Consider this my touchdown dance. The Giants hung a 7-spot on the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Giants scored 7 runs. The Giants scored 7 runs.
Coming into the game, the Zito/Saunders comparisons were being made across all platforms- low K-rate lefties with a surprisingly low ERAs, along with the obvious signs that big spoonfuls of regression are in order. But despite the peripherals and the high baserunner total, Zito outdueled his middling counterpart.
I’m not going to pretend I’m not worried about the baserunners. Bases loaded in the first inning has to be the most frustrating thing a pitcher can do to a fan. Just sets a bad tone, and leaves me with too little fingernail for the later innings. Zito is always going to lack a little control. There will be one pitch on any particular day that he just can’t locate. But if the curveball doesn’t happen to be that pitch, Zito can work his way out of jams like he did today.
The offense helped too. Each position player got a hit, with Gregor Blanco and Melky Cabrera combining to go 6-10 with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. This all culminated in the Giants scoring more runs than they had since April 26th, and their 14 hits were the most of the season. Or since 2003. You look it up.
Something finally seems to be working in the 2-hole. Joaquin Arias can hit until he can’t. Joaquin Arias can play solid defense until he can’t. He may not be the “bat-control guy” that Bochy so craves, but his approach is to both fields is going to keep him in the lineup.
Brandon Watch 2012:
Belt: 8 starts and 1 defensive replacement in the Giants’ 12 games in May. Belt is 6-29 in that span but has 5 walks and is playing excellent defense. Another towering home run by Brett Pill will buy the big righty more playing time, but only some of it should come at the expense of Belt. The Giants face a lefty tomorrow, so expect Brandon Belt to be at the customer service desk at the local Macy’s in Denver.
Crawford: .208 with lots of mistakes on defense. If the defense doesn’t improve, look for Arias become more of an every day player when Sandoval returns. I’m starting to feel bad about it. The all Stamos middle infield with Charlie Culberson would have been quite the panty dropper.
Stats of the Day:
7: Runs scored by the Giants, the most they have scored since April 26th, when they scored 6 in a win against the Reds
6: The number of runners stranded by Zito, 3 of which came in the first inning
4: The number of at-bats by Aubrey Huff since his return on May 7th
1: The number of hits by Huff in those four at-bats
0: The number on my chalkboard that reads “Days Since The Offense Dropped A Turd”