Sep. 15, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito (75) pitches during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

San Francisco Giants Wrangle D'Backs In Arizona, Drop Magic Number Yet Again

The San Francisco Giants continued their winning ways this evening, taking the series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 3-2 victory. Angel Pagan lead off the game with a double, advancing to third on an error by Arizona center fielder Adam Eaton (Pagan was credited with a triple, breaking the San Francisco Giants era record with his 13th). The always reliable Marco Scutaro then christened the scoring with an RBI groundout before Buster Posey unleashed a rocket into the right field stands during the 5th inning, his 22nd homer of the year. That’s all Barry Zito would need as the former Cy Young winner continued his mini hot streak, allowing just 1 earned run in his last 13 innings. The Jekyll and Hyde performances from Zito throughout the season have certainly given Manager Bruce Bochy something to think about in terms of his playoff rotation, assuming the Giants advance. Zito’s never hid his displeasure (in himself, not the team) for being left of the roster during the Giants’ World Series run and he seems determined to force his way on this year. Performances like that will stick in Bochy’s mind, so as long as Bad Barry doesn’t reappear in his next few starts, he might find himself in the postseason this go around.

Sep. 15, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants infielder Buster Posey (28) hits a two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

Swinging The Bamboo – It’s been a rough few weeks for Pablo Sandoval, but if there is any solace to be found in his game tonight – he certainly looked to be swinging the stick with much more confidence, despite an 0-4 evening. The Panda made some hefty contact with a few loud outs, a welcome change from the hacking swing we’ve endured recently. Between the slumps of Buster Posey (although they only seem last a few days in Buster’s case), Sandoval and Hunter Pence, we’ve really yet to see what damage they could do if they all were swinging the bat well at the same time. Hopefully they’re saving that trick for October.

Left Field And Being M.I.A. – Ugh. Opinions are strong on the potential (although unlikely) return of Melky Cabrera for the postseason, but it’s hard not to have some concern with the current options. Xavier Nady (the best bat of the options) has been out with a groin issue, so Gregor Blanco has taken his place and while he’s done the most serviceable job he can offensively, he’s simply not a reliable option. Unfortunately, with little options on the roster, it appears the Giants will have to continue to win with sub-par production out of left. At least with Blanco, you know you’ll get solid defense – something Nady sadly doesn’t bring to the table.

Marco, Polo – You want to take scorching hot? Everybody’s new fan favorite Marco Scutaro has been something else ever since he came over from the Colorado Rockies, seemingly getting better with every game played. Since September 3rd, Scutaro is batting .437, 21 of his past 48 with 9 RBI out of the two spot. More importantly, it seems like just about every single hit (or RBI) has been a critical one. It’s been one hell of a run for Scutaro, who’s hitting over .343 in his 46 games with the orange and black.

The Giants will take the D’Backs in the desert heat for the final time tomorrow afternoon, trying for a series sweep. They’ll meet for one more series before the season ends, this time in the China Basin during next week’s 10 game homestand, the last stand of the Giants’ regular season.

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