Despite a more than effective 30-24 record, one thing has eluded the San Francisco Giants all season – a series sweep. For the second consecutive series, the Giants will again have the opportunity as they try to get the very difficult four game sweep against a struggling Cubs team.
The Cubs came into AT&T on a victorious sweep of their own, taking three at Wrigley Field against the San Diego Padres but some lackadaisical defense has hampered them along with the Giants’ pitching staff, who has shut down their offense – all three starters in the series so far each making it into the 9th inning for the black and orange.
Cy Zito – Through his first eleven starts, Barry Zito is 5-2 with a 2.99 ERA, all that even after giving up four earned runs in just three innings during a trip to Milwaukee in late May. Pleasant surprise? More like shocking surprise. Despite some re-worked mechanics, there’s something else aiding Zito’s resurgence – confidence. The Giants’ fifth starter has a determination and renewed vigor this year and the positive results on the field have benefited the metal side of Zito’s game. Will it last? Hard to tell, as we’ve seen Zito go through stretches of eliteness before, but never for this long and never has he shown the same level of confidence that he’s currently done in a Giants uniform. We’re all rooting for him.
Creepin On The Comeup – It wasn’t that long ago that the Giants were sitting 7.5 games out of first – actually, it was seven days ago, to be exact. A week gone by and the San Francisco Giants sit three games behind the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers, who now have to deal without having their MVP candidate for at least four weeks thanks to a nagging hamstring. The Dodgers, who started the season white hot haven’t exactly been tested by the MLB schedule makers, playing a good portion of their first two weeks against bottom dwellers in Pittsburgh and San Diego (multiple times) and not having to head to the Eastern half of the country yet, but regression was bound to happen – it was just a matter of when. The rough week combined with the Giants winning five of six more then halved the lead heading into the seasons third month.
Giants Must Capitalize – As mentioned above, the Dodgers started out the season with a pretty easy schedule, but credit must be given to them for doing what they should’ve done – win. Now, it’s the Giants turn. Starting with the Cubs, the Giants begin their own mini schedule-paloosa as they only play one team (Texas Rangers) not in last or second to last place in their respective division for the next five series’. The Giants will travel to San Diego this Tuesday for a three game set before heading home to face the Rangers. The Houston Astros will come in for a Texas two-step once the Rangers leave, before the Giants head to Seattle to take on the Mariners, completing what record wise is an “easy” few weeks. It’s up to the Giants to make them “easy” – so we’ll see…I’m sure there will be plenty of torture despite the supposed lacking schedule.
Another afternoon tilt tomorrow as the Giants behind Ryan Vogelsong go for the four game sweep.