Tim Lincecum wasn’t able to get the win Tuesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks but as a team you have to like where the Giants are. The team currently has a ten game lead in the division over the Los Angeles Dodgers and they must stay loose and continue to play good ball as they head into the National League Playoffs. We know that anything can happen in the playoffs as any team can get hot for a couple of weeks.

One questions that the Giants manager and coaches must answer is the starting pitching rotation for the playoffs. The Giants employed a four-man rotation (Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Jonathan Sanchez) through the entire 2010 postseason. Bochy already has said that this year’s postseason staff will include all five starters, though not all of them will remain in a starting role.

If I were betting on SF Giants I’d expect them to at least make the NLCS and match up with the Washington Nationals. With all the travel involved in a series like that, it would be a toss up in my opinion. What do you all think?

Post info: By Cliff on September 26th, 2012
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Post info: By Cliff on May 22nd, 2012
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In a time when most people are focusing on the Super Bowl odds and the NFL in general, a few minor baseball signings don’t exactly steal the headlines.

The San Francisco Giants, who won the championship in their sport recently, are working hard to keep their World Series winning team intact. For the most part, they have a young core and if they can keep a few key cogs together, they could be in line to compete for many coming seasons.

The Giants had six players that were due for arbitration but fans – and the players – are happy to hear that the mediator won’t be necessary. Cody Ross was signed for $6.3 million, Jonathan Sanchez was signed for $4.3, Javier Lopez received $2.375 million, Andres Torres signed for $2.1 million, Ramon Ramirez got $1.65 million and Santiago Casilla got $1.3 million.

The good news is all of them will be back but some fans are wondering how come Ross, the NLCS MVP, didn’t get a longer contract. In the postseason, both he and the front office spoke of their hopes to make his stay a little more permanent than just a one-year offering.

Nonetheless, the Giants payroll has ballooned quite quickly after the winter meetings. Last season’s team had a payroll of $100 million but the 2011 team will be much closer to $120 million. But with all of the team’s starting pitchers returning and most of the core coming back, the Giants should be thrilled about the consistency. They should have another excellent shot to win it all in 2011.

Post info: By Cliff on January 31st, 2011
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Finding themselves in a tie for first place after an impressive four game, weekend series, the San Francisco Giants can now control their own destiny for the rest of the season. 

Taking three of the four game set, which found the team’s pitching shutting down the first place San Diego Padres, places the team percentage points behind the Friars.  Additionally, San Diego now heads up to Colorado to duke it out with the hard charging Rockies.  Provided that the Giants continue their winning ways when the Dodgers hit town, this series could prove most advantageous.  If the Giants can sweep the Dodgers (who appear to have mailed in this season), then the loser of the Padres/Rockies will find themselves sinking in the mud of the NL West.  After the three game set, the Giants will host the Brewers, then travel to Chicago to face the Cubs.  What that means is that while  wins in these series would be very nice, a loss is not catastrophic as it would only mean 1/2 game in the standings.  Additionally, the distance created by the current series in Denver will give the team some wiggle room. 

There are several questions that must be mused over, if not outright addressed during this stretch run. 

1.  Should Zito be skipped?- Mr. Millions has been nothing short of abyssmal lately.  The team won’t play another game on Monday.  That means that they can skip his turn in the rotation several times when it comes around.  The other four are solid, right now.  However, it’s important to keep him starting.  Even though he has been awful, he did alright in his last outing and they are paying him to do something.  That something is to pitch.  Abandon thoughts of  skipping him.  In the playoffs would be another story. 

2.  Who plays center?  Centerfielder and leadoff hitter extraordinaire Andres Torres is lost for an indefinite amount of time after having had an appendectomy.   He might be back for the playoffs.  Several options are Eugenio Velez, Cody Ross, Darren Ford, and Nate Schierholtz.  Note, I didn’t say Aaron Rowand.  No more need be said on that one.  Ford has been exciting at times.  Ross has been a hitting vacuum (but for how long?).  Schierholtz has been hot with the bat, of late, but can he play center?  I don’t know if I would risk that one.  Velez is awesome at times, but can be very streaky.  I think I would go with Velez for several starts.  If he doesn’t do it, go with Ross or Ford.  The former is a veteran with pop and should be alright.  The former is a rookie who might be able to fill the bill (though he has yet to have an at bat in the majors). 

