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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Giants Comeback in St. Louis

Tim Lincecum pitched through some bad luck and finally got a lead Wednesday, only to save his worst inning for last, allowing the then go-ahead homer to Allan Craig to give the Cards the 5-4 lead. You could get the feeling of, oh no, here we go again. But it was all good in the end for San Fran!

It was all good for the Giants in the end thanks in large part to two very key hitters, well make that three, actually, in Nate Schierholtz, Cody Ross and Freddy Sanchez, who had 3 hits and scored the go ahead run. Lincecum was really strong for 6 innings, but used up a lot of pitches, collecting 9 k's through 6, then came the 7th inning, in which the right-hander ran simply ran out of gas, giving up 4 consecutive hits, including the Allan Craig, pinch hit, go ahead home run. It was somewhat rare for the Giants ace to get a late lead like that and cough it up, but it didn't phase the Giants. Cody Ross had a 4-hit game in which he looked absolutely locked in, and steady Freddy Sanchez had the 3 hits in the 3-hole. One of the biggest hits of the night for the Giants, though, came off the bat of a guy who really needed it, when Aubrey Huff hit the, then go-ahead solo home run in the 7th, his first since early May I believe. Nate Schierholtz was the hero Wednesday though, providing the game-tying hit in 9th and the go-ahead hit in the 11th, which was followed by a Brandon Crawford RBI-single to pad the lead. Ross looks like he's starting to come around, putting 30 points on his average over the last few games. Crawford also continues to be a nice surprise with 2 more hits Wednesday and, again, providing noticably improved D up the middle. They got the production out of the middle of the lineup they've been looking for, as the 3-6 hitters in the lineup went a combined 11-21 with 1 HR and 4 RBI.

There was some more good news to come out of Wednesday besides the Giants win, as Pablo Sandoval supposedly put on a very impressive batting practice session, hitting from both sides of the plate, before the game. I think the injury still is limiting him just a tad right-handed, but apparently he lit it up from the left-side. It encouraged the Giants to the point where they may send him down to Fresno for a rehab assignment when they return home on Friday. Depending on how that goes, he could be with the team by Monday or possibly one week from today on Wednesday (fingers crossed). That will definitely help the Giants in two ways; it will get Miguel Tejada's bat out of the everyday lineup (why they decided not to try Connor Gillaspie at third in Pablo's absence still amazes me), and it will get the Giants home run leader (despite being out since April) back into the everyday lineup. When that happens, I wouldn't put it beyond the realm of possibility that the Giants eat Tejada's contract and let waive him. Now, that, of course, would indicate they have complete faith in the Brandon Crawford/Manny Burris/Mike Fontenot combo at short for the the time being, which I really think would be the best move. Though likely it will result in Manny Burris (who stepped up big to play a decent first base in absence of Brandon Belt) recall to Fresno.

So they head into Thursday night's game 4 up 2-1, with Jonathan Sanchez taking on some rookie call-up, which is a huge lift for the Giants, who were due to face Jaime Garcia, the best lefty in the NL to date in 2011 in my opinion (was at 5-0 with a 1.91 era before getting shelled in his last start in which he wasn't 100%, we later found out)! So even though it would have been an intriguing match-up of young lefties, the Giants' chances to take this series, as long as Sanchez is on his game, just rose about 75%. They're still a half game back on the D-Backs, who just refuse to lose, but you can see things moving in the right direction for the first time since Posey went down, and once Sandoval comes back, it will provide a sense of regularity this team hasn't had since that nasty incident. They'll look much more like the Giants again, even though they'll still be missing the big guy behind the plate.
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6 Comments:

  • At 9:46 PM, Blogger gph said…

    It'll be great to have Pablo back, but it looks to me like he's putting on the pounds again. Say it ain't so Pablo.

     
  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    I don't think he's as "light" as he was when Spring Training started, but I hardly think the weight will be an issue. Pablo knows the difference in his play when he's in shape. In the pic I posted of him on the post, which was just taken a few days ago I believe, he doesn't look to ballooned out to me.

    Only time will tell though, let's see how he does in the rehab assignment and how close he really is to returning.... But I really am not too worried about it, I think Sandoval will be just fine and is not the problem, he's probably the best hitter on the team now that Posey's down... Eli Whiteside is the worst starting catcher in the Majors, who's defense (which is supposed to be his strength) is eroding before our eyes.

     
  • At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Noah said…

    Great game. One of the best of the year so far.

     
  • At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Larry said…

    I'd say Tejada and whiteside have been the main problems, with huff as well. i don't know how much they're paying Tejada, but I don't know if they should cut him. he's a veteran and a leader still, and might be ok off the bench, no?

     
  • At 9:49 PM, Anonymous J-Bill said…

    Huff Daddy! Big game, take 3 of 4 from St. Louis, I think the Giants def. got their swagger back!

     
  • At 3:30 PM, Blogger Thomas Berman said…

    I am so depressed over Posey I get no pleasure even when they win now.

     

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