After a couple of nail-biters to start the series on Friday and Saturday, the Giants and Mets paused for mother nature Sunday due to rain, only to play two Monday, and it couldn't have worked out better for San Francisco.
|Lincecum gets first win|
Tim Lincecum pitched game one, and although he was once again off with his command and, as Dave Flemming was saying, "all over the place" but he managed to minimize the damage he allowed, and the Giants gave him a nice cushy lead to work off of early on and it was easy sailing from there. The reason they got off to the cushy lead was thanks to a Pablo Sandoval RBI single, followed by a Buster Posey blast, that put the Giants up 2-0 before the Mets even went to bat. They tacked on in the third and fourth, as Nate Schierholtz, who continues to look like a man possessed, hit a line-shot, three-run home run to right field to really open up the game for the Giants. Then Brandon Crawford had an RBI double the following inning for the teams 6th and final run, and the pitching did the rest. Again, Timmy wasn't lights out, but he did strikeout 8 batters in those 5 innings, despite walking 5. That's what kept him from pitching past the fifth inning, and he's been pitching out of the stretch a ton in these first few starts of his. The good news though, is that he did turn it on when he had to, gave the Giants 5 solid frames, and the Giants bullpen followed up with 4 shutout innings of their own. Guillermo Mota and Jeremy Affeldt each went over an inning, and rookie Dan Otero shut the door in the 9th in the non-save situation.
And just as quickly as the first game ended, the second game has gotten underway, and the Giants wasted little time again, jumping on the board early with a 3-0 lead after 3 with Madison Bumgarner on the hill and dealing. Pablo Sandoval started the Giants off in this one with a big two-run homer to right in the first. Also, Nate Schierholtz tripled then scored on rookie Hector Sanchez's deep drive which he almost squared up and got out of Citi Field. Nate also knocked out a hit in his 2nd ab, driving his average up to a team-high .375. Gregor Blanco also shined in game two, going 2-3 with a 2-RBI double that put the Giants up 5-0 and
|Sanchez, Pablo each homer|
they never really looked back. Two guys that weren't really playing in the first week, Nate and Gregor, have started getting more time, and they've produced. Speaking of producing, Manny Burris is even hitting the ball with as much authority now as I've seen him do at the major league level right now. Not much HR power, but he's hitting line drives and finding holes, which with his speed, is all he has to do, put the bat on the ball and get on base. Also, Brett Pill got a rare start in game two, and has responded with a 2-3 start, raising his average up to .353. He hasn't had near the at-bats Schierholtz has had, so it's not as impressive, but nonetheless, we're seeing what life without Huff would be like and I'm liking it. Not to mention, the forgotten man, Hector Sanchez. I knew there was something special about the kid after watching him in San Jose last season, and the ball is jumping off his bat like it was last spring, right now. I just felt a big fly was coming when he came to the plate in the 7th, just because of the way he's been swinging. I wouldn't be surprised to see more of Sanchez behind the plate and Posey over at first, especially as the Giants pitchers grow more accustomed to throwing to slugging backstop.
The Giants didn't just get good news on the diamond Monday either, as they announced that Freddy Sanchez will begin what they expect to be a 2-3 week rehabilitation, starting down in San Jose this week. The Giants lineup has been without their 2nd place hitter since June of last year and they've sorely missed him. Manny Burris has played well in his absence lately, but the Giants are likely counting the days until they get their smart, .300 hitting 2nd-sacker back.