3.  How many will Lincecum win?  17.  He’s a stud again.  Next question. 

4.  What about Pablo Sandoval?  Leave him in the lineup.  When he catches fire, you want him in there.  He needs to be elevating the ball to be effective.  Line drives don’t hurt, either.   

This stretch run will be one of the most entertaining in memory.  I’m looking forward to it.  The Giants start it off by playing the Dodgers tomorrow night.  Go Giants!!!

Post info: By giantlycan on September 13th, 2010
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Tim Lincecum shrugged off his August woes with an impressive outing, leading the Giants to a 2-1 victory and a home series win over the Colorado Rockies.

The two-time Cy Young winner locked horns with Ubaldo Jiminez (17-6) for the entire evening.  Each starter tossed 8 innings, with Lincecum (12-9) striking out nine and stingily only surrendering one run on five hits and a walk.  Carlos Gonzalez’s solo shot (30) leading off the fourth was the only runs the Rockies would score.  The Giants got to Jiminez after a two-out single by Mike Fontenot scored Jose Guillen from second in the fifth inning.   Pinch-runner, speedster Darren Ford, recalled from the minors earlier in the day for the expansion of rosters, took third on a wild pitch by Jiminez and scored when Miguel Olivo’s throw went into left field, setting the final score.  Brian Wilson threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his 38th save.  Jiminez struck out ten in the losing effort.

In the opener, Jonathan Sanchez brought a shutout into the ninth but the Rockies rallied for two off Wilson and won, 2-1.  After Sanchez walked Dexter Fowler to lead off the inning, Wilson (3-2) entered and gave up a run scoring triple to Carlos Gonzalez who subsequently scored after a throwing error by Freddy Sanchez on the play.   Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his thirteenth save of the season.  Rafael Bettencourt (5-1) picked up the victory for pitching the eighth.  Jorge De La Rosa pitched seven strong innings, striking out nine, for the no-decision.

In the second game, Andres Torres broke a 2-2, eighth inning tie with his thirteenth homerun of the season and the Giants won, 5-2.  After Torres’ shot off Matt Belisle (6-5) the Giants loaded the bases and Buster Posey followed with a two run double off Joe Beimel.   Jeremy Affeldt (4-3) gave up the lead in the eighth on a solo homer by Melvin Mora (4), but picked up the win after the Giants rallied.  Madison Bumgarner was dominant, tossing six innings of quality ball, surrendering only one run on five hits.   Esmil Rogers was equally good, giving up only two runs in the same span of innings.  Wilson redeemed himself by pitching a perfect ninth for his 37th save.

Great series.  Timely, too.  Even the blown opener was alright.  The Giants showed heart and that says a lot.  Perfect timing, too, as the Padres appear to be falling apart.  The best part of this series was seeing Lincecum back.  Wow, that is huge.  Also nice to see that Pablo Sandoval’s bat is doing its thing again.  Nice call inserting Ford into this game.  His speed is a difference maker on the paths.  However, the starting pitching is the story from this series.  If they are starting to heat up, this is a perfect time.  Bring on the rest of the west.  This team is ready. 

The Giants will next travel to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers on Friday night.  The Rockies will travel to San Diego to play the Padres, also on Friday evening.  Go Giants!!!  Go Rockies!!!

Post info: By giantlycan on September 2nd, 2010
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Matt Cain snapped a personal dry stretch against the Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants placed more distance between themselves and third place in the National League West division with a 2-0 victory over Los Angeles Sunday night, securing a three game weekend sweep over their rivals.

Cain (9-8), 0-8 career against the Dodgers, tossed 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball, striking out seven while only surrendering four hits.  Edgar Renteria supplied the only offense on the day for the Giants with a two run, two out sixth inning triple off Clayton Kershaw (10-6).  Brian Wilson struck out two in the ninth for his 31st save. 

