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Saturday, March 03, 2012

Giants Get Cactus League Kicked Off

Now, I'm typing this in the top of the first inning, just as the Giants are taking the field for the first time, and will try and do sort of an in-game/post game post for the Spring opener. We'll bring detailed account of the first inning or two but then just summarize towards the end as the starters exit!

Well, the Cactus League is officially underway for San Francisco, as Timmy struck out Ryan Roberts to start the game, looking, but it hasn't been easy skating since that for the ace. Tim Lincecum then surrendered three consecutive hits, one of which Angel Pagan over-ran and allowed each player an extra base, then an RBI single. However, Melky Cabrera limited the damage by gunning down Upton at the plate! Luckily, Lincecum escaped without allowing anyone else to cross the plate, and got through his inning allowing a run on 3 hits and a strikeout. As for the Giants hitting, the two newcomers were atop the lineup today, and started off the game in Giants fashion with 2 quick outs. To Pagan's credit, though, he roped a ball, but it was right at a defender. I'll be watching these guys very closely throughout the day and spring. Another guy who will be under the microscope, Aubrey Huff, drew a base on balls in his first ab, hitting in the third spot, followed by a Pablo Sandoval flyout. So D-Backs take the 1-0 lead after an inning. Don't worry, since the first inning is in the books, I'll go back to talking about game highlights only, I was just very curious to see how these three hitters, and Lincecum faired, in their outings. However, Bochy surprised everybody by sending Timmy out for another inning of work. Talk about a great sign, not holding the kid back after his back soreness earlier in camp! In his two innings of work though, Lincecum threw 33 pitches and, K'd 2 and allowed just the one run. Not a bad kickoff to spring for the Giants ace.

Now the Giants really got going in the bottom of the 2nd, as Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Belt each roped singles, followed by a Fontenot walk and a 2-run single by the another guy who will be under close watch, shortstop Brandon Crawford. Giants up 3-1 after 2. It's been all down hill since then though, as the Giants lost their lead and have surrendered 9 runs to Arizona, with Eric Surkamp and Mota where each responsible for most of the damage. Other than that, again, Timmy's start had to be considered a success, going two innings, despite giving up 4 hits and a run. He was in the zone and felt good enough to go the full two innings in his first start, which wasn't the original plan. As for the hitters, Melky Cabrera had a big double in his third at-bat, after going down easily in his first two. Brandon Belt also finished the game with 3 hits and a long homer to the opposite field! Talk about start off hot! Bruce Bochy kept him out there all game at DH, as he was the only guy to play all nine innings, and he cashed in on those extra opportunities. What's most impressive about Belt's day though, was that all his hits came on pitches on the inner half of the plate, including the inside out homer. That's the one area where pitchers pounded him last season and he never covered it, but if he starts covering that, he's likely to hit his way into the starting lineup somewhere. Hector Sanchez, the guy I'm really pulling for to make that back-up catchers spot, just for his bat, showed why with a majestic shot to right field, off the foul poll.
The Giants did lose the game by a final of 9-6, but there were certainly some positives to take from this game, most notably Lincecum's outing and Belt's impressive afternoon. Anyway, also wanted to let you know that if your planning on doing any betting this upcoming season, check here for MLB Betting props action, where you can bet on things such as Prince Feilder's home run total! And just like that, baseball, on an exhibition level, has returned, and we're just a month away from Opening Day 2012!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 4:08 PM, Anonymous J-Bill said…

    Brandon Belt has to be the starter in LF or 1B. He has way too much upside to be sitting on the bench or in the minor leagues!

  • At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, after one spring game, let's declare Belt the starter... That's genious!

    I hope he gets it too, but it's early Spring, who knows what happens the rest of the way. Hard to give it to the guy just based on one good game vs. 2nd level players. That home run came against a no-name minor leaguer in the 9th inning of a blowout spring game!

  • At 1:41 PM, Anonymous SJGiantsFan said…

    I haven't even started to look at stats yet. Way too early guys.

    Wait until at least the 15th or 20th to see how these guys play. One good game or one good week won't do it. I want to see Belt hit all spring long in order to win a spot, cause Huff looks good too.


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