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Thursday, April 07, 2016

SF carry's momentum into home opener

The home opener didn't start all that promising behind the arm of Jake Peavy as the Giants took on their arch rival Los Angeles Dodgers. Peavy was tagged for four runs throughout his five innings, and it took the Giants' offense a minute to get going but they indeed did just that.

Now, before I delve into the home opener Thursday, two of the Giants biggest acquisitions of the winter made their debuts in Milwaukee and while Jeff Samardzija would probably like a do over, Johnny Cueto threw how I think a lot of us were expecting the premiere right-hander to throw. I wasn't able to give my thoughts on Johnny Cueto here after his outstanding start Tuesday and wanted to just briefly. Cueto showed his value in terms of just all the different quirks he has out there and how he can mix stuff up without losing his release point or running into mechanical issue. He went 6 strong, didn't walk a batter, allowed 6 hits and also struck out 6 Brewers' hitters and never really ran into trouble at all throughout the day. He's got that quiet confidence and swag about him that exudes confidence and you can see exactly why. Samardzija,, on the other hand did not look as comfortable or in control as Cueto. Granted, he wasn't terrible, but he was way too hittable, allowing 8 knocks over 5+ innings (a problem that haunted him last season) and also allowed 3 free passes, so he's lucky that he got out of that start of 5+ innings only charged the 3 run. Over two base-runners allowed per inning is way to high for a pitcher, especially a guy who has expectations like Samardzija coming in. Needless to say, he's going to be under a bit of a microscope his next time out and it won't be easy in another hitters paradise, Coors Field.

So, the Giants headed into the home opener at a comfortable 2-1 and although they had the edge in the pitching match up in this one, you wouldn't have known it by watching the first few innings. Jake Peavy just didn't have his crisp stuff early, as he was leaving balls up in the "hit me" zone and his sliders and sinkers weren't dipping and cutting as much as they were towards the end of spring (according to Krukow). Unlike the walks that killed Madison Bumgarner and really hurt Jeff Samardzija though, Peavy put up a goose egg in that column and thankfully he did or else who knows what kind of numbers LA puts up those first couple innings.

Luckily for Peavy, as was the case for Samardzija on getaway day in Millwauke yesterday, the Giants offense showed why they're one of the deepest, most dynamic bunches in baseball and treated that 4-0 deficit as if it were non-existent. Denard Span got the Giants on the bored with an RBI ground out, but then Joe Panik tripled and Buster Posey doubled to bring the Giants to within 1 in the 5th. That shows you the versatility of this lineuep. They can put up quick numbers without necessarily needed to hit the 3-run jack just because they have gap power throughout and pretty good speed as well (minus Posey only, really). At that point, although they still ended the inning down 4-3, I think most Giants fans had a pretty good feeling about the team coming back in this one, and come back they did. Angel Pagan, Panik and Posey all contributed RBI hits in the 6th to give the Giants a 2-run lead for the first time on the afternoon then the Hunter Pence grand slam was pretty much the nail in the Dodgers' coffin on this day. This is what's been so damn special about this unit and if they're showing this unity and comrodority this early then imagine what things will be like come July! Grand slams never hurt a team's morale or confidence but even if Pence never hit that, the Giants were gonna win that game. The players confidence is starting to legitimately transffering over the fans!

So we've gotten through just 4 games so far, and the Giants sit at 3-1 and if you look at their victories, you can't help but be impressed with the fashion in which they've pulled them off. This team reminds me a lot of the 2014 just with more versatility, defense and better pitching. Let's keep this in mind: Coming into the season the Giants' success was going to be deemed by how well the pitching staff can put it together and so long as they lineup stays healthy and can score enough runs. So far it's been the opposite, and we saw some of it in spring training too. I'm just waiting until those starters like Peavy, Bum and "The Shark" hit their stride, then look the hell out National League! Man am I glad this game is back and the Giants are providing the type of excitement I think we're going to grow accustomed to all year laong... Oh by the way, super excited to see what Matty does in his debut Friday night. It'll be epic, not only for his confidence, but for the fans if this guy can go out there and deliver a vintage Cainer perfomance. I didn't get to see Cain throw at all in spring, aside from a few edited clips here and there, so I'm escpecially excited to see what kind of stuff he brings into 2016.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 9:37 PM, Anonymous TeddyO said…

    Man what an exciting game on Friday night... Cain looked good but the offense was slow to get going. Games still in the 8th and tied up... hopefully we can pull it out.

    My oh my how I've missed this game! So glad baseball's back and thatnks for your awesome insight. Better than the same regurgitated stuff you see on major sites like ESPN or FOX... Keep it up!

    GO GIants!

  • At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is a special team. I know other people have mentioned it all over twitter and KNBR and Facebook but wow. These guys just never see like they're out of it..

    The Kershaw test will be big but even if they don't win this game, it changes nothing. The Giants are legit, maybe better than their championship teams. Def better than 2010'. 2012 was a legit squad and 2014 kinda had that huge start, slow middle then strong finish but I think this team is too deep and good to go through any prolonged funks. Unless of course BUster goes down with a torn hammy, Cueto hurts his back and Pence misses a month with a oblique issue. Thats how fast it can change but right now this team looks about as good as any... I'm excited!

  • At 12:46 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    I like the best championship team debate!

    I'm with you, they kinda scrapped it together and willed their way to win it in 2010, but that takes nothing away from that win. They had the young talent and that great pitching so they rightfully won that.

    I think the 2012 team was the most well-rounded I think which is funny cause they kinda snuck into the playoffs. But they were built so well for it with Timmy the secret weapon out of the pen and all that power showing up for them in October. Detroit never even had a chance.

    '14 was a little more of a nail biter. A lot of people felt KC had more talent all aorund but the Giants experience and clutch play payed off and held em off in the end...

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