Week in Review (4/23-4/29)

Results:

5-3 (12-10, 4.0 GB in NL West)

6-1 W @ NYM; 7-2 W @ NYM; 9-2 L @ Cin; 4-2 L @ Cin; 6-5 W @ Cin; 5-3 L vs SD; 2-1 W vs. SD; 4-1 W vs. SD

Again, the Giants are nothing if not fascinating. Aubrey Huff goes on the DL with anxiety issues (not a joking matter, btw)…Tim Lincecum wins two games and we are all still worried about him…the bullpen looks shaky, and yet the team wins 5 games this week. Pablo saw his 20 game hit streak come to an end, and then he jump-started another one with a home run! Posey is playing more first base, Joaquin Arias and Ryan Theriot are providing nice platoons at second and short, and Santiago Casilla is dominating the 9th inning. Everything is obviously going according to the plan!

Hitter of the Week:

Guess the three highest averages this last week…no really, guess. If I had a guess I’d go with Pablo, Posey, and Pagan in some order. I would be wrong. Top three were Brett Pill, Arias, and Theriot. And they all had at least 10 at bats; we are not talking about a 2 for 3 kind of sample size.

So, that is kind of interesting. On a different note, last week I underscored the necessity of hitting home runs. The team responded well, hitting 10 home runs. Buster Posey (who I specifically called out) hit three.

There’s a part of me that wants to give the award this week to Brandon Belt (who I want so badly to nail down the first base job). His 2-run double in Saturday’s game against San Diego was a thing of beauty.

But, this week we have to tip our cap to Angel Pagan who is starting to show that he can be a force at the top of the line up. He hit three home runs, one of them a huge game winner to salvage the trip to Cincinnati, laid down a beautiful bunt, and stole a base. He’s not perfect (no walks and 7 strikeouts on the week), but hopefully this week is a sign of good things to come.

Pitcher of the Week:

Bay City Ball is already on top of this, but one thing to keep an eye on in the wake of the Brian Wilson injury is how long Bochy is going with his starters. He kept Cain and Zito in too long (in my opinion) in loses, and he probably kept Lincecum and Bumgarner in too long in victories. The Giants are very unconventional when it comes to pitch counts and leaving starters in, and it has worked, but I wonder if Bochy’s lack of confidence in the starters will lead to overuse and issues (fatigue, injury) later in the season…

I love Madison Bumgarner and he was nasty this week: almost 15 innings, only 2 earned runs and 12 base runners…he struck out ten and never seems to be working that hard. And the Giants pretty easily won both games he pitched. He’s 22. Love him.

I’m also tempted to give the award this week to Timmy. 2 wins, and his game against San Diego was gutty and impressive if not vintage. Still walking way too many, still not the velocity we are accustomed to, but he did strike out a guy an inning and hold two teams to a .163 average. What is amazing is how high he has set the bar.

That being said, props to Santiago Casilla. He went a long way towards solidifying the closer role this week (3 dominant saves), and that may have a tremendous impact on the team, especially in light of my observation on Bochy’s confidence in the bullpen. Keep it up Santi, we need you!

Looking Ahead:

A much deserved day off today and then three games at home with the Marlins and three more at AT&T with the Brewers. Neither team is playing great right now, but both have a great deal of talent, so don’t fall asleep on them Giants. Next week you go on the road for some tough division games!

(-SB)

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