2-5 (63-52, 0.5 game lead in NL West)
5-2 L vs Ari.; 6-1 L vs. Ari.; 8-1 W vs. Ari.; 3-0 L vs. Phi; 9-2 L vs. Phi; 3-1 L vs. Phi; 3-1 W vs. Phi
All season I feel like I’ve been complaining about the Giants winning the first 2 or 3 games of a series and then losing the last game to “avoid” the sweep. Well, this week the Giants turned that trend around and had to win the last game of both series in order to avoid being swept. It has not been a good two weeks, but then again, we all knew they were heading in to one of the toughest stretches of the season. Hopefully they can finish the home stand out strong (a sweep of the Pirates would mean a 5-5 stand, which is not the end of the world).
Hitter of the Week:
Pablo’s line goes like this: 11 for 26 (.423 average), with 4 runs, 1 home run, and 4 RBIs. Keep it up Pablo! A hat tip also goes to Jeff Keppinger whose 4 hit day gave him a 10 for 17 (.370) week to go with 3 runs scored. He must keep hitting and getting on base for this offense to succeed.
Pitcher of the Week:
When a team is struggling in nearly every aspect of the game, as the Giants did this last week, the one thing that can turn the funk around is the Ace. The old baseball saying is that “a team’s momentum is only as strong as tomorrow’s starting pitcher.” Tim Lincecum gave the Giants two strong efforts and stopped the bleeding against the Phillies. He made one mistake to Paul Goldschmidt on Tuesday, but overall performed exactly the way an Ace should perform when the rest of his mates are struggling. 14 and 2/3 IP, 13 K, a 1.84 ERA, and an 0.95 WHIP in two big games makes him a no-brainer pitcher of the week.
After an emotional and draining 7 games against big time competition the Giants get a bit of break with 3 home games against the reeling (10 straight loses) Pirates. Of course, this is no time to let up, the Giants need to win these games, but at least they aren’t looking at the Phillies any more. They get rewarded after that with a day off, followed by the brutal 10 game road trip to the muggy south. 3 in Florida, 4 in Atlanta, 3 in Houston. This will be another tough and challenging stretch, meaning the Giants really need to take 2, if not all 3, from the Pirates.
When a team is losing it is easy to look at the all the things that are going on wrong and try to pick one and blame all the struggles on that one thing. Losing and winning are much more complex than that. That said, I do think the number one priority right now is figuring out the leadoff spot. I do not worry about the pitching…and while there are plenty of holes in the lineup to get fired up about, it really seems like settling down the leadoff position will give the Giants a decent 1-5 and hopefully create some much-needed runs!
As Brian Wilson says: Pirates are cool, but no one beats a ninja. Go Giants!