In the opener, Tim Lincecum (11-4) dominated over seven innings, striking out nine in a 6-5 victory.  Lincecum surrendered two runs and left with a 5-2 lead.  Aubrey Huff blasted his 20th homerun in the seventh off reliever Jeff Weaver, giving him three RBI on the day.  Juan Uribe earlier homered (15) off Carlos Monasterios (3-3).  The Huff homer proved valuable as the Dodgers rallied against the cobbled together Giant closing corps, thrust into action due to back spasms for Brian Wilson.  Los Angeles scored three times in the frame off of a combination of Sergio Romo, Denny Bautista, starter Jonathan Sanchez, and Chris Ray, the latter of which recorded the final out for his second save of the season. 

In the middle game, Pat Burrell launched a two run homerun (8) off closer Jonathan Broxton (3-4) in the eighth inning to give the Giants a 2-1 victory.  Broxton entered with a runner on and a 1-0 lead.  The Dodgers wasted a stellar outing by Chad Billingsley, who went six-and-two-third shutout, two hit innings for the no decision.  Matching his dominance in no decision land was Barry Zito, who went seven, giving up one run on three hits.  Guillermo Mota (1-3) recorded the final four outs for the victory. 

Well, well, well.  What a series.  Great outcome.  Awesome pitching by the Giants staff.  Yes, the boys in blue are a lesser offense, but wins are wins and they’re still getting paid major league salaries.   I saw newcomer Javier Lopez in the Sunday game and he looked incredible.  Great pick up to face lefties.  I have no idea why Bautista is still on this team.  He was awful when he pitched.  Luckily, he didn’t hurt the team too badly.  Anywho, all in all, a great series.   Excellent two out hitting by both Burrell and Renteria.  I am still curious why Travis Ishikawa hasn’t been starting but then, if the Giants win, why worry about it, for now.  Any suggestions would be appreciated from this perspective.

The Giants have an off day tomorrow before two games in Colorado, followed by four in Atlanta.  It just doesn’t get any easier for these guys.  The Dodgers will next play the San Diego Padres at home tomorrow night.  Go Giants!!!

Post info: By giantlycan on August 1st, 2010
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The San Francisco Giants added much-needed help to their depleted bullpen, pulling the trigger on two deals as the July 31st deadline came and went. 

With injuries sidelining lefties Jeremy Affeldt and Dan Runzler, the Giants traded for relievers Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox, respectively. 

Lopez is a left-handed specialist, suited for pitching exclusively to tough-out southpaw hitters.  From what I understand, he’s really good at this, which is big due to the aforementioned injuries.  He cost a pretty penny too, as San Francisco sent outfielder John Bowker and starting pitcher Joe Martinez to the Pirates in return.  Both were bouncing between Fresno and the home club all season, so I can’t say that they’ll be horribly missed.  Bowker never really showed that he was capable of hitting at the major league level, despite ample opportunities.  Martinez both never performed in the majors and, to be honest, wasn’t really needed as the Giants have a full starting five.  Good move made.

Ramirez is a right handed thrower and less exciting of a pickup than Lopez.  He had a 4.46 ERA in 44 games for the Red Sox this season and is just a piece to toss into the mix.  Can’t say he’ll do well.  Can’t say he’ll crash and burn.  Just a matter of wait and see.  He was good in the two previous seasons and probably is an upgrade over either Denny Bautista or Santiago Casilla, so that’s something.  I can’t imagine being disappointed with such a low expectation level.  He also only cost the team minor league pitcher Daniel Turpen (who?).  Exactly.  This won’t seal their visit to the World Series, but it also won’t be a bummer if it flames. 

Go Orange and Black.

Post info: By giantlycan on July 31st, 2010
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Travis Ishikawa’s extra-inning single led the San Francisco Giants to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks and capped off a four game sweep in the desert.

Batting with two out in the tenth and the score knotted at three, Ishikawa stroked a single to right field, driving home pinch-runner Eli Whiteside as the Giants continued their post-All-Star game tear.  Rookie phenom Buster Posey culminated a four-hit day with a double to lead off the inning before being lifted for pinch-runner.   Posey also drove in a run with a double in the first and extended his hit streak to 18 games.  Tim Lincecum went eight dominant innings, striking out five, but ended up with a no decision.  Sergio Romo (3-3) struck out two in the bottom of the ninth for the victory and Brian Wilson pitched a perfect tenth for his 29th save.  Esmerling Vasquez (1-3) picked up the loss.   Barry Enright pitched well for the Diamondbacks and drove in two runs with a double and two hits.

In the openeer, Matt Cain (8-8) shone, evening up his record while striking out nine over eight shutout innings, as the Giants won 3-0.  Andres Torres homered (9) and Buster Posey had two hits.  Brian Wilson tossed the ninth for his 27th save.  Rodrigo Lopez (5-9) took the loss, despite seven solid innings.

In the second game, Aubrey Huff homered twice (18, 19), driving in three and the Giants withstood Kelly Johnson hitting for the cycle and driving in three runs, as San Francisco prevailed 7-4.  Jonathan Sanchez was wild but struck out ten in five innings and Chris Ray (3-0) picked up the victory.  The Giants took advantage of two throwing errors by starter Edwin Jackson (6-9) in a three run seventh inning, highlighted by a two run triple off the bat off Andres Torres.   Brian Wilson tossed the ninth for his 28th save.

In the third game, the Giants worked around a scare with Juan Uribe hitting a grand slam (13) and rookie Madison Bumgarner dominating for seven innings as San Francisco won, 10-4.  Bumgarner (4-2)  struck out seven over seven strong innings.  Ian Kennedy (5-8) picked up the loss.  The scare came in the fourth inning when Eugenio Velez, in the dugout, was struck in the face by a line drive foul off the bat of teammate Pat Burrell.  He was conscious and taken to the hospital for tests.  Preliminary results were negative.

Well, great series for the Orange and Black.  Nice to see the perfect combination of offense and incredible pitching.  A little more focus from Jonathan Sanchez would be nice.  Walks are killers.  Prayers with Velez as this was a fluke injury.  He was placed on the DL for this and the team recalled Ryan Rohlinger.  Get back soon, Pharoah.  Also, Pablo Sandoval took off after yesterday’s game.  I guess he was heading back to Venezuela to take care of personal issues.  Again, prayers that he gets this taken care of.  Such things might be contributors to his slow start this season.  Again, great series by the Giants, especially on the road.  No real complaints.  Posey is awesome.  The team needed him and he hasn’t disappointed.  Go Giants!!!!

The Giants will next host the Florida Marlins on Monday night.  The Arizona Diamondbacks will travel and play the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday evening.

Post info: By giantlycan on July 25th, 2010
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The San Francisco Giants overcame a domination at the hands of rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg to win the final two games and take the weekend road series from the Washington Nationals. 

In the opener, Strasburg (3-2), facing the Giants for the first time, shook off a leadoff homerun by Andres Torres (7) to win, 8-1.  The Washington hurler went six innings, striking out eight and giving up only three hits and one run.  Adam Dunn homered twice (21,22) off Matt Cain (6-8), driving in three runs and Willie Harris rapped out three hits as the Nationals offense came alive in support of the rookie.   Torres left the game in the fifth with a left groin strain and will be day to day.   The Giants need him healthy. 

For the middle game, the Giant bats returned to the world of the living, riding an offensive fireworks show by San Francisco’s own rookie phenom, Buster Posey, to a 10-5 victory.   Posey went 4-5 with three RBI on a double and homerun (7) to pace an eleven hit outpouring.  Aaron Rowand also homered (8) and Juan Uribe drove in three runs as the Giants lifted Jonathan Sanchez up from an early hook and rallied against reliever Tyler Clippard (8-6).  Santiago Casilla (2-2) picked up the victory.  Mike Morse homered (4) in a losing effort.

In the rubber match, another Giant rookie, Madison Bumgarner (2-2) evened up his record, taking a shutout into the seventh inning as the Giants won, 6-2.  Bumgarner went six-plus innings, scattering seven hits and one run, striking out six, and walking none as he won his second straight start.  Travis Ishikawa continued his torrid hitting, driving in three runs on a 2-3 performance.  Buster Posey continued to impress, driving in two with a triple off Livan Hernandez (6-5).  Sergio Romo pitched the Giants out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh and Brian Wilson collected the last four outs for his 23rd save. 

Where to start?  First things, Strasburg looked awesome for the Nationals.  Too bad that they don’t have five of him in their rotation.  Good thing for the Giants, actually.  Bumgarner looked great.  I can’t wait to see how he does in the second half.  Ditto Posey.  This guy’s been awesome.  Let’s keep those accolades coming with Ishikawa.  Anybody who reads this knows I’m a big Ishi guy.  I think the Giants finally are, too.  Last year, he destroyed pitchers at home.  These last few games, he’s doing it on the road.  Keep it up!!!  Only concerns, what’s up with Cain and Sanchez?  Both have been getting shelled of late.  Hope the break will give them a chance to reflect and regroup.  Ditto Pablo Sandoval.  Maybe it’s time for him to return to his hacking roots.  Just a thought. 

The Giants will next play the New York Mets at home on Thursday evening.  The Nationals will host the Florida Marlins on Friday evening.  Enjoy the All-Star Game.  Here’s hoping the orange and black representatives (Brian Wilson and Tim Lincecum) do awesome.  Go Giants!!!  Catch you all on the other side.

Post info: By giantlycan on July 12th, 2010
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The San Francisco Giant bats awoke as the team erupted in four straight games against the Brewers, outscoring them 36-7 in a series sweep capped off by a 9-3 daytime win on Thursday.

The Giants rode a homerun and four RBI by Aubrey Huff  (17) to an early 6-0 lead off Manny Parra (3-6).  Starter Barry Zito was wild, however, walking in a run in the fourth innings and walking the bases loaded in the fifth.  Overall, the lefty surrendered six free passes while leaving before being eligible for the win.   The bullpen took over with Dan Runzler (3-0) pitching out of a jam in the sixth for the victory.  The win was bittersweet for the rookie as he dislocated his left knee on a swing while batting in the seventh.  It popped back into place, but he left the game and will be tested before his next outing.  Buster Posey (6) and Andres Torres (6) each homered late for the Giants. 

In the opener, Jonathan Sanchez (7-6) pitched around trouble all day, walking six and striking out six through six innings and leaving with the score tied 1-1.  However, the Giants put up four runs, all off Kameron Loe (0-1) in the top of the seventh inning, to prevail 6-1.  Aubrey Huff spearheaded the charge with a two run RBI single.  The scoring began with a bases-loaded, one-out error by Alcides Escobar, who misplayed a  potential double-play grounder off the bat off Freddy Sanchez into a run scoring error.  Huff followed with the single.  The Giants tacked on another in the next inning with a solo homerun by rookie Buster Posey (3).

In the second game, rookie Madison Bumgarner (1-2) pitched eight shutout innings to earn his first career victory as the Giants won 6-1.   The lefty struck out five and walked three, surrendering a scant three singles, as the San Francisco won their second straight.   Randy Wolf (6-8) matched zeros for five innings before the Giants touched him up for five runs in the sixth inning behind a two run RBI single by Travis Ishikawa and run scoring single by Bumgarner.

In the third game, the Giants scored early and often, tallying four runs in the first inning on three homeruns as San Francisco won, 15-2.  Andres Torres (5), Aubrey Huff (16), and Buster Posey (4) each lifted off in the opening frame, against Chris Narveson (7-6).  Posey added a second homerun (5) in a seven run fourth inning, stepping up with the bases loaded against Chris Capuano and launching his first career grand slam.  Not to be outdone by the offense, Tim Lincecum (9-4) went seven dominating innings, striking out ten and stingily only giving up four hits and a run in the victory. 

Well, the team looked awesome.  They needed this sweep.  Period.  Didn’t hurt that the rest of the division stumbled this week, either.  The offense appears to have waken.  Huff is mashing.  Ditto the kid, Posey.  Now, if they could just get Pablo Sandoval hammering the ball, we’d be in business.  They need to keep this momentum going as they draw Stephen Strasburg tomorrow evening.  Let’s keep going, Giants.   On a side note, Jeremy Affeldt looked very good pitching in the 15-2 affair.  Great.  The team needs him to return to form in order to compete. 

The Giants will next play on the road, Friday night, against the Washington Nationals.  The Brewers will host the Pittsburgh Pirates Friday.

Post info: By giantlycan on July 8th, 2010
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