The Giants launched a critical weekend series in Seattle Friday night with a big win, as Ryan Vogelsong got the team back on track after a wild week at AT&T Park with his token 7-inning, 2-run performance.
|Melky: 6 HR, .365 AVG.|
I haven't checked the stats on all of Vogelsong's starts for the year, but I'd bet that he's gone 7+ innings while allowing 2 or less runs in over 3/4 of them so far. It seems like every start lately he goes 7 strong and gives the Giants a great opportunity to win and it was no different Friday night at Safeco. While Vogey didn't quite match the masterpiece we saw Matt Cain paint Wednesday night, but he did take a 2-hitter into the 7th inning. He's still having a bit of trouble getting past the 7th though, as it seems like either pitch count and/or fatigue start catching up with him around the 6th and 7th innings. Still, with his win Friday, it not only started the Giants out on the right track vs. the Mariners, but also gave him his 7th victory of the season and lowered his ERA to 2.29, good for second in the starting rotation behind only Matt Cain. Vogey got just enough run support, as Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera each had big flies. Posey got the Giants on the board with a solo job in the 2nd (his 8th on the season), then 'The Melk Man' connected for his 6th, a 2-run shot in the 8th which pretty much sealed the deal for the Giants. Brandon Belt, who has all the sudden found his stroke, also pitched in with a multi-hit effort raising his average up to .246, and climbing.
Santiago Casilla came on to shut the door in 1-2-3 fashion in the 9th inning to preserve the win. Now the focus obviously shifts to the crucial Saturday night outing in which Tim Lincecum will take the mound for the first time as a 28 year-old, as I'm sure all he was wishing for on his birthday Friday was for a win in his hometown. It will be Lincecum's first ever outing in Seattle as a Major League pitcher, against the team he
|Timmy Back in Hometown|
grew up rooting for as a kid and in close proximity to the University of Washington where he was one of the best college arms in the nation. I'm sure Timmy will have no shortage of friends and family out there Saturday night, but he's gonna have to tune everything out and focus on his location and getting ahead in the count early. Hopefully, once the game starts, he can turn into focus mode, because I know emotions will be riding high for him. This is probably the longest he's ever gone in his life without pitching up to his expectations, and know he's coming home while in the biggest rut of his career. I don't want to put to much on a start in the middle of June, but I have a feeling Saturday night's start will give us a good indication as to how the rest of the season will unfold for Mr. Lincecum.
In other news, Aubrey Huff's stint with the Giants may very well have come to an end Wednesday night, as the first basemen was hurt during Matt Cain's perfect game celebration. Huff sprained his knee, and the Giants didn't release a timetable for his recovery. However, it'll likely be a month or more, depending on the severity, and even if it's minor, this could be the straw that breaks the camels back for Aubrey in San Francisco. He's hitting .150 and contributing nothing to the team right now. I'll always appreciate what he did in the 2010 season for this team, but he's fallen off quickly and had become a waste of a roster spot.