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Thursday, September 06, 2012

Giants Need Starters to Rebound vs. LA

Ever since the tail end of their last homestand, the Giants starting pitching has really run into some difficulties. With a huge series vs. LA this weekend, they'll need those struggles to end ASAP.

Before that series with the Braves a few weeks ago, seemingly every Giants starter was taking the ball into the 7th or 8th inning, and giving their team an excellent shot at controlling the game. However, since they went out of their last road trip, that pattern has come to a halt. Ryan Vogelsong has been having the most trouble lately, as 4 of his last 5 starts have been down significantly from his performance through July. The 33 year-old right-hander was leading the NL in ERA on July 29th with a 2.22 mark, and he was in the midst of 16 straight quality starts. Since that date however, risen up over a point to 3.29, and he has recorded just 2 quality starts over 7 outings. It's not just Vogey either though. Madison Bumgarner has lost his last three starts, including the finale vs. the D-Backs Wednesday that resulted in the Giants losing a series for the first time in weeks. With the inconsistencies the Giants are currently getting out of Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito, it really applies the pressure to the other starters. After all, the Giants are still a team dictated by who their starting pitching is going, and if they continue the trend they've had the last week plus, they aren't going to keep winning.

We saw it in this series with the D-Backs. The Giants were able to get some offense and comeback in game one of the series, but didn't get great starting efforts in any of the three games and their offense still isn't deep enough to bail them out of early deficits with regularity. They were hoping Xavier Nady would provide a boost to the lineup after his solid debut with the Giants in Chicago, but he really hasn't done much since hitting that big 3-run double, and left the game Wednesday with a strained groin. Now the Giants are left in the same spot with left field that they were when they originally lost Melky, and it may force them to get creative in order to keep their best offensive unit on the field. We saw last week that they were tinkering with using Joaquin Arias out there, but that hasn't happened in a game yet, and now there are whispers of possibly placing Brandon Belt back out there. Belt played a pretty good left field last year when he was asked to, but his value to this team as a first basemen is huge as he's one of the best defenders in the NL there. Still, it may makes some since, seeing that Blanco just can't get anything going right now, and the Giants do have other options they could use at third (moving Pablo across the diamond) or at catcher (moving Posey to first).

Hopefully they can figure these issues out with this huge series kicking off Friday night. I know these two teams meet again in the final series of the regular season in Pasadena, but I think this 3-game set is the one that will set the tone for the rest of the year. If the Dodgers are able to gain some ground on the Giants, it'll give them major momentum down the stretch. But at the same time, if the Giants can get right, and play the Dodgers like they did in LA in August (excellent pitching, clutch hitting and great defense), they could unofficially put the nail in the coffin for the 2012 Dodgers.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I would really love it if the Giants can sweep these guys. Send them back to LA 7.5 out, that would be sweeeeeet!

  • At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Section 138* said…

    Man, a wasted outing by Cain. I can't believe the Giants couldn't beat Chris frigggen Capuano........ Whats up with Pablo S. swinging at every single first pitch too. Get him out of the 3 spot already!

  • At 10:27 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Pat Burrell needs to show Sandoval what patience is at the plate, Josh Beckett just kept Pablo waiting between pitches and then let him swing at garbage out of the strike zone, which Pablo looked foolish hacking at, but he has always looked too impatient to wait for a good pitch to hit, not a good trait for an rbi type hitter. Maybe he needs to learn patience at the other type of plate too, so that he could lose some excess baggage around the middle.


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