Sunday, May 24, 2015

Game Wrap 5/23/2015 Game 1: Giants 10 Rockies 8

Once again, the Giants built a big lead then had to hang on in Coors Field.  Every player in the starting lineup, including the SP, got at least 1 hit either scored a run or drove one in.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik- 3 for 4, HBP.  BA= .303.  Panik was a line drive machine all day and a vacuum at 2B.  I think it's fairly safe to put Panik into the success column for Giants first round draft picks.  Remember all those snickers on draft day a few years back?  Oh, and Keith Law can go to Hades.  Utililty player at best?  LOL!

Brandon Belt- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .320.  Belt is hitting everything on the nose right now, even the outs.

Hunter Pence- 2 for 5.  BA= .310.  Pence is more than an inspirational addition to the lineup.  No accident the Giants scoring got a big boost upon his return.

Brandon Crawford- 2 for 5, 3B.  BA= .303.  When you look at Crawford's swing from the CF camera angle, it looks like he is swinging a tennis racket with a two fisted backhand.  I'm sure the bat feels like it's that big to him.  It's just like he's taking tennis practice and swatting balls from the machine.  People like Baggs and Fleming are starting to call him the best shortstop in baseball.  They may well be right.  He might also be the best SS in Giants history.  I'll definitely say best SS the Giants have had in my lifetime and go back before Chris Speier.

Chris Heston- 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 K, GO/AO= 12/1.  ERA= 4.33.  At one point, Heston looked like he was settling into a nice rhythm of groundball outs which also kept his pitch count down.  Then the Rockies started hitting dingers.  It's just a really, really tough park for sinker ball pitchers.  Fortunately, the Giants had a big lead and were able to hang on.

I'll just add that they might not have scored many runs in this game were it not for Rockies SP Jordan Lyles spraining his left big toe about the 3'rd inning.  The trainer kept coming out to check on him, but with the DH, I'm sure they felt they needed the innings out of him if at all possible.  He still had velocity, but couldn't follow through on the toe which led to elevation of his pitches.  It also affected a wild pickoff throw to 1B that allowed Brandon Crawford to score from 3B.  You could see him keeping the front of his foot elevated on that throw.

Hunter Strickland- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  Wow!  Strickland has been working on some things!  Since we last saw him in the postseason, he's added a nice two seamer, a cutter and improved his changeup.  Of course, we've seen him look dominant before, only to give up another dinger, but he did look like a much improved pitcher yesterday  Those 2 shutout innings were huge and may well have been the difference in the game right there.  Gotta think we'll see him back again before the summer is over and it will be to stay.

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