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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Giants Miss Sweep, Take 2 of 3 in AZ

The Giants have officially found their rhythm, and they still have reinforcements on the way. Although they were unable to complete the sweep of the Diamondbacks Sunday, they still took 2 of 3 from Arizona, and now head to Colorado to face the 1st place Rockies.

Like I suspected, the Giants have been a completely different team since getting their rings and all of the early season festivities out of the way. The weekend didn't end exactly the way they wanted it to, but they're getting better and better as the season wears on, and still are without their best offensive player from last years postseason in Cody Ross. The right fielder was scheduled to stay behind in Arizona a few extra days after the Giants take off tonight, as he'll continue to get reps in extended spring training before heading to Fresno for a quick rehab assignment. Andres Torres, the center fielder and leadoff hitter who was hurt in the first homestand, is also progressing well from his ankle strain, and could be back shortly after Ross. The Giants don't necessarily need either of them to rush back though, as their depth has allowed them to not only survive without the two starting outfielders, but thrive. Aaron Rowand had another multi-hit game Sunday in place of Torres, and now hitting .364 on the young season. Also, Brandon Belt is starting to gain more comfort at the plate, collecting 5 hits in his last 11 at-bats heading into Sunday's game (though he did take an 0-4 in Sunday's game).

What's been key for the Giants, especially in Arizona, has been the long-ball. They didn't hit many homers in the first 10 days of the season, but since then, it's like the offense has exploded. Pablo Sandoval, who's been the hottest hitter on the team since game 1, is tied for the team lead now with 4 home runs, 3 of which have come in his last 4 ballgames. Buster Posey now has 3 on the year and two of those have come in this series with the D-Backs. The long ball again helped them in Sunday's game allowing them to score 5 runs on just 6 hits and gave Madison Bumgarner a chance to win after he surrendered 4 first inning runs. That's been the Giants combo for wins lately, great pitching and timely hitting. On the mound, Matt Cain, especially, has looked tremendous this year. He won his 2nd game of the year on Friday night, and has allowed just 3 runs in 21 innings of work this season. People were calling into KNBR after Friday night's start and mentioning "Matt Cain for Cy Young" which is certainly premature, but gives you an idea of how strong he's been in April. I don't think I've ever seen him throwing with the confidence he is right now. The Giants are going to need all their starters on their game now too with Barry Zito hitting the DL Saturday. Ryan Vogelsong has been called up to take Zito's spot in the rotation, after having a terrific spring with the club.
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4 Comments:

  • At 6:10 PM, Anonymous ARM said…

    Real happy to see Aubrey go deep today. He was so due. Hopefully he'll start crushing even more like Bip said in the post game wrap up. Wasn't a greatbend to the weekend, but i think their ready for the fierce battle in the Rockies.

     
  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger Merlin said…

    So far so good for the Giants with Torres. I'm a big believer that production at the top of the lineup translates to more wins, and the Giants stack up well against the rest of the league so far: http://bit.ly/gtGwks

     
  • At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Big series coming up with the Rockies. I didn't know they were so good until I saw there record today! Where did they get all this pitching all the sudden?

     
  • At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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