In what could very well be a preview of an upcoming playoff matchup in Atlanta, the Giants got off to a perfect start. They backed Barry Zito's excellent performance with a hit parade, scoring 9 runs by the fifth and knocking Jair Jurggens out before he could exit the fourth.
|Posey Leads SF with 52 RBI|
Buster Posey again was the offensive catalyst Tuesday, going 3-5 with 2 doubles and 5 RBI. The Giants' catcher has been on a tear since the Giants came out of the break, single-handily carrying the offense in their sweep over the Astros over the weekend, and has carried that right into the Atlanta series. The difference between last weekends games and Tuesday night's affair was that he wasn't the only one doing the damage. He did drive in half the teams runs but was only able to do so because the top part of the order got their job done. The top of the order has been a bit of an issue lately, but they showed what will happen when they get on for the middle part of the order. They didn't even get anything out of Pablo Sandoval Tuesday and they were still able to run up the score and put the game away early. I've said numerous times here that the under-the-radar key to this lineup is Gregor Blanco, and he showed why Tuesday. It just seems like every time he has it going, this offense flows so much better. He was thriving in June and that's when they were playing their best ball and hopefully this is just a sign of things to come for speedy outfielder.
The Giants offense decided this game before it was even halfway through, but the start Barry Zito provided
|Zito Improves to 8-6|
cannot be overlooked. The reason why this team swept Houston and are back on top in this division has been because their starters have been ridiculously efficient since the All-Star break. And as good as those three starts were in San Francisco by MadBum, Cain and Timmy, Zito's was equal to or better than all of those. He allowed just 3 hits over 7 shutout innings and even chipped into the offensive effort with a hit and an RBI. The thing that I was curious to see was how he threw once Hector Sanchez left the game with the knee injury, cause that's been a topic of discussion around the Giants lately. Bruce Bochy has been a big advocate of the pitcher/catcher matchup game playing lately and now he looks set on using Sanchez for 2 of the 5 arms in the rotation. Buster Posey showed a little frustration in an interview before the series saying "he can catch anybody" when the topic was brought up. Hopefully this doesn't become an issue going forward. I don't have a problem with Sanchez being out there if he's playing better than Belt and pitchers are comfortable with him, but you can't alienate your best young player.
The verdict on the Melky Cabrera/Jonathan Sanchez trade was in early, but it became official when the Royals DFA'd Sanchez earlier Tuesday and the Giants clearly won this deal. I still remember various people upset with the Sanchez trade back after it happened early in the winter, but we've seen Melky develop into the league leader in hits, an All-Star MVP and a guy who could be a mainstay in this lineup for years to come. I wish Sanchez all the best, he's not yet 30 and should land on somewhere else.