With the first two games in the books, there’s a lot to be excited about. Let’s hear it for sample sizes! Let’s kick this off and give some praise where it’s due; the starting pitching has been absolutely fantastic. 13 innings, no runs, and one walk between Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito (!) is a pretty good way to come out of the gates, even if it is against the Berkman-less Astros lineup.
For Lincecum, excelling is par for the course. Seeing Zito pitch this well in his first start though is encouraging to say the least. Coming off of a year where he proved that he can be a perfectly adequate league-average starter, it’s exciting to see him staying around the plate, striking hitters out, and pitching on top of his game early. Not having to wait until September for “Good Zito” to show up could become a key in this pitching staff repeating its stellar 2009 campaign.
Another guy who’s stood out in this fledgling season is Edgar Renteria, who’s been taking good AB’s and hitting the ball with authority. Mike Krukow made a good point during a televised Spring Training game a week or so back that last season Edgar simply couldn’t pull the ball with any sort of power with the bone-chips floating around in his elbow. Basically he was forced to poke at the ball and was behind on a lot of fastballs. Watching his at-bats from the first two games, he’s getting around on fastballs belt-high and above, and hitting them hard. What a season it would be if Renteria managed to find the fountain of youth at the top of the lineup.
Winning two games to kick off the season, it’s hard not to feel a little giddy, even if it means very little in the larger scheme of the season. These first games have been well-played, well-pitched, and an enjoyable experience altogether. The real test will be in the next series against the Atlanta Braves, a team with some semblance of an offense. Jason Heyward-mania will land in San Francisco, and bookies will be taking the over-under on how many Cove-shots the 20 year-old rookie will hit off of Todd Wellemeyer.
In terms of my ability to watch Giants baseball today, my efforts were gallantly stopped by MLB TV and its vendetta to make live-streaming baseball the most difficult and infuriating process on the face of the earth. After installing their “NexDef” upgrade, my browser froze every time I tried to bring up the game. I then re-installed the update and managed to get three seconds of baseball before I received a message saying that my connection had timed out. People reported having similar problems in the MLB TV support forums, letting me know I wasn’t alone in my frustrated misery. This being so, I’m dangerously close to canceling my subscription, something I encourage all users with similar problems to do as well. $25 bucks a months over the course of a whole season should buy me a half-decent stream of my Giants while I’m stuck in Seattle, not a four hour call to tech support during which I’m told to make sure I’m using the correct browser (I was).
All technology-related frustration aside, this has been an exciting two days of baseball, that I can only hope is perpetuated by a Matt Cain start tomorrow to close out the series in Houston. Baseball begins at 11am sharp, so tune in if you’d like to enjoy some late-morning baseball. Cain faces off against Brett Myers and the same lineup that Barry Zito held scoreless for six innings. Hard not to like those odds.
Photo used with express permission of Joseph Pun and AZGiants.com