Saturday, May 31, 2014

Another perfect day in St. Louis and LA

The Giants won and the Dodgers lost. No matter what else happens, that day has a good feel right off the bat.

In Friday's case, the Orange and Black dominated the Cards, so much so that Henry Schulman of the SF Chron suggests that the Cards were waving the white flag by pulling Yadier Molina after two at bats.Here's the last part of the story -- 

Wainwright credited the Giants' "very deep lineup."
"Adding Morse was a great pickup for them," he said. "You put him right in the middle with Posey and (Pablo) Sandoval and Brandon Belt and Hunter Pence ... that's murderers' row right there."
Sandoval's RBI streak ended at nine games, one short of the San Francisco record, but he came tantalizingly close with a seventh-inning double that barely stayed in the park. Pence was on first base but had to hold up until he was sure right fielder Randal Grichuk would not catch the ball. Pence stopped at third before Hector Sanchez's two-run single.
Bumgarner ended a fantastic May - 5-0, 2.08 ERA - with his second consecutive start of seven innings, three hits and 10 strikeouts. He blanked the Cards, who scored their four runs against David Huff in the eighth inning.
Bumgarner struck out every St. Louis starter except for Yadier Molina, who was pulled after two at-bats in a white-flag move.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A perfect day in SF and LA

The dodgers have just lost 3-2 to the Reds after the Giants trashed the cubs, 5-0. Timmy pitched a no-hitter for 5 innings and 96 pitches and was pulled with a blister so he got no decision. Clayton Kershaw was all-too-human and got a loss. 

Carl Steward of Merc-news reports that Lincecum managed to get through it with a 30-pitch first. And Sandoval got an RBI for the 8th straight game --


Lincecum said he didn't expect the blister to impact his next start. He was more upset with the start Wednesday, even though he was generally happy with the end result.
"I found the zone more like I wanted to, but 30 pitches in the first kind of gets to you," he said. "Pablo made that great play down the line that kept everything where it needed to be, and I just went to work after that." 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mound magician

That's how Chris Haft described Tim Hudson in his mlb.com recap tonight of the 4-0 victory over the Cubbies. He made them look like the awful team they continue to be: 

  He refrained from issuing a walk for the sixth time this season. The Cubs twice moved runners as far as second base, but Hudson held them hitless in four at-bats in those situations.

"He pitched like a stopper," noted Jon Miller on the air. "It was a one-game losing streak but the Giants have won so many games lately that it felt a lot bigger."

the 33-19 record equates out to 103-59 by the way.

Power of the Panda

A silly headline, for sure. Against a brutal loss to the Cubs, Sandoval has kept hitting and staying calm....

It was hard to believe how crappy he was earlier this year. Here's part of Henry Schulman's story for the SF Chron --

The day before Mother's Day, Sandoval went to work batting .171. He has hit safely in 15 of 16 games since and raised his average to .239 by going 23-for-61. His two-run homer in Monday's 8-4 loss to the Cubs was his fifth in eight games and victimized a pitcher who had "gasoline in his arm," as Hector Sanchez put it.
Sandoval also hit a scoring single in the first inning and has a career-best six-game RBI streak.
Throughout his six-week slump to start the year, and the two weeks of production since, Sandoval has repeated the same mantra, that he comes to the park each day to work hard, and whether things go well or askew, "That's baseball."
Meulens confirmed the hard work and said the Buddha-like calm that Sandoval has displayed in every postgame interview matches the serene Sandoval the coach has seen behind the scenes.
"Not one day did I notice he was frustrated, with the contract, not hitting, the inability to get out of it," Meulens said. "He came to work every day with the same enthusiasm, with the same smile on his face, the same work ethic, which is a credit to him.
"He never let everything bother him."

Sunday, May 25, 2014

3-year anniversary of the Scott Cousins game

Scott Ostler of the SF Chronicle has written a nice column about the value of Buster Posey that doesn't mention the psycho who decided to main Buster that day.

SCOTT COUSINS.

A worthless, marginally talented guy who wound up forcing the MLB to make a rule change that essentially says -- you cannot deliberately try to hurt another player at home plate. About goddam time. 

