After a seven game roadie, the Giants were happy to be home – maybe a bit too happy, at least initially. In the series opener Friday night, the Giants’ sticks took the evening off, but two solid starts from Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner got the Giants back to their winning ways as they ended April with a 12-10 record, good for second place in the National League West.
Free Brandon Belt – If Belt was ever going to get a chance, it would be right about now as the Giants’ Aubrey Huff is on the disabled list with anxiety issues. A night after a game winning hit, Belt yet again found himself riding the pine in favor of Brett Pill as Bochy stacked the Giants’ lineup with right handed bats. Strategically, the move was understandable given the dominance of Padres starter Clayton Richard against the Giants, but you really have to wonder about Belt’s treatment. The guy is never going to produce being a spot starter. There’s no rhythm to be had coming off and on the bench and it’s not the way the majority of franchises treat their young upper-level talent. Assuming there is a return of Aubrey Huff (which right now, actually seems like a significant assumption), you have to wonder what will become of Belt if he can’t even get starter time with Huff on the DL.
Bumgarner Dominant – Yes, it was the Padres, but Madison Bumgarner once again was top notch, striking out six in his 7 and 2/3 innings. Madison wasn’t himself when it came to his normal pinpoint control as he started off a variety of Padres from behind in the count, but the over-aggressive Friars combined with the Cow Whisperer’s gritty comeback pitches kept the basepaths relatively clean all afternoon long. After a rough opening series in Arizona, Bumgarner has now pitched 28 innings giving up five earned runs.
Giants’ Offense Will Need Patience – Although the Giants won the series, it wasn’t pretty, something we’ve become accustom to when the Friars and Giants meet up. The worst team in baseball (at least statistically) proved why they hold that distinction, committing six errors in the three game series with a handful of other plays that the official scorer passed on. Needless to say, as much as the Giants won two of three in this series, they were gifted some easy runs. With two solid teams in the Milwaukee Brewers and Miami Marlins coming to town to complete the Giants’ nine game homestand, the black and orange will need a much more efficient offensive outing to keep up the winning ways.
With an off day tomorrow, the Giants will bask in their fifth series win before Ozzie Guillen and the fish come strollin into the Bay.