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Friday, April 06, 2012

Giants/D-Backs Open 2012, Post-Game Notes

Well guys, it's been a long winter, but we're finally here on the eve of opening day, as the two division favorites, Giants and D-Backs, prepare to square off in the desert Friday evening.

Pre-Game: It's been a while since the Giants opened up a season with a night game, as opening days are traditionally day games, but the Padres did it Thursday vs. LA and the D-Backs will do the same Friday with against the Giants. All the rosters are set and the comeback begins as the Giants try and fight their way back to October with a more feisty, 2010 like bunch that has sort of gone through a youth movement of sorts from how they ended 2011. Out 35 year-old Carlos Beltran, 36 year-old Orlando Cabrera, 32 year-old's Andres Torres, Cody Ross, Mike Fontenot, and 34 year-old Eli Whiteside. Instead, the Giants have replaced those guys with Melky Cabrera (27), who already looks like an impact player and should soften the loss of Beltran, in the brief time I've seen him play this spring. Also, Brandon Belt (24) will play a bigger role, Hector Sanchez (21) is the new backup catcher and they've given shortstop to young Brandon Crawford (25) and are really hoping he proves himself at the plate this year. Also, making the bench was Brett Pill another under-30 right-handed bat that needed to get onto this roster some way or another. One of the most intriguing heading in though, is the overlooked Gregor Blanco (28), who just may take Angel Pagan's job from him if his Spring Training success carries over into April. The Giants still have much of the same players that won them the 2010 Series, but mostly in the pitching staff. Their lineup has been pretty much remade from the one that was standing on the field in Texas on November 1st 2010. The only starters left from that team now are Posey and Huff (Pablo struggled that year and was relegated to bench duties in the playoffs). Freddy Sanchez was also a key member of that team but won't be out there for the opener and it's still unclear when exactly he will return to the Giants.

Anyway, here are tomorrow's likely opening day lineups, as each team will be missing a key to their middle infield. The Giants, without Freddy Sanchez, and the D-Backs, without Stephen Drew, need to have other guys step up in those guys spots as they're two very key bats two each respective ball club. Last year, the D-Backs rode their young talent and solid, improving bullpen and rotation to the postseason, and this year the Giants are hoping a healthy Posey and new offensive approach will pay-off.

UPDATE:
Giants Lineup:

CF Angel Pagan
RF Melky Cabrera
3B Pablo Sandoval
C Buster Posey
LF Aubrey Huff
1B Brandon Belt
2B Ryan Theriot
SS Brandon Crawford
P Tim Lincecum

D-Backs Lineup

SS Willie Bloomquist
CF Chris Young
RF Justin Upton
C Miguel Montero
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Jason Kubel
3B Ryan Roberts
2B Aaron Hill
P Ian Kennedy

If there are any tweaks to the lineup, I'll be sure to update them here, and I'll be back after the game tomorrow for some post-game thoughts, but the Giants have to be one their A-game Friday as they face a guy who went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA in a hitters yard last season. The Giants key is obviously going to be scoring runs, so all eyes will be on the Giants bats, especially newcomers Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan, as well as youngster Brandon Belt, who's likely getting the opening day start at first and looks as if he's made that his spot for good with Huff going out to left. It's going to be fun, the opening day jitters are already here, hopefully they start out with a statement and Posey goes 3-4 with 2 HR's... Wouldn't that be something in his first game back!

Post-Game Notes: I'm going to keep it short, cause it was a loss and I don't want to dwell on any particular thing to early. As expected, the Giants had trouble scoring early off Kennedy and couldn't back a strong Lincecum outing (minus that first). After those three early runs AZ put up, I knew it was going to be a tough one to come back in. The good part is, they did come back, but they were a tad short. Lincecum settled down and ended pitching nicely, however, I'm a little worried about his velocity which topped out at 91. With him not throwing the slider and the fastball losing life, that may be a bad sign of things to come for that right arm. Let's just hope it was early day jitters and he didn't want to overthrow.... Anyway, Melky looked good, going yard, and Posey had a 2-hit return, but the Giants were beaten by the better team Friday, let's see if they can turn that around Saturday. A few balls were nailed right at people too, as Pagan and Sandoval were robbed of some hits and I believe a few others, so a few more inches here and there and it could have been a different outcome. Never want to start with a loss, but it wasn't a bad loss. They did commit 3 errors, though knocked out 11 hits to help make up for that, but they need to tighten up on D.

Note: Also, for the updated Player Predictions, they start on this page here with Pagan and Sanchez and go down through the projected lineup at that time. They've since been tinkered with a few different times, but should be fairly easy to follow!
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2 Comments:

  • At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The milk man delivers

     
  • At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ugh.this gamei looks exactlcy like last year.Only difference is that this team at least has 3 hitters noww with Melk, Panda, and Posey. Failure durin the offseason for not making offense more
    a priority.

     

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