In their first appearance in San Francisco since the 2010 World Series, the Rangers showed up with a chip on their shoulder and thoroughly outplayed the Giants to take their 3-game set. They also beat up Tim Lincecum, who lost his 5th straight and has fans wondering aloud what is going on with the 27 year-old ace.
|Lincecum's Struggles Continue|
First off, I want to talk about Lincecum. I know we've talked a lot about his struggles here lately, as they've been a big reason why this team hasn't taken off and is up their with LA in the West right now. He's been bad, there's no denying that, but his struggles are specific and ones that should be smoothed out with more time. It's not like this guy hasn't gone through a funk before. Never has it lasted quite this long, but he went through a very similar grind in August of 2010 before the Giants took off down the stretch. As I've been saying all along, the Giants need Lincecum to right the ship, they need him to be an ace for them to really compete for a playoff spot. What I don't understand is how fans can turn on him so quickly and count him out after a rough stretch that's gone on for all of 5-6 weeks. There were people calling into the Giants' flagship station, KNBR, all evening after that game Sunday, asking for Timmy to be sent down or taken out of the rotation for a period of time in order to work things out. I wouldn't be totally opposed to giving him a start off to clear his head, as I do believe most of his mistakes right now are mental, but I would never consider sitting down the guy who's been your ace and best pitcher up until the last month or so. Yes, this is a "what have you done for me lately" league, but Lincecum's age and past success alone should give him more than enough benefit of doubt. Not all his starts over the last month have been nightmarish either. Sunday's wasn't good, I'll give you that, I can't take it when he gets into a rut and can't find the strike zone. That said, his last two starts weren't that bad, save for one bad inning in San Diego, and I believe him when he says he feels he's "crawling out of it". Give Timmy a break, he'll be back to form soon enough, his track record proves it.
Now, for the rest of the Giants, who lost a big series over the weekend to Texas and had their offense shut out twice in three games. They played the weekend set without Melky Cabrera, and their run production suffered mightily because of it. It kind of gives you an idea of what this Giants team would look like had Brian Sabean not pulled the trigger on the Jonathan Sanchez trade back in November, and it ain't pretty. It's almost like the Giants order stopped functioning without Melky. Even the return of Pablo
|Melky To Return Tuesday?|
Sandoval didn't help offset the lose of the .368-hitting right fielder. Sandoval went just 1-7 in his first two games back in the Giants lineup after missing over a month with a broken hand. He added a bunch of weight in his time off, and he's going to have to knock those pounds back off in order to get back in the form he was in before the injury. Balls were jumping off his bat before he went down, and his bat speed and overall quickness seemed a little slow this weekend. Also, Buster Posey's bat was nowhere to be found this weekend, as he to went 1-7 in the series. The Giants are hoping to have Cabrera back in time for Tuesday's series opener vs. Houston, but he's still not 100 percent clear. Regardless, with our without Melky, the Astros are a team the Giants should cleanup on. Another tidbit for the series to keep an eye on is Houston infielder Jed Lowrie, who's been an offensive juggernaut for the Astros and could be a guy the Giants look into if they feel a need to upgrade a spot in their infield again.