The Giants accomplished two key things Tuesday, taking the first game of their 3-game set with the Astros and before the game, announcing that they had come to an agreement with first round selection, Chris Stratton.
|Bugmarner Homers then Wins|
We'll start out with the game, in which the Giants offense woke up a little after a rough weekend set vs. Texas. They got a big fly and a great outing from starter Madison Bumgarner, who improved his record to 8-4 on the season with an absolute gem vs. Houston. The Giants' young lefty went 7 2/3 allowing just 6 base runners while striking out a season-high 12 batters. He also sparked the Giants offense with a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning which put the Giants on the board. After that, their offense which was shut out twice over the weekend, got rolling. The lineup got the return of Melky Cabrera and the Giants' potential all-star right fielder responded with a 2 for 4 line and an RBI. Perhaps the most important development in this game though was from another Giant who connected for his first, long-awaited home run of the season. Brandon Belt, who's a big reason why the Giants are near the bottom of the league in home runs, finally knocked the goose egg out of that column and hopefully this spurns a run in which he gets himself back to offensive relevance. I think the Giants were asking him to change too much early on in the year, and they need to back off him a little bit and just let him go. He's a streaky hitter so although he just hit his first homer of the year, it wouldn't surprise me if he's at 5 by the end of the month.
San Francisco also inked their first round selection and the 20th pick in this years MLB draft, Tuesday, agreeing to terms with MSU right-hander Chris Stratton. The Giants gave the big right-hander a $1.85M deal which is no small number for a 20th selection. We talked a bit about Stratton after the draft, in this post here
, and we'll get back into the draft later this month after we connect with The College Baseball Daily
Brian Foley. The big thing about this signing though, is the Giants accomplished it so early on in the signing process, that hopefully they can ship Stratton out to an affiliate and have him throwing for the organization within a month or so. They have until August 15th to sign all their draftees, so them coming to terms with their first rounder within a week of the draft is huge. Stratton is the first pitcher the Giants have taken in the first round since Zach Wheeler, and they've had tremendous success with first round arms in recent years, so I'm expecting much of the same from Stratton. He's already got the body to digest a bunch of innings, and he's gotten experience with a few years playing for a powerhouse in Mississippi State, Alma mater of another famous first round pick of the Giants, Mr. Will Clark. This kid can mix up pitches, throw all four of his pitches for strikes and can crank it up to the mid/high 90's when he has to. He's also said he tries to pattern his game after Matt Cain, who is a pretty good role model for a young arm. Only time will tell, but as I said after the draft, I like this pick and believe this kid will be a good big leaguer.