After dropping three of their first four on the six game road trip, the Giants saved face in the desert, taking the final two of the series to complete a .500 road trip at 3-3. A night after Matt Cain dominated the game on both sides of the ball, the “B-Team” clubbed their way to a season high in hits, 14 in all, in their 7-3 victory over the D’Backs. The win moved the Giants back to .500, maintaining their second place stronghold, gaining a game in the process to move their lead to 2.5 games over the Diamondbacks.
Offense Breaks Out – You (and I) probably weren’t expecting a lineup consisting of Brandon Crawford, Joaquin Arias, Gregor Blanco, Hector Sanchez, Brett Pill, Charlie Culberson and more to break any offensive woes that the Giants were currently going through, but as the old saying goes, “can’t predict ball”. The Giants matched their second highest run scoring total of the season (they scored 8 in a loss to Colorado, scored 7 twice) and again, capped the game with their season high in hits. The ball was carrying well in the dry desert air, despite the roof being closed, but it wasn’t the long ball that did the Diamondbacks in -rather the bloops and line drives as the Giants only managed two extra base hits all day long. Multiple two out hits with runners in scoring position was the recipe for success this afternoon. Shocking.
Zito Maintains Play – Six innings and three earned runs isn’t exactly something I’d considering jumping up and down for, but against an offense like the Diamondbacks in a live ball park, it’s certainly solid and that’s all the Giants need from Barry Zito. Unlike Zito’s first start on the road trip in Los Angeles, the zen-loving pitcher was able to keep the hits to a minimum, giving the Snakes very little to work with in regards to men on base. A first inning disaster was averted as the Diamondbacks loaded the bases, but failed to score, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Change ‘Gon Come – It took, well, nearly thirty plus games really, but Buster Posey finally found himself on the bench for a true off day rather then manning first base, something many of us have been clamoring for. Clearly worn down, the day off from any activity should help Posey re-energize for the upcoming homestand. In addition to Posey’s off day, Bruce Bochy more or less anointed Joaquin Arais as the everyday third basemen until Pablo Sandoval returns, resulting in the demotion of gumby throwing Conor Gillaspie to Fresno. Infielder Charlie Culberson was promoted (also picked up his first career hit today), who may find himself as the every day starting 2B until the Giants’ DL situation clears up.
The Giants will now open an odd eight-game homestand which starts off with two, two-game series’ versus the Colorado Rockies and the surging St. Louis Cardinals.