But this was something that could have been foreseen beforehand, once I thought about it. Each has had their moments when they got tight and overamped and performed poorly. This is part of the learning process, which I frankly thought would not kick in until September. Hopefully the Giants have had the spell, the tightness, broken by Jonathan Sanchez's great start yesterday, along with the offense taking down Cole Hamels, who had been incredibly good for over a month up to yesterday's start. This continues a pattern during the season where the Giants offense have come up big against the opposing teams ace or very good starter.
Now they face the Cards for three in their pitcher's park, so the offense might be a bit stymied again. Homeruns and runs are hard to come by there, HR's are depressed 20% below the average park, runs almost 10%.
Luckily, we avoid Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia, but still, Westbrook and Carpenter are bad enough, the Giants could lose another series, but the Cards are losers of four straight, and to losers like the Cubs and Brewers, so their tail should be between their legs right now. Still, they had just swept the Reds in an emotional 3 game series in Cincinnati, so perhaps they used up their adrenaline in that series and has just been tired since. Not sure why the starter of the third game is not announced, Kyle Lohse just came off the DL and should be the starter in that game, but if they decide to move up the starters, they did have a day off on Thursday and could start Garcia on 4 days rest. I guess I'll have to update this post once things are clarified.
Game 1: Jake Westbrook vs. Bumgarner
Giants: The young lefty took a no-decision in his last outing, a duel with fellow youngster Mat Latos of San Diego. Bumgarner threw seven strong innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, for his first quality start in two outings.
Cards: Westbrook has been everything the Cardinals hoped since they acquired him. He's pounded the zone, with 19 strikeouts against two walks. And he's been an absolute ground-ball machine to boot, with only four flyball outs in three games.Does not look good for the Giants, Westbrook has been on a roll since the trade and Bumgarner has been up and down in recent starts, though he had a good one in his last start. However, Bumgarner has shown a lot of guts so far in the majors, so I would expect a good tight game, but with a lean towards Westbrook and his veteran savviness.
Giants: In his last outing, Lincecum struck out the side in the first inning, seemingly warning everyone he was back. Instead, he allowed four runs in the second inning and exited in the fourth, giving up six runs (five earned) in 3 2/3 innings.
We also need our starting pitchers to come out of their funk. Sanchez's beauty last night could start another string of strong starts. All it takes is one pitcher to throw the gauntlet down with a well-pitched game, and the others hopefully will respond with a good effort as well. Should be a good series in St. Louis, don't know if we can win it, but I think we have a chance if Sandoval hits well this series.
Also, Colby Rasmus has been battling an injury and could miss at least one game, if not more in this series. Then again, his replacement, John Jay, has been doing well. And they recently lost their starting 3B and was forced to trade three pitching prospects to the Astros for Pedro Feliz. Hopefully the Giants can handle him, he hasn't been very good this season. They also have another ex-Giant in Randy Winn, plus Brad Penny sits on their DL.
And it has been their pitching that has cost them this month, their ERA has gone up a lot. The starters have been OK, but Jaime Garcia has had a bad month, relatively, with a 4.41 ERA. And their bullpen has been beat up, so the Giants should try to work the count and drive up the pitch count to get the starters out and get into the bullpen.
Then once we get by the Cards and Reds, then they can start racking up wins, hopefully, as they face next:
- D-backs (3)
- D-Rox (3)