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Friday, July 29, 2011

Lincecum Strong, Giants Beat Philly Again

Well, their prized new acquisition went 0-4 with a couple of K's, but the Giants got a gutsy return performance from ace Tim Lincecum to complete their series victory over the Phillies, once again frustrating Philly fans and getting into the head manager Charlie Manuel.

Although Lincecum was probably still feeling many effects from the flu that's had him down all week, he rose to the occasion Thursday night, throwing 6 shutout innings allowing just 3 hits while striking out 6. After his team was again shut down by Giants' pitching, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel called the Giants pitchers "good pitchers, not great pitchers", which to me is a comment out of pure frustration. I don't want to jump on Manuel and beat this to death cause I really don't care what he thinks about a team who all the sudden has his number, I'd rather talk about what good baseball the Giants have been playing. Especially on the pitching side of things. Pablo Sandoval and Nate Schierholtz each had nice games Thursday and drove in runs to help support Timmy. Also, even though he didn't have a direct impact with the bat, I think Carlos Beltran's presence was felt throughout the lineup and everyone was carrying a new level of confidence. Apparently Beltran suggested to Sandoval to try and go the other way before his first at-bat vs. Kendrick, and the result was a Sandoval solo homer to left field. Beltran also made very nice grab in right field that had everybody holding their breath a bit as he landed on that surgically repaired right knee and carved out some ground in right field.

Again though, it was really all about the arms vs Philly, the one bad start by Zito turning into a loss, then the two dominant outings by Cain and Lincecum. Had the Giants thrown Philly killer Jonathan Sanchez at Philly instead of Zito, I'm sure things would have come up different, but we'll have to wait until early next week before Sanchez reclaims his spot over Zito. Matt Cain more than atoned for Zito's ugly outing Wednesday with 7 innings of 1 run ball with that 1 run being of the unearned variety. The Phills couldn't touch Cain or Timmy, then when Bochy brought in the left-handed relievers, it really exposed the Phillies middle order hitters. They're so left-handed heavy and the Giants have such good left-handed relievers that the Giants just match up terrifically with Philly as each team stands now. It's prompted talk in Philadelphia that he Phills will try desperately to add Hunter Pence before Sunday's trade deadline in order to break up all those lefties in the middle for Philly. The Giants themselves may not be done either, in fact I'm kind of expecting Sabean to make another move. The Giants have had upgrading catcher on their mind ever since Buster Posey went down in May, and they may be squaring off against the best possible target this weekend in Cincinnati.

Ramon Hernandez has been the latest name linked to the Giants, and I think it would be a great move to get a .300 hitting catcher with some power and solid defense in here. Although Whiteside's bat seems to be picking up, his defense and decision making is falling off the map and I just can't imagine this guy behind the plate in the heat of late playoff game... Also, the Giants have yet to announce a starter for the Sunday game in Cinci which is supposed to be Zito's spot. Sanchez just threw for Fresno on Wednesday so he won't be ready, some have even mentioned new top pitching prospect Eric Surkamp as a possible replacement for Zito Sunday, but I doubt he makes the jump up from AA. I expect Zito to get the start and depending on how it goes, it could be his last one in quite a while for the Giants.
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3 Comments:

  • At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is a really exciting game going on in Cincinnati. This is exactly the Giants type of game, extra innings and all. Hopefully they can pull it off!

     
  • At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Mets4Ever said…

    Carlos Beltran as a Giant: 1-9, 5 K's, 1 RBI...

     
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