Playing for Their Lives

The Giants scratched out another win against the Dbacks tonight, and scratched may be an understatement. Matt Cain improved his record to 6-6 with the win, and was more resilient than sharp in his five innings of work. He allowed 8 base runners, but only surrendered 2 ER. It seemed to me that Cainer got a little upset about the strike zone early on, and never quite bounced back, issuing 4 BB. Maybe he was just off, maybe it got in his head. Either way, he ultimately gave the Giants a chance to win. His ERA now sits at 5.00 for the season.

Cain departed with a 2-1 lead, which Buster Posey padded with a monster home run to center in the bottom of the 5th, the Giants’ 30th long-ball of the year at AT&T Park (they hit 31 at home all of last year, and went on to accomplish a few nice things if you recall).

So Cain took care of the first 15 outs for the Giants. The final 12 broke down like this: Kontos 1; Affeldt 1 (left the game with a groin injury); Mijares 1; Casilla 3; Rosario 1; Lopez 2; Romo 3. Think that bullpen needs a little help? Romo allowed a run in the 9th before striking out Cody Ross for the final out.  A wild night, for sure, but another win over the division leader.

The Giants are now 4.5 back and in great position for a sweep with Bumgarner taking the ball tomorrow. The Snakes’ lead in the West is down to only a half-game…over the Dodgers. Baseball is a funny game.

Image

Advertisements

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.