Well, just when it appeared the Giants were starting to put together a nice string of ballgames, they again witnessed their ace get knocked around Friday night, then saw the same happen with Madison Bumgarner Saturday.
|Lincecum's ERA: 6.46|
After Thursday's blowout win, and the team taking an early lead in Friday's game, it went all down hill. Lincecum started out the game pretty nicely, going into the 6th with a 3-1 lead, just what he needed to take some pressure off. However, like he has so often the last month, he came unraveled in the 6th inning, surrendering 5 earned runs, never to make it out of that horrendous 6th. It seems like it keeps on being one huge inning in which Timmy just loses everything, command to the zone and perhaps most importantly, confidence. You can read it in his body language that the dude is just not in sync out there right now. I mean, he was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Friday, looking brilliant through 5 innings, then out of nowhere just melting down. It was his 5th consecutive start in which he didn't earn the coveted "quality start" tag, and it seems like it's just getting worse for the right-hander, with his ERA now at a career low for this deep in a season at 6.46. His bad luck rubbed off on Madison Bumgarner Saturday, and the Giants star lefty has yet record a victory since May 5th. Now, Bumgarner is throwing a whole lot better than Lincecum currently is, but he typically thrives in games after tough Giants losses, and it was tough to watch him get lit up a bit by the fish. His ERA rose up over 3.00 for the first time since April 23rd, and his record is now 5-4 after starting the season 5-1. To Bumgarner's credit though, he's had some tough luck, most recently his last start in Milwaukee in which he was brilliant but didn't get any offensive or defensive support, and Timmy can't really say the same thing. Am I worried about him yet? Absolutely not! But I also don't think this team is a playoff contender with Lincecum throwing the way he is.
Despite their ace going through some hard times, the Giants offense really needs to be given credit for pulling their weight, especially when you take into account they are vastly underachieving at first, second and third base. Luckily for them, they know they have third base covered and will have their man back in a few weeks. Unfortunately, they can't say the same about first or second. I've been pulling for Brandon Belt to get as many at-bats as possible and Bochy has given him a lot rope lately, but he's just not grabbing the bull by the horns like everybody was hoping. That doesn't mean I'm ready to give up on him, but the answer for him
|Blanco Has +.800 OPS|
could end up being to go back down to Fresno for a bit, just to rebuild some confidence if nothing else. I know he doesn't really have anything left to prove in the minors, but he's of no use to this team if he's not hitting for power or average or getting on base. Thankfully, their lack of offense in the infield has been offset greatly by their thriving outfield which we talked a great deal about last post but it's tough to go a day without these guys doing something great. In the first couple of games in this series, we saw Melky Cabrera take over as the league leader in hits, and on Saturday we saw Gregor Blanco show his abilities with a 3-5 day putting his average at .290. I think the Giants ought to seriously consider looking into extending all three of these guys, but most importantly, Melky Cabrera. I mean, the dude is built perfectly to hit at AT&T Park, and his tremendous start to the season is not a fluke. It's only and expansion on what he started last season in KC. He'd be at the top of my list in terms of extensions if I'm Brian Sabean, and not far beneath him should be Pagan and Blanco. I think all three are liking it here in San Francisco, and their play is reflecting that. The Giants already have a tough enough time luring hitters here, so when they find guys that work like they have, they need to find a way to keep them.