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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Giants Walk-Off with Series Win over Philly

After their ace got banged around yet again Monday night, the Giants responded extremely well vs. the reigning AL East champions, as they won their 3 game series vs. the Phills 2 games to one on a Melky Cabrera walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning Wednesday night.

In a series that started out pretty badly Monday, then took a complete 180 Tuesday night, the Giants were able to put the finishing touches on another brilliant outing from Matt Cain. Unfortunately, the Giants bats didn't come up with any runs while Cain was out there, as Cliff Lee was on his game tonight as well, but Cain threw 9 scoreless, allowing just 2 hits and a few walks. That's 3 hits allowed over his last 18 innings pitched, and if he keeps that up, the Giants will be thanking their lucky stars they signed him before he had a chance to go free. I didn't get a chance to post about Tuesday's game, but that was another strong starting effort as Madison Bumgarner went out and dealt in his first outing since signing his nice new contract. He went 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits with 2 K's improving his record to 2-1 on the young season, and we got our first glimpse of the Giants new bullpen arrangement. Well, not too much changed, as Bochy is sticking with Romo, as expected, in the eight inning, and will likely use Santiago Casilla for most save opportunities. He could also role with Jeremy Affeldt depending on match-ups or if Casilla needs rest after throwing 2-3 games in a row. The Giants bullpen followed up 3 scoreless innings Tuesday night in relief of Bumgarner with a crucial zero put up in the top of the 10th Wednesday despite allowing a runner to third with less than two out.

I know it's akward to say since they're missing their closer and their leader down there, but this Giants bullpen literally has not missed a beat. They say in baseball that it's rare to win with the same bullpen year in and year out, that you have to interchange pieces, but the Giants have had largely the same group since 2010, and they're still getting the job done as most of the arms down there are sporting 0.00 ERA's. One surprise has been Clay Hensley, who was called upon Wednesday in the 10th with that runner on third and ended up getting a tough hitter in Jon Mayberry. I know it's still early, but Hensley is starting to look like another one of those Sabean bargain busters, a guy making under $1M, but is outperforming his salary. Another positive sign to come out of Wednesday's game was that the forgotten man, Brandon Belt finally got up there and had success. He started the game winning rally in the 10th with a single to center and scored the game winning run on Melky Cabrera's base hit. They only managed the 1 Wednesday, after scoring 2 in game one and 4 in game two. The Giants offense is coming back down to earth a bit after scoring 5 or more runs in 9 of their first 11 games, but they're obviously improved over last year. The presence of Posey alone in the middle of the lineup, who had a 3 for 4 night with a stolen base (showing his legs are feeling great), has made all the difference in the world. Also, I've talked a lot about Melky Cabrera's early season success, but it also looks like Angel Pagan is slowly but surely working his way back to normalcy as well, as he's got his average up over .200 for the first time all year.

So, in a hectic week these last 7 days, the Giants have lost their closer for the year, but went on to play very well, winning 3 of 4 games since the news broke that Wilson would be down. I still think that at some point they're going to need to add another reliever to help late in ballgames. I know Casilla has done a good job, but I'm not sure if he's the guy for the next 6 months, especially for a team with not only playoff aspirations, but NLCS and World Series expectations. Again, they're doing a more than admirable job right now, and have gotten back to .500 at 6-6, but Casilla's going to really have to take this job by the reigns and leave no doubts that he's the man, as I'm still not quite convinced yet. We'll see though, good to have this problem in mid-April rather than Mid-August or something though, that's for sure. At least they have a little time to figure things out, find out what works and what doesn't, as they figure out how to fill Wilson's void long-term.
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2 Comments:

  • At 10:59 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Trevor, I am not really sold on Affeldt being able to close out games, I think he would be better served for the seventh inning, or as someone to face left handed bats, kind of like what he is now. He sometimes goes thru fits where he cannot locate the plate, and that is costly late in games. I like what Hensley has shown so far, he looks like a good addition to the pen. Agree that Sabean may need to add a closer type later in the year maybe around the trading deadline, but for now they look ok.

     
  • At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Talking Giants Baseball said…

    What an amazing game yesterday! When was the last time a pitcher went 10 innings? This was the definition of a classic pitcher's duel. We have another tight one in New York! Got to love Giants baseball!

     

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