Here's some verbiage --  Ryan Vogelsong on Sunday waxed enthusiastic about Posey's catching.
"He's super athletic back there," Vogelsong said. "Sometimes he doesn't do things exactly the way you're taught, but he's so athletic, he can do it that way. His hands are so good, he picks a lot of balls most guys wouldn't pick."
Vogelsong also saluted Posey's high baseball IQ and pitch-calling acumen. And his enthusiasm.
"You have to have that enthusiasm to be back there," Vogelsong said. "It's a brutal job."

And what about the guy who tried to ruin Posey's career and then WHINED about how unfair it all was? He's now on his 6th organization -- yes, he's been released FIVE TIMES. The Rangers must be truly desperate to have signed him. 

Here's wishing you nothing but the worst, Scott 

The best record in the majors - 31-18

A remarkable performance by the Orange and Black!

It was a quintessenial win at home -- 2-1 with Romo closing it out after giving up a homer.

Per Henry Schulman's game story for the Chronicle: Two guys who had been wobbly early -- Vogelsong and Sandoval -- are in top form....

Ryan Vogelsong has been on a roll that harks back to 2011 and 2012. After working 6 2/3 innings in his second consecutive scoreless start, Vogelsong has 1.35 ERA and 35 strikeouts over 40 innings in his past six games, five of them Giants wins.
The Giants are 7-3 in his starts overall.
"That stat means a lot to me personally," he said. "That means that more times than not I'm keeping the guys in the game. As a starting pitcher, first and foremost, that is the thing you want to do. Give your team a chance to win."
Vogelsong and Sandoval could don some of those knight helmets and joust for the title of best in-season turnaround. The oddsmakers might have to side with the Panda for how deeply he had buried himself.
He has his swing back now. In the second inning, he got a hanging 0-2 curveball from Samuel Deduno and hit it into the left field seats for his fourth home run in 17 at-bats after he had gone more than a month without one.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Walking to a win for Tim

I didn't realize but it's pretty rare for a starting pitcher to walk six and still get a win. I saw the game with a friend who was amazed that he could pitch that poorly and still get a vic.

Henry Schulman's recap for the Chron has the same sentiment --

Lincecum held the Twins to two runs in six innings but walked six. He presented five of the six walks to the sixth, seventh and eighth hitters in Minnesota's lineup. But he made just enough pitches to escape all but one rally, which Joe Mauer keyed with his first triple since 2012.
"Timmy battled," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He really worked hard for this one. For him to complete six innings was pretty impressive. He bobbed and weaved the whole game. The kid found a way to make pitches when he had to and left some runners out there."
Lincecum threw more balls than strikes, 57 to 55, and won for the second time in his career when walking at least six. Told that Nolan Ryan walked six or more in 58 of his 324 career wins, Lincecum smiled and said, "So I'm in good company? This is one game I had to battle. I'll take two runs after six innings in games like that."

Grant at McCovey Chronicles has a similar reaction and lists the last 20 times a Giants pitcher has gotten a win while walking 6 --

Barry Zito 2013-05-30
Tim Lincecum 2013-04-03
Jonathan Sanchez 2011-06-02
Jonathan Sanchez 2010-07-05
Matt Cain 2006-08-17
Jesse Foppert 2003-05-03
Damian Moss 2003-04-02
Shawn Estes 2001-06-21
Russ Ortiz 2001-05-02
Russ Ortiz 2000-08-14
Shawn Estes 2000-07-26
Russ Ortiz 1999-09-04
Russ Ortiz 1999-07-21
Shawn Estes 1999-06-19
Shawn Estes 1999-04-08
Kirk Rueter 1998-04-02
William VanLandingham 1997-06-15
Shawn Estes 1997-05-29
William VanLandingham 1996-09-19
William VanLandingham 1994-07-31

Friday, May 23, 2014

Like kissing your sister?

Well, THAT was kind of a waste -- a 2-2 game postponed in the 6th inning. At least the good guys got out of stupid Denver with only one loss.

Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area says the umps made the right decision--

This much is for sure: Both clubs already had used their starters and their long relievers. And both clubs will have 40-man rosters full of September call-ups when they meet again.
For player safety, this was the only sensible move.
The Rockies had to fly to Atlanta, where they will play Friday night. So they didn’t want to wait around for hours and hours hoping more thunderstorm cells wouldn’t materialize. And the Giants couldn’t have felt good about stopping and starting catcher Buster Posey a few more times after he missed the previous two games because of an irritated nerve in his back.
Posey collided with first baseman Michael Morse while catching a foul pop, too. Earlier this year, Posey collided with Paul Goldschmidt at first base. Does he ever luck out and run into an Altuve? Guess not.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tough win in Denver

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It was 50 years ago today

Still gas in the Vogelsong tank

How about this for a comeback? Ryan Vogelsong is on a roll -- 7 shutout innings against the incredibly annoying Marlins. Has there ever been a team other than perhaps the dodgers and Yankees that was so easy to disdain?

Back to Vogelsong -- listening to the game today, he was painting the edges of the strike zone. It was his 4th quality start out of the last 5.  

 It's a lot better than having Barry Zito as your No. 5 starter.

Another guy from the glory days of 2012, Pablo Sandoval, has also started hitting. He was at .167 on May 6; 12 days later, he's at .220 with his first homer in over a month. .  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Gregor Blanco's hot streak

He got a pinch hit on Tuesday, got a hit  and scored three and stole three bases on Wednesday and got another pinch hit last night that drove in the 5th run. 

So he's gotten 3 hits in his last 5 at bats and is now 7 for 45 for the season. Yes, he'd gone 4 for 40 before Tuesday.  

That's not very good, of course but it's far above the iconic season that Eugenio Velez racked up in 2011 as a Dodger, when he went 0-for-37.  

He'd gone 9 for 55 in the previous season for a .164 average -- culminating a four-year career in the Orange and Black that saw him get nearly 700 plate appearances. He didn't make the postseason roster in 2010.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

27 wins -- the most in MLB

This one was sweet since it was the Marlins, who have given the Giants hell at home. the Good Guys are 16-5 over the last 21 games!!!!!!!!!!

Instead, Matt Cain got the vic despite giving up 4 runs in the first 3 innings. Raising (Matt) Cain has a good recap by MC O'Connor --

The momentum swing happened in the 5th, Giants down 4-3, when Angel Pagan worked a walk from an 0-2 count, forcing 10 pitches out of Nathan Eovaldi. Hunter Pence then hit a dribbler down the first base line that he ran into and it kicked into foul territory off the side of his foot. He should have been called out as he was clearly inside the line and it was a live ball. The home plate umpire, Lance Barksdale, ruled it a foul however, and thus Pence got another shot. The umps got into a huddle but let the call stand, and it apparently is not reviewable under the new video replay guidelines so the Giants got a huge break. Buster Posey capitalized by crushing the next pitch into Triples Alley and drive in the go-ahead runs. The Giants seem to be in the middle of all the interesting calls this season! You have to believe the replay rules will get tweaked after that one.
Mike Morse blasted an opposite-field homer in the 3rd with two outs and a man on to help the team claw back from a 4-1 hole. He had an RBI single in the 5th as well for the final run. He's cooled off quite a bit from his torrid start, so it's nice to see him finding his stroke again. The Giants lineup faced some serious heat tonight yet they pounded out 12 hits and wrested victory from the jaws of defeat. That's 16 runs and 27 hits in the last two games!

Cainer has three starts out of seven total where's he's allowed multiple homers--two with two and one with three. The team has won two of those three games, and lost the two back-to-starts where he went seven in each with a run apiece (Game Scores of 70 and 73!) and zero homers. Go figure! It's the crazy world of Matt Cain baseball. Giants are rolling right now and have the most wins (27) in baseball. They were 11-10 after a loss in Colorado on April 22nd and have gone 16-5 since.

