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Friday, April 08, 2011

Giants Go 12 to Win Home Opener

It was a seasaw battle between the Giants and the Cardinals Friday at AT&T Park. It was the Giants first home game since winning the World Series last November, and in the end, they were celebrating on the field again.

In a game that had a very similar feel to a 2010 Playoff game, the Giants beat the Cardinals after relinquishing a 9th inning lead behind closer Brian Wilson. It was just Wilson's 2nd appearance on the season and since mid-March, and I think it's fair to say he's still a little rusty, but the Giants picked him up in a big way. Pablo Sandoval continues to be one of the hottest hitters in baseball, and tied the game in the bottom of the 9th with 2-outs on a single to right. Then Aaron Rowand came up big with the bases loaded in the 13th and sent everyone home with a deep drive off the wall in left-center field. Rowand and Sandoval have both been men on a mission since opening day, driven to eliminate fan's doubts after each had rough 2010 seasons, and both are absolutely tearing it up in early April. Listening a little bit to Eric Byrnes on KNBR after the game, and he made a good point in saying he thought Pablo has quietly been the team's MVP so far in 2011, I certainly wouldn't argue with him. Rowand has clearly been the best player off the bench (6-10, 1HR, 4 RBI), and I think it's clear that he needs to start getting some more plate appearances, along with Mark DeRosa. With the left-hander Jaime Garcia on the mound tomorrow night, it wouldn't surprise me to see Rowand in center, Huff back at first and DeRosa out in right.

The only side-effect with having the depth the Giants have is that they don't have enough at-bats to spread out to everyone. Not to mention, everyone in the lineup, for the most part, has been doing their job. Burrell doesn't have a great average, but leads the team with 3 home runs, including a big-fly Friday that helped stretch the Giants lead. Huff has been a little up-and-down, but he's their 3rd place hitter and team-leader in RBI, and even with his struggles in the outfield, his bat makes him tough to replace. And just think about the options Bochy will be presented with once Cody Ross comes back from the DL.

The Giants just looked like a different team at home in their yard, a much more confident bunch, and it made me the fan, a much more confident fan watching. Even when Wilson gave up the lead, and the momentum was sucked right out of the ballpark, I had a gut feeling that this thing wasn't quite over, and the Giants, indeed, saved some home magic for late. Now looking back at Friday's game, the only complaints we'll probably see are from people worrying about Brian Wilson and the fact that his 2 appearances have resulted in the opposing team scoring a boat-load of runs, but again, I tell those worrier's to relax. Wilson threw in a handful of games this spring and we knew that coming in. He's not worried, he feels fine physically, and we know what kind of mental psyche he has, so it's only a matter of time before he's back to himself. Matter of fact, he didn't look all that bad Friday if you actually watched him pitch and didn't just glance at the box score. He was squeezed on 3-4 decisive pitches, and then barely nicked John Jay to set things up for St. Louis. It's not like they were knocked him out of the game or anything. His stuff is good, and looks good, he just needs another outing or two to really get control of it, and then he'll be fine. Wilson will be fine!
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8 Comments:

  • At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Eddie said…

    Humm Baby Go Giants.

    It was a great game! Great to see Rowand come up big and Pablo coming through again like its' 2009!!

    These guys are good, and it's good to see them winning again!

     
  • At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Noah said…

    A wild one! 5 infielder arrangement and it worked perfectly? I've never seen textbook execution like that at any level in all of my time watching baseball.

    Who woulda thought Panda and Rowand would be swinging the hottest bats this early?

    Time to bench Belt for a game and have Bam Bam put an arm around his shoulder.

     
  • At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    2010 Playoff game is right, I have no more nails on my fingers left!

    Only difference is, Wilson would have gotten the save with the bases loaded. But hey, I'll take the W!

     
  • At 6:24 PM, Anonymous hersheythegreat said…

    Someone should mention to Bip Roberts that Albert Belle has retired and that Albert Pulous is playing 1st for St. Louis.

     
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