The Giants put out their best offensive performance of 2012 Thursday in Miami, as they backed Ryan Vogelsong's strong outing with a 14 run, 15-hit parade in their series open win vs. the Marlins.
|Giants Beat Miami|
The Giants made their first appearance in the new Marlins park, which has been one of the most pitching friendly confines in the Major Leagues early on in the season, but you wouldn't have known that by watching the Giants hit Thursday. The Giants beat Miami with a football score, 14-7, and the big reason behind their offensive surge was the play of their 3 outfielders. Blanco, Cabrera and Pagan combined for 7 hits, 7 runs and 8 RBI in Thursday's win, accounting for half the team's hits and over half the team's runs scored. The 3 outfielders have continued their steady play throughout May and have really given this team an offensive identity in absence of Pablo Sandoval and while Buster Posey was getting going. Now, Posey's heating up, and Panda's only a few weeks out, so this team still has some major upside coming on offense. Buster's raised his average back over .300 for the first time in weeks, and now leads the team with 6 homers and 24 RBI after another 2-hit effort Thursday. It's taken nearly the first two months of the season, but this Giants team finally appears to finding their offensive identity. However, not everyone is hitting and luckily for the Giants, Cabrera's outstanding .362 batting average has helped make up for the lack of production the team's currently getting from it's corner infielders. Brandon Belt saw his average dip back into the .220's after Thursday's game, and whoever the Giants have put in Sandoval's place at third has not answered the bell. As long as they stay afloat and keep above .500 until they get Panda back, they should be just fine. Sandoval is expected to come off the DL in early June, barring any set-backs.
|Lincecum Needs Win!|
So the Giants started their 4-game weekend in Miami off with a bang Thursday, but in order for them to take this series, they're going to need their pitching on point. The Marlins yard is a offensive graveyard, and the Giants should not expect to go out and put up crooked numbers like they did Thursday, each day this weekend. That said, there will be a lot of eyes on tomorrow's game especially, as Tim Lincecum will try and get back in the good graces of Giants fans who have started to wonder what's gone wrong with the ace right-hander. His stuff is still there, as evident by his strikeout ratio, but what's killing him right now is his lack of location. It would be a huge swing of momentum of the Giants can get behind him Friday and help get him back on track. It won't be an easy assignment though as he draws the Marlins ace Josh Johnson. Again, I'm not expecting another offensive outburst like we saw Thursday, but a couple runs early on to help take some pressure off Timmy could go a long way. We've seen him go through this kind of funk before, and he righted himself in time for the Giants run to a World Series Championship. Luckily for them, his struggles have come early on and not in August, so he's still got some time to hash things out before the race picks up. Still, the sooner the Giants get Lincecum back to being Linceucm, the better off this team will be as a whole. Right now he's looking like the 4th or 5th best starter in his own rotation, when he came into the year as one of the top-5 in all of baseball. It's been nice to see the offense step up, especially the newly acquired outfield, but this teams' best asset is still their starting rotation, and they're going to need Timmy right down the stretch.