Tim Hudson was scratched due to injury, soreness in his hip apparently. Hey, he's an old man (38) in baseball years. A little rest for the current ace of the club is not a bad idea. Yumeiro Petit gets the start--this is a potent Miami lineup, he'll need to be sharp. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bumgarner vs. Jason Hewyard

Martin Lee has a long but very interesting post at Obsessive Giants Compulsive comparing the two, who were available in the 2007 draft. I agree with him; Madison is close to elite 

Chris Haft's game story for mlb.com barely mentions either player, given that Gregor Blanco got a start and made the most of it with 3 steals and 3 runs in a glorious 10-4 vic.  

Heyward got the day off and Madison had a less-than-quality start with 4 runs in 5 innings followed by 4 innings of shutdown by the pen. Arias batted for him while the score was 5-4 --


  • Brandon Crawford doubles (7) on a line drive to left fielder Justin Upton.
  • 2.Brandon Hicks flies out to right fielder Ryan Doumit. Brandon Crawford to 3rd.
  • Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias replaces Madison Bumgarner.
  • 3.Joaquin Arias pops out to second baseman Tyler Pastornicky.
  • 4.Gregor Blanco singles on a line drive to left fielder Justin Upton. Brandon Crawford scores.
  • With Hunter Pence batting, Gregor Blanco steals (4) 2nd base.
  • 5.Hunter Pence singles on a line drive to center fielder B. J. Upton. Gregor Blanco scores. Hunter Pence to 2nd on the throw.
  • 6.Buster Posey flies out to center fielder B. J. Upton.

Blaming Buster

The story on the Giants web site makes it seem like a 5-0 loss is mostly Buster's fault, even though the Giants were shut out for the second time in 2014.

I think that's an over-statement but here's the verbiage --

The Giants entered the fateful sixth trailing 1-0 behind Vogelsong, who had surrendered a mere three hits and had already matched his personal regular-season best of eight strikeouts. "I feel like I probably threw the ball better tonight in the first five innings than I did in the previous three [games]," said Vogelsong, who recorded a 0.89 ERA in his previous trio of outings.
With Jason Heyward on second base and one out, Freddie Freeman singled to right field. Hunter Pence quickly scooped up the ball and unleashed a powerful throw, which reached Posey on the fly and beat Heyward by at least 20 feet.
But that extra time to make the play didn't help Posey, who reached toward Heyward to tag him but missed. Heyward slid neither head- not feet-first. Instead, he sprawled toward home plate and in doing so succeeded in skirting Posey and reaching around the catcher to brush the plate with his left hand.
Posey stood virtually motionless after Heyward was called safe, his body language reflecting his disappointment.
"It's a shame I missed [the tag]," Posey said. "Because that would have been a big out. It kind of flip-flopped the momentum."

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

That's the Tim Lincecum we remember

What a fine night he had, recalling days of Cy Youngs and Word Series vics. Here's part of Henry Schulman's recap for the SF Chron -- 

Lincecum put together by far his best start of 2014. He mesmerized the Braves for much of the evening. Lincecum held Atlanta to a run on two hits – both by B.J. Upton – in 7-2/3 innings. Lincecum struck out 11 and walked four.
The Giants brought up Colvin from Triple-A Fresno on Saturday. He went 0-for-1 with a walk in two plate appearances over the weekend in Dodger Stadium.
Colvin, who has played for the Cubs and Rockies, got the start in left field Monday night. In his first AT&T Park at-bat as a member of the Giants, he took Gavin Floyd into McCovey Cove. That second-inning Splash Hit put S.F. in front 1-0.
It was a 1-1 game with runners at first and second in the seventh when Colvin delivered again. He pulled an 0-2 pitch past first and into the right-field corner for a two-run triple. A homer and a triple in your home debut is a highly recommended approach for trying to impress a fan base.
Brandon Hicks singled home Colvin for the Giants' fourth run.
Lincecum breezed through the first four innings, striking out six and not allowing a hit. He didn't allow a ball even to reach the outfield.
The first batter of the fifth, Gerald Laird, did fly out to right. The next hitter, Upton, sent a drive to left on which Colvin had no chance. Upton's bolt cleared the fence and tied the game 1-1.
Courtesy of a Michael Morse error and a walk, Atlanta had runners at first and second with two outs in the sixth. Lincecum escaped that jam by striking out Chris Johnson swinging.
It was Lincecum's 10th K of the evening. He has a franchise-record 36 career games with double-digit strikeouts.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"A legitimate postseason contender"

Chris Haft of mlb.com wrote that in his wrap of the Giants' stirring 7-4 vic in 10 at chavez latrine.  

