Hunter Pence’s return, Brandon Belt’s surge and 5 other catalysts in the San Francisco Giants’ recent turnaround

By Matthew Connolly
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Apr 21, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Timmy is reliable again  

He got a little tripped up in his last outing, but how many of us really believed Tim Lincecum would have a 2.43 ERA and four quality starts a month-and-a-half into the season?  

Advanced stats point to a regression on the horizon, but he’s clearly mixing his pitches more effectively and inducing more ground balls by keeping his soft stuff low in the zone.  

Keep it up, Big Time Timmy Jim.

Hey, so is Vogey!  

I was among those ready to write off Ryan Vogelsong after his terrible start to the season, but kudos to Bruce Bochy for proving once again why he is managing the team and I not.  

The veteran right-hander has looked like his old self (well, younger, but still pretty old…you know what I mean) since the calendar turned to May, ripping off two-straight seven-inning gems before a gritty 5 2/3 effort to notch a win on Saturday.

His time in the rotation will likely come to an end once Matt Cain or Jake Peavy is ready, but until then, it’s good to know Vogey can be counted on for some good innings.

Next: On to slide four