Giants Go 4-2, Narrowly Miss 6-0 Home Stand
With the Diamondbacks taking 2 out of 3 in the series, it pulls them to within a half game of the 2nd place Giants, who are now 1.5 back of the first place Rockies. It's really a shame they couldn't quite squeak out Wednesday's game to back a terrific outing by Madison Bumgarner and take the series vs. Arizona, but everyone will happily take a 4-2 stint anytime. Bumgarner has been the Giants default ace throughout the first month of the season, and he showed you exactly why Wednesday, going 7.1 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and a walk to go with 7 punch-outs. The performance lowered his ERA to 1.87 and his WHIP to 0.89 to go with his 3-0 record. As great as MadBum was Wednesday though, the two key starts during this home stand in my eyes though came from the arms of Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito. Lincecum had the best outing of his young season, and really one of the best starts I've seen from him since 2011, granted it was vs. the Padres. He shut San Diego out over 7+, walking just 1 and striking out 8. Zito's outing was big just because he got rocked last week in Milwaukee, so he needed a strong outing to avoid getting back into one of his ruts, and he delivered.
Outside of Bumgarner, the Giants starting pitching has had some question marks early on. Cain and Vogey have gotten off to slow starts, and prior to his last outing, Lincecum has been off as well. I fully expect Cain and Vogelsong to come around sooner than later, and Zito has been solid outside of that start in Milwaukee. The wild card continues to be Tim Linececum. Look at all the success the team had last year with Linececum actually holding them back in some instances, then imagine if they get that sort of play coupled with a re-born ace!
As far as the offense is concerned, they didn't really light things on fire over the last week, averaging just 3.5 runs per game over the 6-game span, but their are a few huge positives they'll be taking out on the road with them. First off, it looks like Buster Posey is finally getting things into gear. He hit homers on back-to-back nights (his first two of the season) and drove in 6 vs. the Padres and D-Backs which is over half of his total for the season to date. Secondly, Brandon Crawford has just kept fire after a real strong roadie last time out, carrying that success back home with him and really showing how far he's come in the power department. Crawford hit the game-tying shot in the 8th inning of Wednesday's game for his 4th of the year, which ties him with Hunter Pence for team lead. He'll carry a clean .320 average, 4 big flies and 10 RBI into this road trip, and is the Giants' toughest out at the moment. Meanwhile, the other Brandon, who hit the big game-tying home run off J.J. Putz to help the Giants complete the comeback win in game one vs. Arizona, looks to be breaking out of his slump too. After tearing up the Cactus League this spring, I would have thought he'd have his first home run before April 24th, but going 6 for 14 with some big hits on the home stand certainly is a step in the right direction.