Well, they're 24-14, which equates out to 102-60. And Sandoval has finally starting to hit. He clobbered one in his final AB on Saturday, then got 3 hits today ....

 

The offense looked promising despite having scored three runs or fewer in seven of the trip's previous nine games, and though Bochy fielded a lineup that featured five consecutive position players batting less than .200, starting from the cleanup spot.
That No. 4 hitter, Pablo Sandoval, whacked three hits, including a double in the first inning that ended a 20-game streak without an RBI. Sandoval also singled in front of Hicks' homer and grounded another single with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 10th inning off Dodgers relief ace Kenley Jansen to break a 4-4 tie.
"I didn't worry about it," Sandoval said of his run-production drought. "I try to do the best I can and try to stay positive."
"He seems like he's got some confidence going," Bochy said of Sandoval, who has remained in a season-long slump. "He's got a little bit of a swagger going, and he has to keep that."

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Brandon Belt 2014 = Angel Pagan 2013?

I can't help but wonder ... last season's Giants were hindered enormously when Pagan missed all of June, July and August. Hopefully, Belt is back before the end of June.

The problem - too many at bats last season for marginal guys like Andres Torres, Jeff Francouer, Gregor Blanco, Kensuko Tanaka and Juan Perez. Today, we got to see Tyler Colvin's debut as a Giant - a strikeout to Brian Wilson. Yikes.  

Per Henry Schulman of the SF Chron, Colvin had not been setting the world on fire in Fresno -- 

In one of five roster moves, the Giants purchased the contract of outfielder Tyler Colvin from Triple-A Fresno. The 28-year-old former Rockie and Cub joined the team and struck out against Brian Wilson as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.
Colvin was hitting 267 with a .724 OPS and two home runs at Fresno, but had a .298 average and .343 on-base percentage against right-handed pitchers.
Bochy said other first-base options were considered, including Hector Sanchez and 25-year-old minor-leaguer Adam Duvall, whose name surfaced "quite a bit." But Buster Posey as a regular first baseman was not a serious option.

As for good news, Matt Cain did work 5 shutouts but walked Dee Gordon to start the sixth, as Raising (Matt) Cain observes -- 

 Cain had thrown five scoreless despite what seemed to be some shaky command, and when he walked Gordon to start the 6th it felt like a harbinger of doom. The game was all Dodgers after that. The Giants found a chink in Zack Greinke's armor early, but he dominated late and gave his team a chance to come back and take the lead. Which they did in the 7th off Jeremy Affeldt and Jean Machi, a rare letdown by the bullpen. Brian Wilson loaded the bases in the 8th with two outs, but overpowered Hunter Pence to end the threat and the Giants chances, especially when LA tacked on two more against Juan Gutierrez.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Nice win but a big loss

Brandon Belt is gone for at least a month thanks to a broken thumb on a pitch by the worthless Paul Maholm at chavez Latrine. A shame because Belt had been mashing of late.

Madison Bumgarner got pissed over Stupid Puig's bat flip. What a meathead Puig is. The dodgers have now lost 3 in a row.

Here's part of the mlb.com recap --

 

The intensity level rose in the sixth inning, when volatile Dodgers slugger Yasiel Puig mashed a one-out homer far beyond the center-field wall. Puig punctuated his plate appearance by flipping his bat, a gesture Bumgarner didn't appreciate. He approached the third-base line as Puig neared home plate and barked at his rival, prompting the umpiring crew to prevent tempers from escalating. Matt Kemp briefly emerged from the Dodgers dugout, but neither team's bench came close to emptying.
Bumgarner's ultimate revenge lay in improving to 10-4 lifetime against the Dodgers, including 7-2 at Dodger Stadium. The lefty allowed just the one run on four hits while striking out eight and walking one. He has a 2.83 ERA on the season.

