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San Francisco Giants Score Three Runs, Beat Athletics

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 09: Brandon Belt
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 09: Brandon Belt
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The San Francisco Giants won the preseason finale against the Oakland Athletics. The parade will be held tomorrow. We will see you then.

This game was not the type of game we were used to seeing in Scottsdale. Instead of hitting a lot of home runs, the Giants won in a different way. They won as a result of timely hitting, good defense, and stellar pitching.

Brandon Belt was at the center of the first scoring effort. He drove in the first run on a ground out. Additionally, he laid down a perfectly executed bunt for a single in the fourth.

Despite his slumpy shoulders, Brandon Belt will be an important part of this offense. It seems he will bat second against right-handed pitchers. This is going to be a good spot for him since he is one of the most selective hitters in the game. In addition to this, he gets on-base at an above average rate. Getting on base is a skill. Skills are good.

In all seriousness, this was going to be an important spring for Belt. Baseballs continue to hit him in the head. As a result, Belt’s Spring Training performance was going to be closely watched. He proved to be healthy. Not only did he hit the ball well, but he continued his selective approach at the plate.

Similar to Belt, this was an important spring for Hunter Pence. Unlike Belt, Pence needed to show he could still perform at a high level. He started out the spring slow, but finished strong.

The Giants know what they are going to get from Buster Posey, Evan Longoria, and Andrew McCutchen. However, they will need both Pence and Belt to perform as well.

In tonight’s game, Pence collected two hits in vintage fashion. He swung early on a offspeed pitch, but lined it into left field for a hit. His second hit was a line drive to right field. He scored on an RBI single by Austin Jackson.

Pence’s bat was showing the type of plate coverage he displays when his mechanics are in sync. When he is on, Pence will drive a lot of balls to right field. Also, he will get some funky hits as well. He has been doing a lot of both recently.

On the pitching side, Chris Stratton continued his preseason dominance. He was facing an A’s lineup consisting of mostly regulars. He only allowed five to reach base, but no one scored.

Stratton did not have strikeout stuff tonight, but he was getting a lot of ground outs. That’s a good sign, especially when hitters are trying harder than ever to hit the ball in the air.

The bullpen followed Stratton. Josh Osich and Cory Gearrin combined to pitch one inning. Oddly, Osich only faced one better. Perhaps, Bruce Bochy wanted him to get some work in tonight. Anyways, he looked great against the batter he did face. He is pitching with a lot of confidence right now.

In addition to Osich and Gearrin, Sam Dyson pitched through a clean frame as well. We can all relax for a moment as he has looked good in his recent appearances. Tonight was no different. Dyson walked one, but induced three ground balls. For a ground ball pitcher, that is what you want to see.

The win did not matter tonight. But, a win against the Athletics always feels good, whether it is in the regular season or preseason. So, we can all sleep well tonight knowing that the Giants took two out of three in a meaningless series.

Update:

The Giants announced their final roster cuts. Steven Duggar did not making the Opening Day Roster. Gorkys Hernandez, Gregor Blanco, Pierce Johnson, Roberto Gomez, Josh Osich, and Derek Law made the roster. Yesterday, It was announced Derek Holland would make the roster as well.

The biggest surprises are Gorkys and Law. Neither one did well this spring, but injuries to a number of players may have helped their respective cases.

On a final note,  Roberto Gomez quietly had a nice spring. He had thirteen strikeouts in 8.1 innings.

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