Another Day, Another Win
It really doesn’t get much better than today’s game, plain and simple. After a loss highlighted by a botched double-play and the continuing existence of Brandon Medders on the 25-man roster, the Giants needed to rebound to avoid losing the series to the Pirates. And rebound they did.
The day was won by the best non-no-hitter of Jonathan Sanchez’ career coupled with a surprising display of power from a team not known for their ability to hit the long ball. Highlighting the homer run outburst was an inside-the-parker from none other than Aubrey Huff, who after hitting the ball off of the number 8 archway in right-center, chugged around third and slid into home without a throw. Some reports claim they swear they saw the life drain completely out of Huff from the exhaustion induced circling the bases, but this has yet to be confirmed.
So what do we take out of this first week and a half of seasons? Sporting a shiny 7-2 record atop the NL West, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with optimism. I caution all Giants fans to realize that this is a team that has yet to be truly tested. After drawing the Astros, arguably baseball’s worst team right now, followed by a Chipper Jones-free Braves club as well as the Pirates, it’s hard to judge how real all this winning really is. Could it be a mirage of epic proportions that will come crashing down in flames in Los Angeles this weekend? I’d like to believe that’s not so.
Statistically, there’s no way to judge this team because this early on everything is a sample size of at-bats or innings. So what we can judge the Giants off of is what we’ve seen so far. And what we’ve seen is stellar pitching, more plate discipline, and better at-bats all around. Pitchers who would have given the 2009 team fits at the plate (Charlie Morton, Paul Maholm, etc.) are racking up high pitch-counts against an offense now led by miracle man Hensley Meulens. Any time Bengie Molina takes a walk in consecutive games, it’s obvious that something must be going on.
Riding the high of the third straight series victory of the season, the Giants ride into Los Angeles for their first series against the Dodgers. We draw their fearsome Opening Day starter, Vicente Padilla in game one, who will face our very own Todd Wellemeyer. With the day off tomorrow, the option existed to have Lincecum/Zito/Cain go for the Dodger series, but apparently there exists an inexplicable confidence within the organization in our fifth starter. I’ll be a believer in him myself if he manages to shut down a potent Los Angeles offense pitching on the road. Until then, color me skeptical.
Rotation speculation aside, there’s a certain tinge of excitement that surrounds any Giants/Dodgers series, especially the first one of the year. There’s something poetically wonderful about beating LA, especially at Chavez Ravine in front of 40,000 angry fans. So let’s get it done boys. Beat LA!