Crybaby dodger manager Don Mattingly got pissed over Bumgarner getting pissed and managed to thrown out over balls and strikes calls a few pitches later. 

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Thanks, Jamey Wright!

He was awful for the year he was with the Giants but payback came tonight at Chavez Latrine with as Jamey walked the bases full and then gave up a sac fly to Hector and a single to Brandon Belt.

My-T Tasty! Mmmm-mmmm good

No sweep for you, Dodgers


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

dodgers salvage the day by LOSING

Nothing like a good dodger choke to ease the pain of a Giants loss. 

MLB.com's story notes the dodgers scored 2 in the first off Steven Strasberg and then were shut out the rest of the way. Juan Uribe went 0-for-4 and GIDP.

I got to hear the first 2 innings of the Pirates-Giants game as Lincecum was crappy, per CSNBay Area. The Buccos mashed and scored 4; Tim shut them down for 2 innings and then Sandoval pinch hit for him in the 5th and singled.  

Henry Schulman notes in his game story for the Chron that Tim started with 7 straight balls. He mkes a good point about mechanics -- 


When the Giants gave Lincecum a two-year, $35 million contract they thought they were buying the relative consistency they saw over his final dozen starts last year, when he had a 3.82 ERA and completed at least six innings nine times.
He demonstrated good command during spring training, but he has been hit or miss in the games that count. Lincecum's success or failure always lies within his complex mechanics, and he admitted he is frustrated that he cannot make all the levers work properly from one start to the next.
"That's what everyone looks for, consistency in their outings," he said. "I've just been going up, going back, going up, going back. I've got to find a way to knock that off and get on a roll and find that momentum that I've been looking for."

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Your not typical 2-1 loss

It was the 3rd 2-1 loss of the year for the Orange and Black. The other were back to back on April 17 at home against the dodgers and then at Petco.This one was different.

This one ended on a video replay review. Tim Hudson is pitching astoundingly well. The Giants completely stopped hitting tonight. Here's part of Henry Schulman's game story for the SF Chronicle -- 

Maybe bat fatigue set in, or maybe two starting pitchers just excelled at their craft when their teams needed it most.
Either way, Tim Hudson and Charlie Morton provided the perfect antidote to Monday's mayhem at PNC Park, and old-timey pitching duel that ended in a way that could not have happened before 2014 - a walk-off replay reversal in the ninth inning that gave the Pirates a 2-1 victory Tuesday night.
With two outs in the ninth inning, Starling Marte hit a long drive to right that nearly left the yard but bounced off the Clemente wall. Marte headed for third with a triple. When Ehire Adrianza's throw got past third base, Marte headed home.
Pablo Sandoval retrieved the ball quickly and threw home, where umpire Gerry Davis ruled that Buster Posey tagged Marte, who made a head-first slide.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle challenged, and the Pirates celebrated as soon as the replay was shown on the big screen. Moments later, Davis took the headsets off, flashed the safe sign and the Giants six-game win streak was over.
Hudson took the Giants' second complete-game loss of the season and became the first Giant since Vida Blue in 1981 to pitch at least seven innings in his first seven starts in a season. Blue extended his streak to nine games, but he was seven years younger at 31.
Next up for Hudson is an expected showdown against the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw in Los Angeles, their first career meeting.
Bad luck cursed Hudson when Andrew McCutchen started the ninth with a swinging-bunt single. But Pedro Alvarez grounded into a double play. Marte then hit the fateful triple.
Hudson, coming off a near-complete game victory against the Padres, was not that crisp, but as usual he got the Giants off the field quickly even if he allowed a hit or a walk.

A stunning six in a row

Every now and again a team wins a game that you hardly expect them to win. That was last night's game. 

I had come from work after not finding the game on Sirius XM and figured that there was no way when the score was 8-2 in the 5th. Silly me. 

