The San Francisco Giants won against a Rockies team that sort of showed up on Sunday. There were home runs by a lot of players including Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval, Nick Hundley, and some prospect named Madison Bumgarner. The ball Sandoval hit still has not landed.
Here are some notes from today’s game:
-Madison Bumgarner did his best Madison Bumgarner impersonation. After his motorcycle injury last season, there were definitely concerns about whether Bumgarner’s could return to form. This spring, he has been on a mission. Bumgarner shut down a Rockies lineup that featured many starters. However, Bumgarner was kind enough to allow a couple of players to reach base. How generous, right? In addition to this, Bumgarner batted against Bryan Shaw, and deposited a Shaw pitch over the fence for a home run. He looks to poised to leave 2017 behind him.
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-Hunter Pence remains hot. Spring training statistics are not a good indicator of regular season performance. However, especially in the case of Pence, it is nice to see him string together some good at-bats. Against the Rockies, Pence pulverized a pitch against left-hander, Sam Howard. It looks like Bruce Bochy will be using different lineups against left-handed and right-handed pitchers. It seems that Bochy favors using Pence near the top of the lineup against left-handed pitchers. In addition to his home run, Pence reached base a second time by drawing a walk. When he is seeing the ball well, he is more patient, lays off the outside breaking pitchers, and draws some walks.
-Pablo Sandoval has not received much attention this spring. However, he is hitting the ball with authority. Sandoval got some at-bats from the right side today, and had a pretty impressive stat line. He had two hits, including a long home run to right field. He finished the day driving in four runs, and now has twelve RBIs on the spring. Additionally, Sandoval recorded two walks. No, seriously. He actually walked twice in one game. Anyways, if Sandoval can get his right-handed swing working, he will be insurance in the event of an Evan Longoria or Brandon Belt in injury. He is proving that he can still handle the bat, and could be a middle-of-the-order hitter, if needed.
On a final note, many of the starters are getting hot at the right time. Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria, and Andrew McCutchen all had multi-hit games. This is the time of the spring when the Giants need to their starters to build some positive momentum. Lastly, Josh Osich is having a very, nice spring. He struck out three, and has yet to give up a run.