Although the Giants narrowly missed sweeping the A's this weekend, there were still some good things to come out of this weekend's set in Oakland, including gaining another game on the Dodgers in the West.
|Cain just misses 10th win|
I think the best thing to come out of this weekends series obviously has to be the performance that Tim Lincecum provided after just a terrible first inning on Friday night. After giving up 3 runs in that first inning though, he rebounded to throw 5 straight, no-hit innings, allowing the Giants to climb back into the ballgame. Although he didn't get credit for the win, it was the first time since April in which the Giants won a Lincecum start. That coupled with the fact that he really started looking like the old Timmy in the middle of that game definitely gives reason for optimism. Matt Cain also threw a gem in Sunday's finale, though the Giants bullpen, which had a really rough weekend, failed to hold the lead for him. In Saturday night's game, the Giants pen almost blew a 9-4 lead that
Madison Bumgarner and the offense provided them, barely hanging on to
win the game 9-8. Cain wasn't as lucky, as he had the best start over the weekend, with 7 innings of 3-hit, 1-run ball, but the Giants failed to do much offensively, and Santiago Casilla blew a 2-1 lead for his 2nd blown save of the season. The big blow came off the bat of rookie Derek Norris, who took Casilla deep for the game-winning three-run homer with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th inning.
The Giants' starting pitching wasn't the only good thing to come from series. The Lincecum start was huge, and it was nice to see Cain return to dominance after his so-so outing in his last start, but the Giants also got a few guys going with the bats. We've talked about Brandon Belt in the last few posts, and he just continues to look like a brand new player in June. In the month, he's hitting .360 with 4 jacks, 15 RBI and a 1.164
|Posey: 5 HR's in June|
OPS. It certainly looks like he's coming around. Also, Buster Posey seems to be finding his power stroke as well. He hit his 10th home run of the season on Sunday, and now has 5 this month. Unfortunately, while Belt and Posey have been producing, Melky Cabrera has seen his average take a bit of a dive, and Pablo Sandoval continues to have up-and-down games. One thing I was curious to watch for when Sandoval returned, was whether or not the Giants outfield would keep producing at the rate they were while the Panda was down. Unfortunately, they haven't, but they're still helping the team win, and Pablo hasn't performed consistently yet either. Right now, with the starting pitching dominating, balls bouncing off Posey and Belt's bats like golf balls, and the Dodgers spiraling without Kemp, the Giants need Melky, Pablo and Pagan to be on their games.