Here's part of Henry Schulman coverage for the SF Chronicle --

 ... when a game goes 13 innings, ends at 12:36 a.m. local time and features two starting pitchers pinch-hitting, an umpire getting hit with a throw, two replay challenges, a 14-pitch strikeout, a blown 8-2 lead and a team that went 0-for-Atlanta with runners in scoring position getting eight hits in that situation, a screwy ending is preordained.
It had to be Jean Machi, asked to bunt for the first time as a professional, dropping down a beauty, busting his 255-pound body up the line and drawing an errant throw that allowed Hunter Pence to come around from second and deliver the Giants an 11-10 victory against the Pirates.
"In this kind of game, anything can happen, crazy things," said catcher Hector Sanchez, who had a month's worth of crazy over 5 hours, 29 minutes.
The Giants had a season-high 20 hits, yet none in the winning rally. They scored 11 runs, but did not homer for the first time in 12 games.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Five in a row!

The first-ever sweep at Turner Field. How about that! The team is now 20-11 -- a pace that would equal out to 104-58 over a full season. Wow.

Highlight was Brandon Crawford's 2 HRs but really the story is the pitching. My word. Let's look at part of Chris Haft's story for MLB.com  -- 

The victory was the Giants' ninth in their last 10 games and lengthened their winning streak to five. To say that they're in a groove is an understatement.
"We're not thinking about it," left-hander Madison Bumgarner said. "We're just trying to play good ball."
The Giants proved adept at retracing their steps this weekend.
Their starting pitchers each worked six innings and allowed one run, capped by Bumgarner's nine-strikeout effort Sunday. Bumgarner's own throwing error made his run unearned as he ended a personal three-game losing streak. That had to thrill a sizable gathering of his friends and relatives who made the four-hour drive here from his Hickory, N.C., home.
The bullpen concluded each game with three shutout innings. For the series, Giants relievers yielded three hits and walked four.
Home runs continued to account for virtually all of San Francisco's scoring. Crawford's first homer Sunday, which broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning against Braves starter Alex Wood, lengthened the Giants' streak of consecutive games with a homer to 11. That's San Francisco's longest stretch of this kind since Barry Bonds and company homered in 14 games in a row from July 28-Aug. 13, 2002. When a reporter suggested that the Giants must broaden their offense with base hits at some juncture, catcher Buster Posey said, "Singles and doubles, then a homer. How about that?"

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The 2012 Vogelsong is back

This is a guy who was on the damn scrap heap after last year. Now, he's holding the Braves -- not the Astros or the Cubs, but the Braves -- to one run. 

The ATL announcers were saying last night that the Braves and Marlins were both scoring over half their runs via HRs and the Giants were third at 46%. They've scored all five of their runs in ATL with solo HRs -- 2 by Morse and one each by Pagan, Belt and Posey.  

OK, it's just the last 2 starts that have been solid. Still, the guy was hopeless last year....

Here's part of Amdrew Baggarly's coverage for CSNBay Area --

Amazingly, all five runs in their two victories here have come on solo shots. One day after Angel Pagan and Michael Morse went deep, it was Brandon Belt who homered – followed by Buster Posey’s tiebreaking shot and another from Morse to give the Giants a bit of breathing room.
Vogelsong made it hold up by doing exactly what Lincecum did the previous day: Pitching through traffic, executing in the stretch and getting a bit fortunate when a rare mistake got fouled back. They are the Giants’ Nos. 4-5 starters. They don’t have to pitch three-hit shutouts. What they’ve done the past two nights is good enough – especially when Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval are taking away hits and Buster Posey is throwing out runners.

Tim back to being the Tim of 2011

He held the Braves to one run last night in 6 innings in Atlanta. Henry Schulman of the SF Chron notes in his game story that Lincecum has always been strong against the Braves but us fans know that the last 2 seasons have been damn wobbly for the guy. 

Here's what he said after the game -- "I've got to give myself a pat on the back for what I've been doing and take that out there as motivation," Lincecum said. "I've always done OK against these guys, so I tried to take that out there. You look for anything to give you that positive mind-set."

He got hit hard in his first two starts this year so he currently has a 5.12 ERA but he's now delivered 4 straight quality starts.  

As for career dominance over the ATL, I believe that this game in 2010 -- the first postseason game for the Giants in seven years -- is one of Lincecum's signature games.  

It was a 1-0 vic with Tim throwing a 2-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts.