I don't care what none of yall say I still love
The Gigantes took down another series from the Hated Ones. They were hard fought close games, as they will be all year. The good: the Dodgers might have more talent, but the Giants have more heart. The bad: closing out sweeps hasn't been the 4tay of Bochy led squads. Not sure if Arias leading off is sending the killer instinct message. Oh well, its a long season. Getting to Jansen a bunch is good stuff. In a bad stat, the Giants have not been able to punish The Beard. Adrianza's was the first hit off of him. Not good.
April 15 Giants 3, Dodgers 2 (12)
April 16 Giants 2, Dodgers 1
April 17 Dodgers 2, Giants 1
If you're keeping track, that's 7 straight 1 run games. The NL West is always a dog fight. Also, that 12 inning game was the 2nd longest in Giants-Dodgers history, which is a bit crazy. I blame Chicken Bucket Beckett.
MVP of the series: The Giants pen. Why not? They have been aces, they need some recognition. The starters that have been squirrelly stood up tall, and then the Gints Ace can't close it out. That's baseball for you, unpredictable as ever.
Shank's Keys to winning the series: The Dodgers are back in 1st place. It happened quickly, and they don't have their Ace. They are stinging the ball early (as everybody seems to be). Lincecum needs to find a way, and fast. The Giants need to get to Beckett making his first start of the season. Same key with Ryu as last series: when you get opportunities, you have to take advantage and crank his pitch count, plate the ducks. Greinke is tough, he beat Cain last sunday night. The Giants have two very shaky starters and a big series coming. Pence and Pablo need to get hot, Belt and Posey haven't been so hot either, and the Crawford/Pagan connection, while extremely nice, won't win games. The middle of the order needs to produce. Games often hang on one play. Dodgers will play tough. Adrian Gonzalez is scorching hot, the starters need to find a way to neutralize him. Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe lead the Bums statistically early. Puig is sitting on a 237/326/368 slash early, and it'd be nice to wake up friday morning and see it the same or worse.
The Dodgers slipped soft tossing lefty Paul Maholm into the mix, and he gave the Giants fits, as soft tossing lefties are apt to do. They did not get to Beckett. They did not get to Ryu. I guess the honeymoon is over for the Dinger led offense, its back to Torture. That means every play counts, and Brandon Hicks needs to field to the best of his ability. Dee Gordon continued his hot ways, and Juan Uribe tried and almost succeeded in single handedly killing the Giants. Puig played like Puig - not running out a fly, possibly getting benched for it, and getting some knocks against the Giants. My opinion is he's going to figure it out and be big-time. We'll see. The Dodgers have some leadership problems, and too many OFs (Joc P is raking in AAA as well).
The middle of the order did not come through. The Giants scored a total of 6 runs, just in the right order to win the series. Pablo had a key hit (finally) after an IBB in front of him. I don't like when Bochy pairs free swingers Pence and Pablo back to back. Yet again though, they went 2 for 7 with a BB on wens, Pablo getting the hits and Pence scuffling. Then they went 2 for 7 with a BB again yesterday, Pence getting on base with Pablo scuffling. Just a little thing I'm keeping track of, lets see if a small criticism of Bochy plays out or is bunk.
Good hitting: not much. Pence is warming but not hot, Posey and Belt are maintaining - Belt should get mention for his key hit to get to Jansen to tie the first game up and send it to extras.
Poor hitting: lots, especially with the bases juiced. 16 runners left on first game, 17 more the next two. Mike Morse and Brandon Hicks got AT&T'd but good.
Good pitching: Timmy and Vogey have possibly righted the good ship. We'll see, but Timmy not walking anybody is a good sign, and VSG's game was awesome. The pen, especially the amazingly athletic Jean Machi, has been lights out. Affeldt had a good 2 inning welcome back without any gascan.
Bad pitching: Bumgarner didn't have his A game, and it would have sent the Bums out in 2nd place. Oh well, we'll take the series win.
Next series: at the Padres:
Keys to series: missing Andrew Cash is nice. Padres are at 7-9 on the year. Our old buddy Xavier Nady is leading them in HRs, and Everth Cabrera is the leading hitter stat-wise, followed by pesky Chris Denorfia. The Pads always play tough with a scrappy non-descript offense. Cain needs to build on his last game, Hudson needs to work, and hopefully Good Timmy shows up. The Panda rakes at Petco, hopefully the crew will plate some ducks this time out. Posey has been slipping his BA down some. Morse is sitting on 306/382/510, not too shabby. A couple well placed hits this series would be nice. The Giants are without the services of Juan Perez currently, so its 4 OFs, which alters some of Bochy's stratagums just a tad.
Series Rundown Recap:
Giants have 4 series wins on the year, 1 loss, no ties.