Thursday, June 25, 2015

On A Clear Day You Can Hit Forever

On a clear day you can hit forever, at the San Francisco Giants home park at least.  Blue skies and at times blinding sun helped 31 hits happen, including a bunch by San Diego in their strange eighth inning.  A parade of pinch-hitters dumped hit after hit off Giants relievers and the Padres turned a 9-2 laugher into a 9-8 squeaker, at least until the last half of the inning when the Giants scored 4.  The distinctly un-SF final was Giants 13 Padres 8.

The Giants not only hit 19 times, they seldom settled for singles.  They hit four triples for the first time at home in San Francisco (Belt had two), plus 4 doubles (Posey had two.)  Seven players had more than one hit in the game (including 3 with 3 hits), and 9 Giants hit safely (including pitcher Chris Heston, who drove in a run.)

The hit stats obscure the great outing that Heston had on the mound.  The no-hitter two starts back was a career achievement, but how he pitched in this game I think turned him into a starter for SF for a long time to come.  He's also an asset fielding his position and hitting.

(Now that I said that I had a weird feeling that the Giants may be about to trade a pitcher for more bat.  But let that pass.)

Anyway, three excellent starts against San Diego, one bad luck (and dead bat) loss, so a series win.  Colorado next, another division foe.  The Giants hit the Padres best starter and best reliever, so this hitting thing may be for real, even at home.  Travis Ishikawa rejoined the club yesterday, got a great ovation by fans taking their first opportunity to recognize his home run last season that won the pennant.  He wasn't among those getting hits today, and he didn't figure in the scoring.  But with Pence and now Aoki out for several more weeks, they need gloves in the outfield at a minimum.  Blanco continues to perform well at the plate and in the field.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015


They needed this one.  On the strength of Buster Posey's second grand slam in his last five games, the San Francisco Giants defeated the San Diego Padres 6-0.  A victory, yes, but a victory at home.

Ryan Vogelsong pitched 6 innings of shutout ball, but Madison Bumgarner did the same the night before, only better: he had 13 strikeouts in 7 plus innings, and a shutout into the 8th.  But the Giants had scored just two runs, and a two-strike double brought in two runs for the Padres.  The game stayed tied until San Diego won 3-2 in extras.

That was the first game of the homestand, and brought back melancholy memories of the last one.  But Wednesday's victory at least changed the mood.  The Giants are even more hitter-depleted than the last homestand, with their potent hitter Aoki injured, and Hunter Pence now not expected back for weeks.  They are about to get richer in starting pitchers with Peavy and Cain returning, but it's bats they need.

Good things in the batting department though: Blanco is hitting well, and now so is Joe Susak.  He had his first triple tonight, and scored the sixth run.

Odd thing about those two Posey grand slams.  Today I had just turned on the radio, and the first pitch I heard called was the one he slammed.  Something very similar happened in the game in LA, although I think the home run call had just been made.  So I'm improving.  As I tuned in I was thinking that what the Giants needed the most was a big win.  And turns out they got it.