Series Recap: Turning Point for Giants Starting Pitchers (3-1)

Save for Ryan Vogelsong’s fifth inning implosion that lost game one of these four with the Atlanta Braves, this series was a smile that became a grin as everything from starting pitching to batting came together.

Starting Pitching

Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum were all dominant in their performances against the Braves, limiting them to less than  a single handful of runs spread across three days and quieting the bats of the Upton family and McCann, Uggla and the Braves’ vaunted rookie Andrelton Simmons.

Only Ryan Vogelsong’s mechanical issues marred what was otherwise an ideal rotation for San Francisco. It might be time to consider changing the order and moving Vogey up to third, so Zito falls between Vogey and Lincecum. I think Vogelsong is suffering for some reason by being in a different position in the order than last year. GBC proposes:

Cain Bumgarner, Vogelsong, Zito, Lincecum

– which alternates lefties as well.

The other starters were golden: Matt Cain found his groove. Bumgarner was typically consistent and had a season-high 11 strikeouts in beating the Braves for the first time in his young career. Tim Lincecum struck out seven and felt he was hitting spots he had been seeking for some weeks, calling it a good start. The team backed him up with three home runs, making the start considerably more comfortable.

Relief Pitching

Because the starters went so deep, the relievers weren’t needed as much in the last three games. But Lopez, Affeldt and Kontos did their jobs well. Romo picked up another save.

Santiago Casilla is needing more rest and it makes sense. I said at the beginning of the year that as a member of the World Baseball Classic Champion Dominicanas, Casilla has played more intense ball than most this spring. We should give him as many days off as possible.

Chad Gaudin could be a problem. He doesn’t look like he has command. Bay City Ball and BASG have commented on this recently as well.

Hitting

wow. multiple home runs including a splash hit on Mother’s Day by Pablo Sandoval, homers by Scutaro, Belt.

Gregor Blanco took over the platoon from Torres amidst game two of the series – starting off as a pinch hitter – and immediately went 2 for 2 and drove in four runs. He was excited to play and ready to go. This platoon reminds me of the one Affeldt and Lopez were in as lefty relievers in 2010 – each pushing the other to perform better.

Against Atlanta, El Tiburon Blanco was 3 for 9 with a double and a triple and he drove in five  runs. Torres got rest and some time to calm down, which seems to be an issue when he plays too many games in a row.

Pablo, Pence, Posey and Pagan are all hitting. It looks like it’s straight out of the playbook: leadoff hits, sac flies and bunts to move runners, steals here and there, doubling in runners in scoring position, homers!

Belt is finding his groove. Brandon Crawford cooled a little, but had a double and a couple of rbi’s versus Maholm in Game 3. Marco Scutaro is right back on track. Giants hitting looked GREAT against Atlanta – scored 26 runs over four days!

A turning point series in that we lost out of the gate but then turned it around to win the next three. The team seemed fit and in tune. We now own the second best record in the National League. But the team I have been most afraid of since the beginning of the year, the St. Louis Cardinals, are still better.

The Cards look a lot like us in form and came into our house and took the home opening series. They have a chip on their shoulder: the Triple Kiss that got by poor Pete Kozma.

Right now I am most concerned about our abilities against the Cards, Reds and Nats.

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About mtk

I am the artist and author, MTK. I write, make art, think out loud and review and critique books and films and other things here. Just turned 50 recently.
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