ARIZONA – Capping off a great homestand, the San Giants are in the midst of a great trip to Arizona, winning the first two games against the first place Diamondbacks.
After taking the opener Friday night 2-1, rookie pitchers continued to throw very well for the San Francisco Giants. With help from the offense tonight, Dereck Rodriguez and the Giants clinched the series victory against Arizona.
With the great pitching performances Giants have gotten from their rookies as of late, there are some tough decisions coming up next week. Decisions that will decide which two of Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez, Derek Holland and Chris Stratton will remain in the Giants rotation. Rodriguez after yet another solid performance tonight has put together the best overall season of the four thus far, but with only a third of the starts.
Andrew Suarez started off showing some promise and then struggled the month of May, but has been fantastic as of late. Chris Stratton has the most innings and experience of the three rookies, throwing well down the stretch last season, but lacking some consistency this season. Derek Holland has been consistent all season, throwing how you would expect a fifth starter to throw, and never really having a terrible game at all so far.
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With Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto on their way back in the next week, the Giants will finally be mostly healthy for the first time all season. Of course still missing Evan Longoria and Hunter Strickland, their depth at those positions will hold up over time. So with two spots available, and the Giants not keen on the idea of a six man rotation, the battle begins.
More than likely, the two arms who will remain in the rotation will be Chris Stratton and Andrew Suarez, but with how good Dereck Rodriguez has been, he might come as a surprise addition to the Giants fully healthy rotation. Derek Holland has earned a spot as the fifth starter, but the Giants might prefer the potential upside to the rookies over what we know we’ll get from Derek Holland.
The Giants just finished off a homestand where they won every series and scored just enough runs, but not a ton of runs. AT&T Park has been very good to the Giants offensively, but the bats quieted down a bit, only to heat back up tonight in Arizona.
Heading into the All-Star break, the Giants have gained ground on both the first place D-Backs and the second place Dodgers, and have a great opportunity to insert themselves atop (or almost atop) the National League West. Not to mention that the second wild card spot is only a game and a half out of reach as well.
Sure seems as if the June Swoon is no longer a looming month of misery for this team, and thats good because it probably would have sunk them in the division race.
Tomorrow the Giants go for the sweep of Arizona before heading to Colorado for more division action.