The Giants' dilemma became really obvious in the past two games. After the bullpen gave up the one run lead to St. Louis, the best the Giants could do in the ninth for a pinch-hitter was pitcher Madison Bumgarner. They lost 4-3. At the end of the next game in Pittsburgh, the last two batters including pinch hitter Andrew Susak had below .250 averages. The Giants lost 4-0.
So today the Giants acquired Marlon Byrd, a right-side hitting outfielder, who even late in career has as many homers as the Giants' current leader, Brandon Crawford, at 19. Without Pence in the lineup, this move was inevitable, and cost the Giants another young pitching prospect. Will it turn out to mean anything? A very qualified maybe.
Byrd is probably a liability in the field however, and though lacking pop, the current roster of Giants outfielders have proven to be excellent fielders, robbing opponents of hits and runs. Juan Perez got a rare start in St. Louis and took away a home run with a spectacular fence-climbing catch.
In this game Giants infielders made the great plays: Crawford and Duffy, and Tomlinson not too shabby either.
The Giants did get one of three in St. Louis, and the last game hurt. But Matt Cain had his best start, so in that way it was a positive. Now the Giants will have to struggle for a split in Pittsburgh to get three wins on this road trip. It won't be easy. However, Aoki is back (and got a hit), and Mike Leake is expected to start on Sunday.
Neil Walker had a titanic homer, Charlie Morton pitched very well for the Bucs. The Pirates are very strong at home, and their versatility at bat and on the bases is really formidable when their starters pitch well--which they do, better than anybody in the league except St. Louis.
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