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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Giants Take 2 of 3 From LA, Head to AZ

The Giants responded nicely vs. the Dodgers after their first series this season down in Los Angeles yielded just 1 win in 4 games. We all anticipated things would get better for the Giants after they came home and capped off their World Series ceremony, and it sure looked that way with the performances they put up against the Cardinals and Dodgers over the last week.

The Giants had a very solid, 4-2 homestand after a rough 2-4 road trip to begin the year, and now sit at .500 for the first time since opening day, at 6-6. They've been getting solid pitching all year long, but closer Brian Wilson was a little late to get going. However, all concerns people had for the bearded closer have been swept under the rug after his last two outings vs. the Dodgers, both perfect outings in 1-run save situations. I made mention the last time we talked about Wilson, that his rustiness to start the year should be expected, since he missed so much of spring training, so I'm not really surprised to see Wilson back on track. Not only did they get Wilson going in the LA series, but rookie first basemen Brandon Belt also contributed in the last two victories. Belt is still hitting well below the league average over at first base, but it was good to see him get some confidence going, cause I was starting to worry about his morale a little bit. I kind of wish Boch would give him some more time off, but right now with Torres banged up but not DL'ed, it's especially tough to remove Belt from the lineup. If Torres get's back in the next few days and avoids the disabled list, I could see Rowand moving over to right field, as hot as his bat has been, with Aubrey Huff back over at first base. I'd definitely use that set-up vs. left-handed pitching, where Belt has really been exposed.

While Belt had really been struggling up till the last few games, one guy who has been hot seemingly since day one, has been Pablo Sandoval. Not only does this guy look better at the plate, but he looks like a whole new player on defense as well. Sandoval is 2nd on the team, behind only Rowand, with a .357 average, 2 homers and 6 RBI through his first 12 games. He was a big part of the win Wednesday, hitting the game-tying solo home run in the 6th inning, which was followed by Mike Fontenot's solo job, which was the difference in the ballgame. Fontenot's day was very impressive, as he was inserted into the lineup right before the first pitch, subbing in for Mark DeRosa as Freddy Sanchez got his scheduled day off. Fontenot got the late start, and like he did early in the 2010 postseason for the Giants, made big impact in the outcome. The Giants are starting to get into rythem now, and starting to look more and more like the team that won it all last fall. And keep in mind, they're still without one of their most valuable pieces to their outfield in Cody Ross. "The Boss" though, has been making nice progress over the last week, and is now participating in full baseball activities. He'll travel with the team to Arizona, we're he'll stay behind a few extra days, play some extended spring training, then likely head to Fresno or San Jose for a quick 2-3 game rehab assignment. It wouldn't surprise me to see Ross with the Giants at this time next week, or at least by next weekend.

A Look Ahead: The Giants could definitely use Cody Ross too, and sooner than later, as they get ready to embark on a stretch of play which will involve 16 of the next 19 games they play to be on the road. The first stop on that trip will be Arizona for 3 this weekend, then to Colorado for 3 before returning home for a brief 3-game homestand vs. the Braves.
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5 Comments:

  • At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Carl Eddison said…

    Yeah, I kinda forgot about Cody Ross, those last two games were so exciting! Beat LA, Beat LA!!!

    When Ross comes back, does that mean Belt goes down, or what? I think Belt should stay, it's only a matter of time before he breaks out!

     
  • At 3:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To me, this was the first game of the season where the Giants looked like an all around solid, winning team. I took my 70-something dad to the game, who's seen more games than all of us, and the only negative comment he had was Burrell looked like a liability in LF with a slow first step and legs off that Thames XBH. But that's the price you pay for an older slugger in the NL.

    Trevor, really dig this blog, solid writing and you're not too caught up in the STATZ/sabermetrics hoopla. Give me AVG, OPS and WHIP and let me look at a hitter's approach and pitcher's stuff, I'll figure the rest out. It doesn't take an investment banking genius to know if someone's good. I played ball.

     
  • At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That was a really good game! Did you hear that there is a new sports talk radio station in the Bay Area? It's Sports Radio 95.7 FM, I found the link at www.957thewolf.com. Should be great!

     
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