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Saturday, April 07, 2012

D-Backs Show They're Alpha Team of the West

Well, both Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner didn't throw bad games in these opening two games to the 2012 season, however, after two, the Giants find themselves 0-2 and scratching their heads a bit as they try and figure out how they're going to turn things around.

Bumgarner wasn't quite as sharp as Timmy was in the opener, though neither had their A-stuff, and the D-Backs like the young hungry team they are, took advantage of early mistakes made by the two star pitchers. There's really no other way to suger coat things. It's not like the D-Backs were hitting the Giants all over the yard, but they're were just a few location mistakes and a few walks by Bumgarner that really set-up Arizona for their two big innings. I just can't get over the fact they kept throwing Aaron Hill fastballs in that AB after his first homer when Bumgarner got ahead. As Byrnes said on the telecast, those pitches should have been off-speed away and not heaters right into Hill's wheelhouse. And it wasn't just Aaron Hill to time our MadBum, as Chris Young was seeing the lefty pretty good as well. Young's a scary talent. He's 30 and has yet to really have a breakout year. I'm starting to feel that this may be it. He's on everything, had a helluva spring and is using the whole field as opposed to being the pull-happy, swing for the fences type of bat. If he becomes a .300'ish hitter with his pop and speed already in that lineup, the D-Backs could win this division running away. It's still early, but what a statement this Arizona team has made with these first two victories, and really have put the Giants back against the wall heading into the series finale.

The Giants need to make some lineup changes, as Bruce Bochy eluded to after the game, and one of those lineup changes should be shifting Brett Pill, whether it be first, 2nd or left, into the everyday lineup. Over on the other side, we saw a similar guy with similar skill-set in Paul Goldschmidt, and he's made a huge impact with Arizona in his brief time there. Much like Pill, he's a bit of a late bloomer too, as he's 25 and is just now getting an everyday job. Pill may not be the specimen that Goldschmidt is, and may not put up the numbers, but in a left-handed heavy lineup with little pop, the Giants sorely need that bad. He was one of the positives taken from Saturday's game, as he had a nice pinch-hit 2-run job to get the Giants back in the game in the 7th, but to no avail as the Giants failed to score after that. Pablo looked good again, and looks primed for a huge season if he can stay healthy. I think I predicted around .315 with 25 homers for him, but he may get to 30 this year with how he's swinging it. He and Cabrera, and Posey in the opener, have looked good. Everyone else though, not so much. It's been just two games and I can see why the Mets didn't really consider Pagan a true leadoff man, as he really doesn't take many pitches and makes a lot of outs. He makes contact, but again, the lack of walks and ability to get on base could make him expendable at the top. Gregor Blanco, who was key in Friday night's near comeback win, could eventually supplant him from his duties if his struggles continue.

I know it's early, and I for one am no where near ready to panic. The Giants are playing a good Arizona team in their house and lost by just one run each game. Now, if they go on and get swept tomorrow, I'll be a little more down on things, but there's still 160 of these things left, and I expect the Giants to find a formula that works offensively, sooner or later... It should be noted that Freddy Sanchez will play tomorrow's game in Fresno, and looks to be inching closer to a return to the bigs. Boy what a difference a healthy Sanchez would make in that lineup. Most people just look at Posey as the key loss of 2011, but Sanchez, perhaps the Giants 3rd best all-around hitter behind Pablo and Posey, was a big reason why this offense has struggled as well. I can't wait to see #21 back out there manning 2nd on a daily basis. Hopefully it'll be this month!
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3 Comments:

  • At 5:39 PM, Anonymous UmpaLoompa said…

    That fricked Goldshimdt is becoming the new Hairston. Remember when he was with AZ and hit like 10 of his 35 career HR's against SF at some point.... I think Goldshit has like 3 or 4 of his 11 against Lincecum. That's crazyness.

     
  • At 12:04 AM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Melky looks like a find for the Giants, while Pagan looks a lot like a slumping Torres. I know it is early, but I would like to see Pill in the lineup too, and maybe in place of Huff, who should bat in the six hole anyway. Blanco looks like he should be leadoff too, especially if Pagan keeps pressing.

     
  • At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Again, awesome website!

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