Notes from the Break

Some stats and notes from the Giants’ (mostly) forgettable first half:

Overall Record: 43-51 (4th in NL West, 7th in WC) – 6.5 GB

Home: 25-20 | Road: 18-31 | Vs Div: 27-20

Run Differential: -40

Top Hitters

*Buster Posey: 90 g, .325(ba)/.395(obp)/.536(slg), 27 2b, 13 hr, 56 rbi – Truly one of the game’s young stars, and he’s still getting better!

*Marco Scutaro: 81 g, .316/.367/.400, 17 2b, 2 hr, 22 rbi – Below average defender, but he still puts on a hitting clinic despite nagging injuries.

Hunter Pence: 94 g, .262/.305/.455, 22 2b, 14 hr, 48 rbi, 14 sb – Streaky bat with lots of power, never takes a day off, and hasn’t been caught stealing yet. Classic Pence.

Top Pitchers

*Madison Bumgarner: 10-5, 3.02 era, 125 ip, 85 h, 122 k, 34 bb – True ace of the staff now, and still only 23 years old!

Javier Lopez: 39 g, 1.61 era, 22.1 ip, 19 h, 4 er, 25 k, 9 bb –Rock solid all year. Untouchable against lefty’s. May be a nice trade piece at the deadline (as he was for the Giants in 2010).

Chad Gaudin: 24 g (6 gs), 3-1, 2.39 era, 64 ip, 50 h, 55 k, 23 bb – Giants took a low-risk gamble on him before the season and it’s paid off big time so far.

*Sergio Romo: 38 g, 3-3, 21 sv, 2.86 era, 34.2 ip, 29 h, 38 k, 7 bb – Romo’s had a few rough outings, but overall he’s held the closer job down nicely.

*= MLB All-Star

Letdowns

Angel Pagan: 46 g, .262/.317/.374, 10 2b, 3 hr, 24 rbi, 6 sb – Walk-off inside-the-parker in Colorado (late May) will likely be his last time on the field this year.

Hector Sanchez: 26 g, .231/.318/.231, 0 hr, 3 rbi – Came to camp overweight and really hasn’t contributed at all this year.

Barry Zito: 4-7, 4.88 era, 103.1 ip, 130 h, 67 k, 41 bb – Giants are 0-8 when Zito starts on the road. Not what the team hoped for after his magical ’12 run.

Jeremy Affeldt: 37 g, 1-4, 3.55, 33 ip, 25 h, 21 k, 16 bb – After signing a nice contract this offseason, he’s been out of whack and unreliable for most of the year.

More to Prove

Pablo Sandoval: 76 g, .266/.317/.397, 12 2b, 9 hr, 42 rbi – Pablo went from out of shape and red-hot to out-of-shape and ice-cold after another stint on the DL. He’s not a .266 hitter, and he needs to show that in the 2nd half.

Matt Cain: 5-6, 5.06 era, 112 ip, 95 h, 103 k, 37 bb – Cain’s first-half ERA is alarming, but it’s mostly from a few disaster starts. He needs to cut those out if the Giants want to even sniff a winning record.

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The Freak Makes History!

There have been two no-hitters thrown in MLB this season, and Tim Lincecum has been involved in both. After falling to Cincinnati during Homer Bailey’s no-no last month, Big Time Timmy Jim made his own history for the first time last night in San Diego.

Here are recounts of Tim’s epic night from Andrew Baggarly and Alex Pavlovic. 

I missed the first few innings of this game, but picked it up at 4-0 in the 4th. Even then, Lincecum was already making me gasp. Stealing strikes with his curve, getting hitters to chase his darting split-change, painting the corners with his fastball… he literally had his full arsenal in this one. I said in the 6th inning that his pitch count was getting a little high for a realistic chance to go the distance. But the Giants blew the game open, and Lincecum came back with a very quick 7th inning. That’s about when it set in for me that he could do it.

Tim’s stuff has been pretty electric for about a month now, but until last night he only had one win to show for it. The Giants’ defense was mostly a spectator last night, as the Freak sent down 13 Padres by way of the strikeout. But when he needed his teammates to save the game, they were there. Pablo ranging into foul territory to field a grounder, then throwing a seed across the diamond to end the 7th. Pence darting in for the shoe-string catch to preserve the no-no in the 8th. It really was a team effort last night.

Looking forward, I still think it’ll take something unexpected for Lincecum to be a Giant next year, but with performances like that, I just can’t see the team parting ways with him until the offseason, despite his increasing value.

It seems like ages since Lincecum was the best pitcher in the game… thanks for reminding us what it felt like last night, Tim. 

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