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Showing posts from September, 2010

Giants Clinch NL West Tie

UPDATE: The Giants have now swept the Diamondbacks, clinching at least a tie for the NL West. This means that the sinking Padres would have to beat the surging Giants 4 times in a row in order to knock them out. Now, even if the Giants hold off the D-Backs and win, and the Cubs take care of business vs. the Pads tonight and the magic number drops to 1, the division, again, is not necessarily theirs. The Giants will have to finish the season off against the Padres, and the Pads could still take the West with a sweep this weekend. And let's not forget that the Padres really have owned the Giants throughout 2010 up until the Giants took their most recent 4-game set. Prior to that series, the Giants were 2-10 vs. San Diego this year and have really been having problems with them over the last few seasons. However, this really is a different Giants ball-club than what the Padres have seen for much of the last 3 or 4 years, and they're really doing what they need to be doing in orde

Giants In Drivers Seat for Final Week

The final week of the regular season is officially upon us, and it's now do or die time for all teams scurrying to make that last postseason push. The Giants start a 3-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday night before returning home to host the Padres the final 3-game set of the year, and the one that should ultimately decide the fates of both teams. As we stand now though, the Giants have a 1 game lead on the Padres as we start play Tuesday, so they, in essence, control their own destiny. They send Jonathan Sanchez to the mound against the D-Backs' Rodrigo Lopez in a pitching match which heavily favors the Giants. Sanchez has been an in absolute groove lately too, as he's allowed just 3 runs over his last 5 starts. Unfortunately, he's still battling some wildness, which is spiking his pitch count early, and forcing him out of games in the 6th and 7th innings, even when he's throwing shutout or 1-run baseball. But as all Giants fans know, it's not n

Giants' Offense Puts Them Back on Top

First off, sorry for the sporadic posting schedule over the last few weeks, I was a little under the weather for a few days and then left town early this week to attend a wedding. I'll be back in town on Monday, and will resume normal posting schedules. We'll also be posting something everyday during that final week of the regular season, so do stay tuned to see if the Giants will be playing October baseball for the first time since 2003. That said, the seesaw battle for first place in the NL West is looking more and more like it's going to carry into the final weekend of the season, when the Giants square off with the Padres at AT&T Park. That series is just 7 days away, as MLB gets set to play it's last week of regular season baseball. It's officially "crunch time" or "do or die" time, or whatever you want to call it, for all clubs pushing for playoff spots, including your San Francisco Giants, and the Giants sure answered the bell on Thu

Giants Must Handle Brewers, Cubs

The Giants and Padres are dead-locked right now in a tie for first place in the NL West, although the Giants do have a slight advantage in their winning percentage. With only 2 weeks left, every game from here on out is huge, and the Giants must take advantage of their light schedule over the next week. First off, they need to take care of business vs. the Brewers, who they where shut out by on Friday night. Randy Wolfe threw a complete game, 3-hitter, and the Giants lost brief hold atop the NL West. The Giants must right the ship on Saturday evening, and they have the right man taking the hill in the red hot Tim Lincecum. The Brewers are 10 games below .500, and the Giants are fighting for their playoff hopes, and because they were unable to come up with any runs and just 3 hits on Friday night, it's got to be a little bit discouraging for the team as a whole. The Brewers aren't a very good team, and the Giants had been on fire coming into the series, so hopefully Friday night

Giants Offense: A Model Of Inconsistency

The Giants pitching staff is doing all they can in order to push this team into the playoffs, but the offense just can't seem to keep up their end of the bargain, at least on a consistent basis. In September, the Giants have lost 4 games, and in 3 of those games, they've scored 1 run or less. Whenever this team scores more than 2 runs, they generally win the game, and again, that is a huge tribute to their pitching staff. Last night's game in LA was a prime example of the Giants "Jekyl and Hyde" offense, as they were shutout 1-0 by the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw. Once again, had the Giants been able to scrape out just 2 measly runs, they would have taken the game. Instead, they were hel d scoreless, and fell a full game behind San Diego in the west. It's a shame too, because they wasted another solid outing by Barry Zito, and ran his losing streak to 7 games. Now, for the first 5 of those last 7 starts, Zito did look pretty bad, and did deserve to lose the ga

Lincecum Puts Giants In Tie for 1st

Tim Lincecum is officially back, and if you needed anymore clarification on that, all you had to do was watch him work on Sunday afternoon. Lincecum won his third straight decision, throwing 7 innings of 7 hit, 1 run ball, striking out 9 and walking just 1 Padre batter all afternoon. And I can't help but think that all those people who were seriously worried about Timmy are kicking themselves for ever doubting "The Franchise". I think we can agree, that after his third straight solid outing (21.2 IP, 5 er, 17 hits and 29 k's), the Giants ace is back in his groove, and he found it just in time. It seems like Timmy's velocity is popped back up a bit, but it really was his accuracy (or lack thereof) that had him out of whack. It's no coincidence that Lincecum's only walked 2 batters over those last 3 wins, after averaging a little over 3 per start during his 5-game losing streak. It was also good to see the bullpen, which has really tightened up here over the

Giants Within 1 in the West

The Giants can move back into a tie for first place with a win Tuesday, coupled with a Padres loss, as the Giants have moved to within 1 game of NL West leading San Diego. The Giants have also apparently got their starting pitching back on track. Starting with Tim Lincecum's win last week, the Giants' starters have been outstanding over the last week or so. The team has won 4 of their last 5 because of that, as their offense still hasn't really found their groove in September yet. A prime example of this came Monday night, as the D-Backs held the Giants scorele ss through 12 innings, when they finally broke through and won, 2-0. They only scored 3 runs the day before that in LA as well. There really just isn't anyone who's very hot in that lineup right now, and there are a few guys starting to struggle a bit. Andres Torres has hit a bit of a rough patch over the last week, going 2-25 in that span. The Giants outfield as a whole has really hit a rough patch. Newcomer

Padres Opening Door for Giants

It seems like we've been waiting all year for it, but it's finally came, and that is a San Diego Padre losing streak. Ever since they've taken reigns atop the NL West, they've been a model of consistency, but now they're finally struggling, and it's time for the Giants to take advantage of it. The Giants have picked up a few games over the last week, and now sit just 3 games back behind the first place Padres in the West, but they've been struggling themselves lately, and have yet to really jump on the opportunity this Padre losing streak is providing. They did manage to take 2 of 3 from the Rockies this week, but they fell back into the losing column Friday night against Chad Billingsley and the LA Dodgers. Barry Zito didn't really give the Giants much of a chance, as he gave up 4 runs in 4 innings of work. The bullpen did take over in the fifth and held the Dodgers scoreless the rest of the way, but the Giants offense mustered up only 2 hits all night,

Giants In Need of a Strong September

Although they've really looked pretty bad here over the last couple of weeks, the Giants enter September with a more than legit shot at ending their 7 year playoff drought. The one consistent the Giants had been able to keep up, even when they were struggling, was that they've been able to beat the teams they should beat, but that wasn't the case in their most recent series vs. the D-Backs. The Giants really should have been swept by Arizona, but fortunately for them, their offense showed up in Sunday's finale and bailed out another rough series for the pitching staff. Now they have a shot to get back on the right track and start off September in stronger fashion than they finished August in if they can take care of Colorado on Wednesday and take the 3-game set. More importantly though, the Giants need Tim Lincecum, who's struggles have yet to cease, to get back on track, and this would be a great game for him to do that in. It's not going to be an easy task tho