Catching Up

Since June 3rd:

The Giants have gone 10-9, and remain 3 GB of the Dodgers in the NL West. Note that Arizona has come on strong recently and is only 2.5 games behind the Giants!

Summary:

After a week off and another week away from the blog, we return to summarizing the action. No awards this week, just some thoughts…

So, Matt Cain is pretty good. I got back from vacation in time to turn on the game and see innings 3-9 of the perfect game. I kept saying: I’ll just watch one more and go to bed. But the perfection continued, and I stayed up, and it was totally worth it.

I have to admit this: I love Matt Cain, but I never thought he would get this good. He always seemed like the perfect #2 starter: innings, consistency, etc. But never the ridiculous, video game, fantasy stud kind of numbers that you expect from a Justin Verlander, or a Roy Halladay, or (dare I say) Tim Lincecum. Matt Cain was always good, but I didn’t think he’d jump to great, and this year he has been GREAT.

The other major development of the last couple of weeks: Brandon Belt. Looks like he’s got some freedom to just “be” now over there at first base and it seems to be paying off. Man was the turn around quick on that one. Now, obviously, he needs to keep this up for an extended period of time, but what an encouragement to see him get it going. The power, the on-base skills, the use of all fields. I’m a huge fan, so I’m probably a bit too giddy but I do wonder what the ceiling is? Votto lite? Carlos Pena with less power and better average? I’m not sure who he comps with, but I guess I don’t really care as long as he hits.

Looking Ahead:

Giants head home for a big time week: 3 with the Dodgers and 4 with the Reds. That’s three games with a chance to close the gap in the division and then 4 against the Central division leaders. Yeah, it’s at home, but that’s still a tough go. I’m not super excited about the Dodgers getting Zito, Vogelsong, and Lincecum again (same 3 as the only other series between these teams this year). Nonetheless, hopefully they can turn it around and take 2 of 3 this time to even out the season series.

(-SB)

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Week in Review (5/28-6/3)

Results:

5-1 (30-24, 3 GB in NL West)

4-2 W vs. ARI; 3-1 W vs. ARI; 4-1 L vs. ARI; 4-3 W vs. CHC; 2-1 W vs. CHC; 2-0 W vs. CHC

Well, there we go. A nice week, coupled with a bad run (finally) from the Dodgers, and the Giants are suddenly just 3 games out. The Giants also never scored more than 4 runs in any game this week and went 5-1. The pitching has been so good, for so long now that this isn’t even a story any more.

I was thinking a little bit about All-Stars today and I think you could argue that Melky, Angel, and Buster (from a positional standpoint) are deserving of consideration, and from the pitchers Cain, Bumgarner, Vogelsong, Romo, Casilla, and…wait for it…ZITO are in the conversation as well. Now, obviously they won’t all make it, but a case can be made for each of them. Which is pretty incredible when you think about it…8 players! And Pablo would probably be in the convo too if he’d been healthy this whole time. Anytime a third of your roster is in consideration for the All-Star game you are doing well.

Hitter of the Week:

All Melky Cabrera did this week was hit .391, set the SF record for most hits in a month, and he doesn’t win HOW. But he is firmly in the convo week in and week out and that is awesome.

But, this week, let’s highlight Ryan Theriot. He just might be the answer at 2B. He hit .375, including a double, and scored 4 runs. In March I would not have been excited about this, but right now, I couldn’t be happier. Keep it up Ryan.

Pitcher of the Week:

Barry Zito: All Star? Really? Probably not, but if he has a good June, runs his record to, say, 8-3, and keeps his ratios down, how do you not really ask the question? Look at this week: 2 starts, 2 wins. 15.1 innings, 14 base runners, 2 earned runs, 8 strikeouts. That’s a 1.17 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. He’s had some help from the defense and the ballpark, but the dude is pitching REALLY well. The question is, of course, how long can he keep this up. Right now it looks like a while.

One other thing…if you would have said when the season opened that by June between Zito and Lincecum one of them would have a 5.82 ERA and the other 2.98 (or that one would have a 1.25 WHIP and the other 1.57) how would have thought that worked out? Exactly. Baseball’s wierd.

Looking Ahead:

One more game with the Cubbies, the off to San Diego, and back home for a very interesting series with the Texas Rangers. Keep the pressure on the Dodgers!

(-SB)