Hey boys and girls! I'm back and so is Giants baseball in a big way. We're 4-1 in our first 5 games of the half (should be 5-0...) and are now alone at 2nd place in the NL West.
Before I jump into the bad stuff that's happened during this stretch, lets just bask in the awesomeness that was this past few days.
What to Like
Buster Posey - this kid is a machine. In the game I went to on Saturday I saw him come up to his first two at bats and hit a double and a home run into the right field corner to end with an RBI and 2 runs scored. So far Buster is hitting 'only' .350 in the 2nd half after hitting what seemed like .800 right before the break.
Starting Pitching Domination - 24... that's the number of scoreless innings the Giants had to begin the 2nd half. 9 from Timmy in a complete game shutout of the Mets, 8 from Barry Zito, 1 from Wilson to combine a second shutout, and 6 from Matt Cain the following day. Even Jonathan Sanchez pitched well enough to win in his eventual no decision, but the Giants couldn't come up with offense against Johan Santana. And yesterday, Bumgarner pitched beautifully giving up only 2 runs (1 earned) in a 5-2 win over the Dodgers.
The Replacements - Ishikawa? Shierholtz? These guys were riding the bench just a few weeks ago, and now they are playing like they deserve to start. Yesterday Kruk referred to them as "a two man rally." (ishi singled, and shierholtz homered)
The Resurgence of Panda - resurgence might be a bit strong with only 5 games into the 2nd half, but the panda looks like he's making strides to come out of his season long slump. Panda is 8 for 17 in his last 5 games with 5 RBI
What Not to Like
Umpires - I've been seeing some absolutely HORRIBLE calls the past couple days. Yesterday the home plate umpire allowed the dodgers a run scored despite the fact that Panda had tagged the runner at 3rd for the last out at least 2 steps before the runner hit home plate. And who can forget that absolutely ridiculous call on Sunday, with home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi calling Ishikawa out at home when the tag by Blanco was no where near him.
Baserunning mishaps - Its been happening all year long and I'm fed up. These guys are pros and they should know simple rules like... freeze on a line drive, or get back to the bag on an obvious fly out. In yesterday's game, Torres had a brain fart on the bases and almost cost the Giants even the one run earned on a bases loaded 1 out situtation.
Bullpen inconsistency - On Saturday, Chris Ray and Sergio Casilla showed us exactly why we essentially have a one man bullpen. Letting the Mets back into what was supposed to be a laugher, and causing Brian Wilson to come out for the save. In fact, B-Wheeze has 4 straight outings because his battery mates cannot hold down a lead including a loss he suffered to the mets in extras. Yesterday Sergio Romo couldn't throw a strike if his life depended on it and Brian Wilson making it interesting as usual loaded up the bases before striking out Casey Blake on 3 pitches (SUCK IT BLAKE)
We're in 2nd place, 4 games out of the Padres. Team is winning any way they can with different heroes every day. Loving it!
Laws of the Day
Timmy pitched his 4th career shutout and 1st this year against the Mets on Thursday.
Madison Bumgarner has won 3 straight games after starting the season 0-2.
Tim Lincecum Bobblehead is now sitting on my dresser =)