San Francisco Giants win Series with Diamondbacks: Five things to take away

Apr 12, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (18) pitches in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 12, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (18) pitches in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports /

The San Francisco Giants knocked off the Arizona Diamondbacks in their home opening series. After the fan base was screaming red-alert on a rocky start, we know have a full 10 game picture to look at.

Opening Day’s loss gave fans flashbacks that they probably didn’t want. The San Francisco Giants bullpen brutally blew it in 2016 fashion. However, they’ve been pretty solid after that game. So time to relax.

The Giants came into this home series. After that start, if you had been able to see into the future up to Buster Posey getting hit on the head, most Giants fans would’ve figured they got swept. After all, the Diamondbacks swept the Cleveland Indians in Arizona right after they took three of four against the Giants.

This Diamondbacks team is pretty decent. They’re going to be taking wins off top NL teams all year long. However, the Giants are still an overall better team. We saw that through this series. They did everything right in their home opener. They struggled in their game the other night, but what do you expect when Aaron Hill is batting leadoff? And then last night, we saw the type of team you’ll see for most of this season.

Last night, the Giants 6-2 win was an emphatic statement. Not only did they say, “we’re built to overcome the absence of Posey in our lineup” they also showed the fanbase that they can win when Matt Cain is on the mound. It looked a little ugly early, but then as Cain got his butt back into gear, the Giants offense did as well. Then throw in the bullpen only allowing one run over four innings and getting out of serious jams when needed.

Last night’s win was a statement, but here are five key take aways from this series.

  • The Giants bullpen will be fine. While their ERA looks sort of bad at 5.75, it’s also bloated. If you take a look at some of the advanced pitching metrics, their FIP is sitting at 2.98. The FIP basically shows their ERA if it counted for only what pitchers had control of, hence the name, Fielding Independent Pitching. By the end of the season, those usually even out and become normal, especially if you are a good pen. Besides, if we know anything about statistics, 10 games out of 162 isn’t a good enough sample size.
  • Matt Cain isn’t completely terrible. Giants’ twitter would have had you believe that Matt Cain wasn’t any good anymore, and a waste of money, should be DFA’d, etc. etc. etc. Well Cain only gave up one run in his five innings. Yes, he’s not the old Horse. The old Cain would’ve probably gone the distance. But that’s just not who he is anymore. The Giants showed they can win, against a good opponent, with him on the mound. That should bode well for the rest of 2017.
  • The Giants won a series in which Johnny Cueto, or Madison Bumgarner did not pitch. That’s big. Especially for the confidence of the backend of the rotation. Granted Moore is probably at a different level compared to Cain and Samardzija. However, for all that was made about the back end of the rotation, it showed its mettle this series.
  • The Giants still need a long-term, or at least MLB Starter level solution in left field. They can’t keep rolling out fourth outfielders and expect them to give them the production they need. Jarrett Parker get’s hot and stays that way through the season? Cool. History hasn’t shown that as a possibility, so we’ll see if last night’s breakout sticks.
  • Nick Hundley

    Hundley played really well the last two games, compiling four hits, including his break the game open double last night. Hundley has also provided solid defense and pitch calling behind the plate. This doesn’t show that they are totally ok without Buster Posey. However, it shows they can survive at least this week without him. Hundley is a proven big leaguer, and someone who you know exactly what you’ll get when he steps in.

    Next: The Outfield is Still an Issue

    The San Francisco Giants next series is against the Colorado Rockies. Game one is tonight, 7:15pm. Tune in to NBCSBA to watch Madison Bumgarner take on Rockies young upstart, Jon Gray.