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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Giants Just Miss Sweep of Detroit

The Giants had more than a fair shot at sweeping the Detroit Tigers Sunday, and returning to AT&T Park Tuesday a season-high 13 games above .500. However, something that rarely happens, became a recurring theme on this road trip; the Giants bullpen imploded.

It's tough to say in hindsight, but I'm convinced that had the Giants bullpen been on their game like they have most of this season, the Giants could have went 6-1, if not 7-0 on this mid-west road trip. Brian Wilson had his share of struggles in the Motor City, as we all know by now, but luckily the Giants prevailed in both those games. They couldn't do it a third time on Sunday, however, after providing their season's best starter a 3-1 lead into the 6th inning and things were looking right on point. Ryan Vogelsong wasn't bad, but like in Chicago, he again didn't have his A-stuff out there, as evident by his 4 walks in 6.2 innings. He's normally uncanny with his command and control around the strike zone, but in his last two starts, he's lost a bit of that accuracy. Still though, even through his 4 walks, he allowed just 4 hits in nearly 7 innings, and only made one damaging mistake to Brandon Boesch in the 4th which was hit out for a solo home run. In the 7th inning though, the defense (Ross and Miggy) made a mistakes behind him and, then Affeldt, who's been awesome over the last few weeks, and Santiago Cassilla, who's been one of the best relievers all year long, were unable to hold down the lead for "V". The two allowed 4 runs to cross the plate while they were on the mound in the 7th and 8th. And unlike Saturday night (15 runs scored), the Giants didn't have any left over offensive firepower to overcome the late-inning deficit, allowing a Vogelsong winning effort to be turned into a Jeremy Affeldt L.

Even though the trip ended bad, and the Giants will likely endure a quiet plane ride back to San Fran, there were a lot of good things that happened in this road trip, mainly the offense showing some signs of life. Somebody who I really thought the league had adjusted to and was not long for Major League pitching was Brandon Crawford, but the kid did some re-adjusting of his own this road-trip and added 30 points to his average along with a home run and 7 RBI in 5 starts. He was a huge part of the Giants win Friday night and really could make an argument for being the MVP of this road trip, as he looked like a completely different player than what he showed most of June. A big part of the kids recent success has been his improved plate approach and patience. He's not trying to pull every strike he gets like he was after he started off hot and wanted to be a home run hitter. He makes good enough contact to where he can just go with a pitch and drive the ball, and he did that this road trip driving numerous outside pitches to the left-center field gap area, over the shortstop's head. When he gets to thinking like that and taking that approach, the home runs will come and his average will climb quickly like it has over the last week. Migeul Tejada was also very active at the plate on this road trip, though he made a key error in Sunday's game that helped the Tigers score a run. Tejada himself added 10 points to his average on the road trip and hit two of his 3 home runs and knocked in 6 of his 24 RBI over the last week.

All-Star Team's Set

It was selection Sunday for the MLB mid-summer classic today, and as expected, the Giants had there foursome of pitchers named to the squad, but not a single position player from the reigning World Champs. There really weren't any surprises, as all four pitchers selected were very deserving. Ryan Vogelsong will make the trip to Arizona for his first all-star game in his long, trying career, and may end up starting that ballgame on July 12 with the way rotations are shaping up. Joining the NL era-crown challenger will be returning all-stars Tim Lincecum (6-6, 3.04, 122 K's) Matt Cain (7-4, 3.02, 92 K's, 1.09 WHIP) and Brian Wilson (24/28 in save opps, 3.02 era, 36 K's in 38 IP), who are all well deserving. I found it interesting that Timmy, "V" and Cainer were all selected by Boch while Wilson was a player selection. It's too bad Wilson had his scuffle just this weekend cause it's ballooned his era up 60 points and WHIP up about 25 points in just 2 bad outings but he's still got numbers any manager would take out of their closer at the halfway point. Buster would have started if he were healthy, but instead, Pablo Sandoval is the one positional guy who could somehow manage to find his way onto the team if someone gets hurt or decides not to participate and Panda continues this hot hitting over the next week (He most certainly would have made it had it not been for those 5 weeks he missed throughout May and early June). And he has his manager on his side to pick him if a spot opens up and Pablo fits the bill... We'll have our own version of who we think should have filled out each respective teams roster in our next post!
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3 Comments:

  • At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    That was a rough one to watch. After Friday and Saturday night, I was just waiting for the comeback, but it never happened.

    I don't blame this on one particular guy though. The home plate ump wasn't very good, and Cassilla and Affeldt will do their job there 90 percent of the time, but nobody's perfect. I'd say all in all, good road-trip that could have been great with a sweep today, but still good when you go 4-3 against the Cubs and 1st place Detroit on the road. We still have the lead in the West and are rolling into the All_Star Break when we'll hopefully get some players back.

     
  • At 3:28 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Yeah Big ups to the A's for beating up on AZ this weekend too. Another 7-1 lead and a strong effort from Gio Gonzalez, the most underrated LH starter in the AL, perhaps top-5 with C.C., Lester, Price and C.J. Wilson.

    I remember a few years ago they compared J. Sanchez and Gio Gonzalez and they actually thought Sanchez would be better (believe it was after '09 when each lefty showed a heap of promise but an era in the 5's). I sure bet the Giants wish they could take Gonzo over Sanchez right about now. Imagine that rotation! Then again, Sanchez could be identical to Gio if he only could improve his strike rate at about 50%. That's all Gonzalez really does that Sanchez doesn't, has control. Everywere else, they're one in the same (velocity, stuff and nearly with the mechanics).

     
  • At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks like Timmy and Chris Stewart arent on the same page so far... Timmy shouldn't be giving up runs to the Padres!

     

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