit to his confidence. The Giants are going to need Sandoval to return to form now more than ever with recent news on Mark DeRosa. The Giants starting free-agent acquisition from last winter has really had a rough go of it in his first 6 weeks with his new club, but apparently he's been playing at less than %100. He had offseason wrist surgery that is giving him problems and could ultimately lead to another procedure. He had his wrist worked on in November of 2009, and it took him until about late February before he was able to do all baseball activities, so if he has the same type of procedure done, it likely would keep him out for most of the rest of the season.
If DeRosa indeed needs to miss a large portion of playing time, it could prompt the Giants to bring up phenom Buster Posey. Aubrey Huff has the ability to play the outfield, and although he's been surprisingly solid with the leather at first so far, it may not be a bad idea to move him into left field and let Posey get some time in at first, where he worked extensively this spring... It's definitely going to be a situation to keep an eye on going forward though no matter what.