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Saturday, September 01, 2012

Giants Start September With a Win

After looking like a team that had a long flight between a night/day game overlap, the Giants got some sleep Friday night and righted the ship Saturday.

Friday's game was pretty forgettable in every way, from Madison Bumgarner's start, to the lowly offensive output. Luckily the Giants got some help from Arizona who held off the Dodgers in 11 innings, enabling the Giants to keep their 4.5 game lead. On Saturday, the Giants have put the pressure on LA early, beating Chicago 5-2 and forcing the Dodgers to win Saturday night in order to avoid falling 5.5 games back. San Francisco only really needed one big inning to make up for Friday's letdown, as they jumped all over the Cubs in the very first inning. Hector Sanchez got an RBI by taking a bases loaded fastball off his jersey for a hits batsmen, then the Giants got the big hit they were hoping they'd get out their newest call-up. Xavier Nady was called up prior to the game, and Bruce Bochy said he's leaning towards using him a lot in left field to start out with, as Gregor Blanco's struggles continue. Nady paid off immediately. His swing looked solid and he looked balanced at the plate and roped a 3-run triple down the left field line to push the Giants ahead 4-0, and Tim Lincecum took over from there.

Lincecum had a very good outing, going 6.1 strong, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits with 7 strikeouts to improve his record to 8-14 on the season. Timmy was coming off 3 starts in which he failed to get through the 6th inning (though his start in LA was legit), but he was able to Saturday. He did walk 3 batters, but had pretty good command throughout the game. The only mistake he made was a 2-seamer that leaked out over the plate to David DeJuses, which was launched for a 2-run home run, but that was all the offense the Cubs came up with. Lincecum has still not quite been completely right in the second half, but his numbers since the All-Star break are starting to resemble the stats he was putting up prior to this season. A big reason for that has been the drop off in WHIP, from 1.58 in the first half to 1.27 after Saturday's outing. With the calender turning to September, it's really now or never for Lincecum in 2012. If he continues to build off this start down the stretch, the Giants will run away with the West, and the Giants will have themselves their ace back in time for October.

Xavier Nady wasn't the only guy called up the big league roster Saturday. With the rosters expanding to a 40-player limit, the Giants wasted no time infusing some fresh bodies into the mix. As suspected, they activated Aubrey Huff, Shane Loux and Brad Penny. They also recalled Brett Pill from Fresno and brought up reliever Jean Machi, who was impressive for the Giants this spring, and had a 3.97 ERA with 15 saves with the Grizzlies. The Giants will have another wave of call-ups after the Fresno season ends, but as I said a few posts back, I expect Nady and Mota to be the guys getting most the work. Huff and Pill give Bochy a few more options off the bench as pinch hitters as well. 
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Shoulda called up Nady weeks ago!

  • At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Obie 1 said…

    OK, Nady had a good game, but can he keep it up? His numbers the last few seasons haven't been that good. Wonder if Bochy will use Arias out there in left since they were talking about it the other day.

  • At 11:15 AM, Anonymous SFDE24 said…

    Getting sick of Bochy not playing Belt. Doesn't he know that ALL of Belts homers this year have been of southpaws? c'mon Bochy get it together!


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